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In The Midst Of A Summer Soap Opera

Posted in From The Editor's Perspective

School is out and the summer holidays are a welcome relief for school children everywhere, as cities and beaches will be at full capacity for the next month. A typical British summer for those who aren’t familiar with it, consists of the odd day of sun where everyone digs out sandals, shorts, and sleeveless tops, intermingled with hazy days of drizzle. Just as the term ends, the shops are strangely full of back to school uniforms, barbecue bits and bobs, and a current trend for drinking mason jars. Yet in the adult world of a scary reality, events akin to a soap opera continue. However, unlike a room full of scriptwriters who determine the fate of their characters, democracy and what it actually means is challenged before the summer recess in Congress and Parliaments worldwide. So what has happened so far in the world?

  • Jared Kushner, the son-in-law of #45 has been called to testify before Congress over his meetings and alleged association with Russian official during the election campaign. Remember there is no smoke without an element of possible fire, and given he has changed his version of recollections three times, either he has a very poor memory (and shouldn’t be in his job) or his pants are on fire.
  • Sean Spicer has resigned (no surprise there) or rather a skeptic would say he was pushed. Since he was replaced by Huckabee Sanders when he was caught hiding in the bushes, it was a matter of time before he would have been let go. In effect he is working out his notice, but who will hire him after this? Maybe a deal was struck as in, resign or get fired?
  • Anthony Scaramucci (a man with no PR experience) replaces Mike Dubke who resigned in May as Communications Director. He has already begun firing people in the White House already accusing them of leaks.
  • #45 addresses a Boy Scout Jamboree and encourages the scouts to boo a former President—I’m still trying to work out why anyone with brain cells would do that?
  • In the UK Brexit is still going ahead as people discuss who will replace Theresa May, despite the fact the election was less than two months ago. Boris Johnson denies he is interested right now.
  • Charlie Gard has been a tool in the media circus, where he had no chance of survival, yet his parents insisted he was not brain damaged or was suffering despite doctors test results and expert opinions. Finally they have allowed him to stop suffering, but not before the Pope and #45 threw in their opinions even going as far as to grant the child US citizenship so he could have treatment in the USA. The parents should not blame anyone, because even with treatment the chances of survival were remote. To say the hospital left it too late is an ungrateful statement to make. Had they lived in the USA without healthcare, the child would have died within weeks. The experimental treatment was not a cure, but a potential way to keep the child alive, but with a degenerative disease the child was always going to get weaker. Sadly now, the parents again are going to court to fight to take the child home to die. While many say this is the right of the parents, unlike a child who has cancer, Charlie will die as soon as the machine that helps him breathe is removed. They can’t just bundle him in a taxi to go home, and it is impractical to haul all the medical equipment to their home that won’t fit as the parents live in a flat. The compromise of a hospice is a sensible option, and surely less traumatic for the child too. Hopefully the parents can see that. For those who don’t understand that the doctors have the right to challenge the parents, it is Charlie who is their patient and to whom they owe a duty of care (less suffering and what is best medically for him). Therefore, if they were not seen to be doing the right thing, they would be in breach of their responsibilities as doctors.
  • The struggle to repeal the ACA continues as the GOP still fight to get the votes to pass a bill that would mean the end of healthcare for many, and certain death. John McCain is getting up from his hospital bed to vote after being diagnosed with brain cancer. Apparently Congress had been waiting for him to get better to get his vote. One would have thought McCain would oppose the bill given his current situation, however he has voted to discuss repealing it due to Pence’s tie-break vote. It is indeed a sad day, where America appears to be governed by those who do not fully represent the best interests of the majority. In fact it harks back the days of old when the wealthy and educated elite decided its fate. Nothing much has changed it seems.
  • North Korea grows more unstable as student Otto Warmbier, is returned in a coma to the USA after being a prisoner. He then dies a few days later amid claims he had been tortured. His crime was attempting to steal a poster on the hotel wall in an unauthorized area. While many of us may see this as a trivial prank, Warmbier should have remembered where he was. Communist regimes do not allow such behavior and just as Indonesia have the death penalty for drug smuggling, those in the West who venture to other cultures must respect and abide by their customs and laws.
  • Justin Bieber has canceled the rest of his world tour after being banned in China because he is considered a bad influence due to his previous misdemeanors. The thing is even with internet restrictions people travel and can still read and hear about Bieber and what he gets up to. At times I wonder who are those who sit and decide or China?

As the last of the survivors of World War II make appearances at anniversary ceremonies, it doesn’t seem enough to warn the current generation of the devastation of war and that only prevention can halt it. It is a worry, as people seem to either think it can’t happen or that others trust the governments to ensure their safety. Some governments will protect, while others will antagonize and attack. Meanwhile, people just want jobs that pay a living wage, to have a roof over their heads, and a hot meal a day. It’s not much to ask, but in this modern day you wonder why so many people don’t have those basics? It’s not a philosophical question, but a problem that can be rectified yet because these people have little power no one is interested in them. This is where humanity is failing, but why? I’ll let you consider the reasons why, and the possible solutions.

Summer should be a fun time to relax and spend time with the family, but instead is a worrying period where seasonal workers make as much as they can while they can earn, parents who can’t afford daycare struggle to find summer camps for their children, and the world hopes that war will not break out. All it takes is the wrong word or action to upset an unstable leader and the consequences as we know will be dire. Let us hope that those in power can prevent this,by removing any unstable leaders as soon as possible.

 

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