Category Archives: Foreign Affairs

Weekend Update – David Cassidy, Zimbabwe, Egypt

I don’t know, there’s something about the death of David Cassidy that is curious, haunting and thought-provoking. If you are one of those people who were born between 1955 and 1965, you grew up in an era where there were one maybe two TVs in the house. If you lived in a relatively big city, you had 3 to 5 television channels. Everybody watched the same shows. At night, from approximately seven to approximately nine PM everybody watched TV. One of the most popular TV shows was the Partridge family starring Shirley Jones and David Cassidy. The whole premise of the show was somewhat contrived and crazy. This was a family, without a father, that traveled the country in a school bus making a living as a singing group. David Cassidy, because of his looks and demeanor, was the “perfect” teen idol. I’m sure that I could write volumes just on the TV show itself. The death of David Cassidy for thousands of people is somewhat sad. He really was a heartthrob at the time. He had one megahit called, I Think I Love You which reached number one on the Billboard charts. He was never able to replicate that success. From my standpoint, this was one of the worst examples of soulless, bubblegum music ever produced. It goes into the same category as The Hustle, Rock the Boat and Muskrat Love. David always struggled with his success. He seemed to have mental health issues all of his life. RIP, David Cassidy.

Zimbabwe strongman steps down. It is really unclear to me what this really means.

Huge terrorist attack in Egypt. The exact reason for this senseless killing is unclear. This is simply sad.

Megastar Uma Thurman who had to big hits produced by Harvey Weinstein’s production company speaks out.

Cat hair used to catch a bomber?

News Roundup – London Fire, Bill Cosby, US Open

I’m still having some trouble understanding how a relatively modern apartment tower goes up in flames. Today, apartment complexes are supposed to be built so that the fire is contained. In the United States, modern buildings are supposed to have multiple fire suppression systems including sprinklers. It does not appear that this was the case in this building built in 1979. Initial estimates of five or 10 people who died appear to be completely wrong. Latest estimates put over 58 people dead. Now, it appears that the finger-pointing has started. The relief effort has been described as “absolute chaos”. This is bad.

A mistrial has been declared in the Bill Cosby assault case. I am sorry but I find this whole thing extremely sad. Bill Cosby was one of my heroes. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, it was rare to see a Black face on TV. The constant was Bill Cosby. He was playing an international spy or he was on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. He was funny, thoughtful and always portrayed a black man who was positive. He developed a Saturday morning cartoon based on some of the characters in his stand up. Again, it was funny and positive. I think is pretty clear that Bill Cosby has done something wrong. When over 60 women over a 40 to 50 year period stand up and say similar stories, something is going on. In my opinion, my hero, Bill Cosby, is a serial rapist. It breaks my heart to say that.

Michelle Carter was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for telling her boyfriend who was trying to kill himself to get in the truck which was filled with lethal carbon monoxide gas via cellphone.

On the other hand, Officer Jeronimo Yanez was found NOT guilty of second degree manslaughter after shooting an unarmed Black man, Philando Castile. His girlfriend streamed the aftermath on Facebook. I would just like to know when it is NOT okay to shoot a black man.

The final round of the U.S. Open begins in a couple of hours. As with any major sporting event, there is lots of discussion. Most of it is nonsense. Most the experts thought that Jason Day, Rory McIlroy or even Dustin Johnson would be contending for this US Open. They are all at home. Now, Brian Harman, who won earlier this year, Tommy Fleetwood, a European player who has never won in the US, Brooks Koepka, is one on those extremely long hitters who the pundits thought should win and win often and Justin Thomas, who shot a 63 yesterday, are all in contention. This should make for an interesting final round.

Obama’s failure? Syria

In 2013, Bashar al-Assad gassed his own people. President Obama had to figure out what to do with Syria. He could have bombed Syria. He could have tried to do some sort of joint military action with our western allies. There was a lot of hand wringing, as there should have been. We are talking about life and death. Instead of making the decision to bomb Syria, Obama threw the decision to Congress, which did not give him authorization to strike Syria. I’m not sure that he was truly all that whipped up to strike Syria. He turned to Russia; who helped (Russian help is kind of an oxymoron) broker a deal for Syria to destroy all of their chemical weapons. Well, we know that this “deal” wasn’t what anyone would have hoped, since al-Assad just gassed his own people again. It is completely unclear whether al-Assad has more chemical weapons or not. We have to assume that he has.

Many Americans have applauded Donald Trump’s bombing of Syria. I’m not so sure. I think that Donald Trump took the only option that was open to him. He couldn’t make another deal. That was out. There is no coalition of “the willing.” No one wants to invade Syria. With that option off the table, what was left? Bomb them. That was the only other option.

I just don’t know how bombing Syria will help the problem. As far as we know, there were no significant military leaders killed. I think that we know we did not kill -nor even injure- al-Assad. So I’m not sure that we have changed any behavior.