Monday, June 5, 2017


In 1944 has there was a consequential first two weeks in June.
That D-Day fortnight 73 years ago was historic, tragically
violent and suspenseful, but when it was over, it marked the
final turning point that led to the end of a catastrophic world

Global violence is still with us, as are global efforts to improve
human lives and conditions, but so are conflicting global
opinions about how to stop the former and to assist the latter.

The United States, under President Donald Trump, pulled out
of the so-called Paris Accords, declaring the voluntary
agreement responding to worldwide environmental issues was
“a bad deal” and not in our national interests. The Accords had
been partly fashioned through the efforts of former President
Barack Obama, signed by him, but not submitted to the U.S.
senate (as every treaty must be) for ratification.

Then, Islamic terrorists struck central London (the third recent
major attack in the United Kingdom) just  few days before the
British parliamentary elections.

The elections themselves are to take place on June 8 in the middle
of this fortnight. UK Tory Prime Minister Theresa May had been
expected to expand her majority in the House of Commons, but
recent polls suggest the race was tightening, at least until the
terrorist attacks.

President Trump has announced he intends to privatize the
air traffic controllers across the nation as part of his infrastructure
initiative. President Ronald Reagan also made changes with this
group by confronting their union, but did keep their federal status.

Meanwhile, North Korea has tested another missile, and a top
administration official has declared this a “clear and present
danger.” Japan and Hawaii are preparing for the worst.

In the Middle East, four Arab Gulf nations have broken off
diplomatic relations with the small (but oil-rich) Gulf nation of
Qatar. Neighbors Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Bahrein and United Arab
Emirates took the unprecedented action, contending that Qatar
was aiding terrorism. Although Qatar has lots of revenue, it
depends on its neighbors for food and other basic supplies.
Complicating the move is the presence of a large U.S. airbase in
the emirate

In Minnesota, its governor did what many governors have long
dreamed of doing, but never dared to try. With a stroke of his
pen, he in effect abolished both houses of the state legislature
(controlled by his opposition) for two years by vetoing their
entire budget. This occurred at the climactic finale of a bitter
legislative session. Legislators have contended his action is
unconstitutional, and the outcome will now be determined by
the state supreme court.

Congressional investigations into alleged wrongdoing by both
Democrats and Republicans are now just underway.

All this and more has happened in barely a third of the first
June fortnight of what might have been expected to be a quiet
interlude in the otherwise contemporary 24/7 era of incessant
“breaking news.”

Conceding this eventful period is not as consequential as the
two weeks which included the preparations, landing and
successful beachhead battles of D-Day, however, it has not been
by any analysis a tranquil hiatus.

And half the fortnight remains to happen.

Copyright (c) 2017 by Barry Casselman. All rights reserved.

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