Wednesday, June 01, 2022

Today's News: From all over

But really, Canadian media are just playing another version of "If it's not Scottish, it's crap". 
The proposed Liberal legislation to prevent more handgun sales obviously isn't going to solve every gun problem in Canada and the rest of North America. Therefore, argue the cynics, it is worthless and just political. 
But the thing to remember is this: 
it took more than a century for North America to create this gun culture problem -- a century marked by wars around the world, plus significant improvements in gun designs and manufacturing capacity due to billions in government armament purchases, plus the deliberate fostering of the "gun rights" legal framework in the US. 
So there will never be a single piece of legislation or even a single legislative plan that will solve North American society's gun problems. But Trudeau's attempts to limit handguns is progress, just as limiting assault rifles is progress, and improving background checks, and improving society response to red flags, etc etc. 
Inch by inch, it can be changed. 
When I was 20, nobody wore a seatbelt to drive. By the time I was 30, everybody wore them all the time. 
When I was 40, everybody smoked indoors everywhere. By the time I was 55, the only place people could smoke was outside. 
So yes, society can change. Moving to the Uvalde school massacre, I saw this cartoon today:
The chaos is increasing:

The Uvalde school police chief was recently elected to the city council and instead of resigning as any principled person would do, he was sworn in tonight by the mayor secretly after the weekly council meeting was cancelled. 
So it looks like they're just going to try to brazen it out.
The Houston Chronicle is reporting tonight: Today was also the day that the Trump Russia scandal got some additional coverage. 
I'm not even going to try to summarize all this, but the Trumpsters have spent years now trying to rid themselves of their pro-Russian stench by turning it around against Hillary. Finally today a jury got the chance to weigh in and it took them just a few minutes to kick the whole case out of court. Josh Marshall writes: 
This was a corrupt effort from the git-go. 
...this absurd indictment that was ignominiously tossed this afternoon. This was never a true investigation or prosecution. It was always a political assignment created by Bill Barr for the benefit of Donald Trump. Corrupt from the first moment, fruit of the poison tree. 
And Trump was absolutely furious: Almost 20 years ago, British Columbia led the continent in creating Vancouver's safe injection site for drug users, and today BC is leading the way again in recognizing drug use as a health issue, not a criminal issue: There is Canada-wide support for this, particularly from police: I hope other provinces and cities will also be considering such initiatives. 

 Turning to Ukraine, here's a piece of good news - more than three quarters of the 2022 crop is planted: The war proceeded today with Russia likely close to controlling Severodonetsk in the east while the Ukrainians are mounting a counter-offensive to retake Kherson in the south. NATO is still being appropriately cautious about provoking Russia into a nuclear exchange, but I get the impression that Western anxiety is declining, especially as Russia's capacity to continue to make war appears to be declining: Here is the American message to Putin -- and to appeasers like Kissinger, the NYT editorial board and others -- from Biden's statement published today in the New York Times
... America’s goal is straightforward: We want to see a democratic, independent, sovereign and prosperous Ukraine with the means to deter and defend itself against further aggression.
....That’s why I’ve decided that we will provide the Ukrainians with more advanced rocket systems and munitions that will enable them to more precisely strike key targets on the battlefield in Ukraine.
....We do not seek a war between NATO and Russia. As much as I disagree with Mr. Putin, and find his actions an outrage, the United States will not try to bring about his ouster in Moscow. So long as the United States or our allies are not attacked, we will not be directly engaged in this conflict, either by sending American troops to fight in Ukraine or by attacking Russian forces. We are not encouraging or enabling Ukraine to strike beyond its borders. We do not want to prolong the war just to inflict pain on Russia. 
 ...Standing by Ukraine in its hour of need is not just the right thing to do. It is in our vital national interests to ensure a peaceful and stable Europe and to make it clear that might does not make right. If Russia does not pay a heavy price for its actions, it will send a message to other would-be aggressors that they too can seize territory and subjugate other countries. It will put the survival of other peaceful democracies at risk. 
 ...Any use of nuclear weapons in this conflict on any scale would be completely unacceptable to us as well as the rest of the world and would entail severe consequences. 
 Americans will stay the course with the Ukrainian people because we understand that freedom is not free. That’s what we have always done whenever the enemies of freedom seek to bully and oppress innocent people, and it is what we are doing now. Vladimir Putin did not expect this degree of unity or the strength of our response. He was mistaken. If he expects that we will waver or fracture in the months to come, he is equally mistaken. 

Here is why Russia needs to be kicked out of this country: Rothkopf's latest: Here's Tom Nichol's comment about the upcoming US midterms: And a commenter noted this brilliant David Sedaris quote about the vote choice from 2016: 

Today's oddball stuff: 

Tucker Carlson is such a white supremacist he picked a fight with BTS fans. Oops! And you can't make this stuff up: And here's today's time-waster - next time you have a couple of hours to spare, start following these replies and humming along:

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