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A decidedly chilly February in Congress and the EU at least

Posted in From The Editor's Perspective, and World Affairs

It’s hard to keep up with things in the White House, but another firing looks imminent, the shutdown was short, but it’s effects will still be felt, the State of the Nation speech was boycotted by several in Congress including a SCOTUS Justice (Ruth Bader Ginsburg) because may can see it’s a bit of a mess already, and a memo by Devin Nunes was declassified by #45 and released to the public that basically says “You (Democrats) are picking on us, and the F.B.I. is biased, so stop the investigation!” in short.

The latter is important, as the USA has been on the brink of a ‘Constitutional Crisis’ ever since #45 was elected (or rather the Electoral College did that), because the current administration fails to understand how the government works. The Executive branch carries out the wishes of Congress, now they may drag their feet and stall if they don’t like it or do it half heartedly, but the branch cannot ignore what Congress has passed in relation to new sanctions against Russia. According to Reuters, it appears that the administration are only concerned about the business interests and not the safety of the nation of which it is wholly responsible for.

“Today, we have informed Congress that this legislation and its implementation are deterring Russian defense sales,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement. “Since the enactment of the … legislation, we estimate that foreign governments have abandoned planned or announced purchases of several billion dollars in Russian defense acquisitions.”

Again, the memo that was released was not factual but based on possible theories that the courts and F.B.I. were biased against #45 and used a dossier that was partially funded by the Democrats, from Christopher Steele, a former MI6 officer. In truth I stopped reading it when it began to quote Yahoo news as a source, because that is just tabloid ‘news’ full of inaccuracies and rumors. All the memo has done is to destabilize the country by undermining the bodies (D.O.J. and F.B.I.), and show that there is indeed a need for an investigation. The decision to release it by #45 is further evidence that he is unsuitable for the job.

To me a Constitutional Crisis is when the branches of the government fail to carry out what they had sworn to do, and use rhetoric and stalling methods to circumvent things. This is clear when Congress is ignored, when independent bodies are challenged or staff fired for no valid reason, and when a branch of the government put the safety of the nation at risk for their own political or financial gains.

Apparently #45 has accused the Democrats who didn’t applaud his SOTU address as ‘treasonous’, which is just another reason why he should not be in office. The term hasn’t been used so often in the space of a year until he came into office, and maybe he needs to look up what I actually means as it’s a serious accusation. It’s meaning is: to betray one’s country by acting in a way that would overthrow the government or sovereign, and harming the security of the nation. By exercising the right not to clap (free speech) at what someone says or does is not treason, as that act has not betrayed anyone. In fact IMHO, anyone that did clap betrayed the citizens of the USA.

The Winter Olympics are on course and there is lots of noise about North and South Korea playing together as a united ice hockey team. I can only imagine the tensions, but I’m all for politics putting things aside in the name of sport. However, a norovirus outbreak has hit the games, as the military have been deployed to replace the security guards affected. Let’s hope it remains contained so the teams don’t catch it, yet in these environments viruses thrive. Sometimes, it’s just bad luck.

In the cosmetic world there has been a recent deluge of products with prebiotics and probiotics, but is it a marketing ploy? There are probiotic drinks that are supposed to be good for you, but are they? The human race has survived without them, and I think it will do so whether people take probiotics or use probiotic products. What I take exception to is the companies and media telling people that they need them and they don’t. If you have a weak immune system or sensitive skin, then they may help, but it’s in and out of the system so isn’t a long-term solution either. Personally I see it as the latest buzzword for something new that will improve your life, at a high cost. Don’t fall for it!

The #METOO movement continues with more high profile men being forced to resign from their jobs, or their actions are being challenged, while the annual Presidents Club charity dinner has come under fire for sexist behavior and now has been disbanded. To be frank, none of this is real news, but sexual advances and misconduct occurs only because people think they can get away with it. It’s a double edged sword as hostess jobs will be culled, as Formula 1 announced they will not longer use grid girls. The thing is when girls take on these jobs they know they may get ogled at for their looks, and men will flirt, and try it on. I know because I have been one of them. You learn to be charming and push them away, although I admit some girls don’t know how to do it and others let it happen in the hopes of getting a tip. Rape is a crime and should be reported, sexual misconduct in the workplace should be reported (I know often HR won’t do much, but they should), but flirting isn’t a crime. The lines have become very blurred, and while victims may now get closure and justice, it will make people think twice about approaching someone or even being friendly to them in case of false accusations.

Brexit is still chugging along, and May still faces criticism over her leadership. Quite simply no one else wants the job, and while she could do better, she’s doing okay and holding steadfast in making sure the UK gets a good deal. The problem is the EU don’t want to give the UK a good deal, and all they have proven is that the EU is a dictatorial and money hungry body. They want EU citizens to have settlement rights during the transitional period, but not to give free trade rights during the same period, so where is the deal or negation is that? Michel Barnier wants all the cake and not to give the UK even a few crumbs, a case of give us everything because we say so, or we won’t speak to you and will hold everything against you. If anything it makes the case to leave the EU greater to escape having to deal with these selfish and greedy people again in such depth.

The UK will always have to deal with them, but not to this extent, plus the UK has been told they must still contribute during the transition period a huge wad of cash, but have no rights or say in anything. I see this as a necessary evil, a compromise because it’s short term, and once it’s over it’s like a divorce you have control of your life back, even though you may still need to speak to the ex every now and then.

There’s already been a Blue Moon this year (January 31st) with a lunar eclipse and a SuperBlood Moon all in one go. There are huge changes imminent in the world, I feel it and I just hope humanity can pull it together in order to survive and avoid war, whether it be one of words, or physical.

Photo by from Pexels

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