This has been a busy news week. We have a lot of ground to cover, so like a pastor with a seven-point sermon outline and a faulty air conditioner, we need to get started quickly and keep this thing moving.
Oklahoma voters are dumb
I don’t have any intrinsic evidence that this is a true statement, but judging from the state legislature’s reaction to the passage of state questions 780 and 781 on criminal justice reform and the Oklahoma Department of Health’s reaction to SQ788 on legalizing medical cannabis, that seems to be the prevailing opinion.
Five people on a nine-person board overturned the desires of more than 500,000 voters Tuesday. The regulations that will guide SQ788 as it becomes law had little to do with recommendations from employees of the state health department, but Gov. Mary Fallin has already signed off on the board’s approved plan. That vote to ban smokable marijuana and other forms of the newly legalized drug will have a big effect on November’s elections and will likely result in two more state questions regarding marijuana usage being included on the General Election ballot.
President Donald Trump is ...
I won’t go there because the office itself deserves more respect than to have its occupant called dumb by a writer in Oklahoma. That being said, come on now — I know Vladimir Putin helped Donald John Trump win in 2016, but I didn’t think he purchased the actual White House.
Is there anything that would benefit Putin’s regime more than NATO being weakened? Trump is working as the ambassador from Russia this week to tear apart all of America’s most important alliances. He even attacked Germany for getting 60 to 70 percent of their energy from Russia. Since FOX News isn’t in Germany, the hosts there don’t just parrot Trump’s claims with no fact checking. It turns out Germany gets 9 percent of their energy needs from Russia. German television called out the American President for his “misstatement.”
Even Russian television hosts are shocked at the debacle at the NATO meeting this week.
Tatyana Parkhalina said on Russian TV, “I never thought I’d live to see this — neither the USSR nor Russia, who tried many times to drive the wedge between transatlantic allies, but Washington is doing everything to break down the foundations of transatlantic alliance and unity.”
I’m sure the purely GOP delegation that went to meet in Russia over the Fourth of July holiday and Trump after his private meeting with Putin Monday will have a great explanation of why America seems to be siding with Russia over its allies.
Kids in caves are saved, kids in cages are not saved
The world was enthralled with the rescue of a dozen young soccer players and their coach from a cave in Thailand this week. A former Thai Navy Seal lost his life placing supplies along the route that was used to save the boys and their coach. The trek they made to emerge from the cave was amazing. It included three hours of swimming in the dark underwater, at times in spaces so tight that they had to remove their oxygen tanks and roll them along beside them. It was a harrowing ordeal and losing a man who gave his life to help those kids is sad. But that story seemed headed for a much worse ending.
Compare that to the intentional atrocity America created at its own southern border and it is a very happy ending. Between 2,000 and 3,000 children are still separated from their families after their parents came here to seek asylum or through illegal immigration. The emotional damage this is doing to those children can’t be overstated.
Parents are having to pay for their own DNA tests to try to locate children in the system. Many children are still being held here while their parents have already been deported. In some cases, the children have been detained from their parents who are, in fact, American citizens. How can an administration be so equally cruel and incompetent?
While the soccer team was rescued from a cave, children who were seized and separated from their families at our southern border are still being held in cages after the deadline to reunite them passed. President Trump, who signed an executive order to allegedly solve the problem weeks ago, now says the answer is simply to not come into the country illegally. I guess he either decided he doesn’t care or figured out he is powerless to do anything positive.
— Kent Bush is publisher of Shawnee (Oklahoma) News-Star and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.