I believe something happened to Christine Blasey Ford more than three decades ago. Six years before Brett Kavanaugh was a nominee for the Supreme Court, Ford related the story of an encounter with him to her therapist, which would have required an implausible prescience if her sexual-assault allegation is, as I’ve seen some conservatives argue, all part of an elaborate scheme.
Francis Fukuyama earned his place in philosophical history by declaring “the end of history” on the fall of the Berlin Wall and the collapse of communism. Nowadays Fukuyama, an engaging traveler through the world of ideas, poses this great question: Where are we going?
A Facebook and Twitter meme in circulation these days holds that the only thing any American need know about Muslims can be summed up in the 9/11 attacks on our nation. Another asks why, if Islam is a religion of peace, Muslim scholars and clerics don’t loudly condemn extremists who misrepresent it so. Of course, this latter question also begs why more Christians don’t condemn Christian leaders embracing policies and candidates who so obviously subvert Christian principles and make a mockery of Jesus Christ’s teachings.
Having read as many of 10-year lookbacks on the financial crisis as I could handle, I’ve found two consistent themes. First, they ask: “Could it happen again?” Second, they connect the crisis and its aftermath, especially the bailout of the financial sector, with the rise of anti-elitism that brought us Trump, Brexit and the anti-establishment politics sweeping across Europe.
We are constantly bombarded with bad news. There are disasters, dangers, challenges and woes. On the political scene, we find perpetual discord peppered with lurid denunciations and shrill condemnations. Media reports are alternately dismaying, disappointing, distressing, disgusting or depressing. But despair not, friends: All is not lost!
Ethics appear near-dead in America, invoked selectively as a way to vilify someone in the other guy’s political party. Yet each of us at one time or another gets a chance to say yea or nay in such matters. Take the question now facing Hewitt residents: If an appointed city official blows the whistle on an elected city official for violating state law, is the latter ethically justified in firing the former?
In a field just three blocks from tourist mecca Magnolia Market at the Silos lay a homeless man fast asleep in the middle of the day. He was covered with blisters from the sun, with stickers and grass embedded in his matted hair. He smelled of both alcohol and human excrement. He had no sleeping bag, no bottle of water and no protection from the 103-degree temperature. As he awakened to the touch of a person trying to help, his words made no sense. “There are demons all over me,” he said in confusion. Then he cried out loud with tears running down his face.
Constitution Day is September 17. The day is set aside to commemorate the development and signing of the country’s most important document, which for more than 230 years has stood as both the plan for the American system of government and, through its 27 Amendments, a summary of the political principles of generations of Americans.
What were we talking about one year ago? Take a look back.
The last thing the people in the Caribbean, Florida and Southeast Texas needed this week was news of Maria, a hurricane headed up the same path as Irma, future path uncertain. The survivors are just beginning the rebuilding efforts that are going to take years, even with the amazing and inspiring ways in which thousands, if not millions, have joined them in acts of helping one another.
Last week the nation learned cybercriminals stole more than 143 million credit records including Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers and addresses from Equifax, one of the three major consumer credit reporting agencies. It might not seem like a cyber hack of this magnitude could get any worse. After all, very private and personal information has been exposed and could cause a financial nightmare for so many people.
Sunday’s Trib report on enrollment at local school districts and charter schools might at first glance seem to offer little new. Yes, enrollment at school districts such as Midway and China Spring continues to grow. Yes, charter schools are drawing more and more students. Yes, student numbers are relatively flat in Waco Independent School District. In the old days, we labeled this scenario “white flight.” Some of it likely still is.
Bouncing Joe Straus