Kali Wilgus and Liz “LC” Connelly thought that they had realized their dream when they opened Kooks Burritos in Portland Oregon. They were even more excited when the local newspaper Williamette Week decided to do a feature article on their new business. The two women recounted how they watched Mexican women making tortillas on a trip to Baja California and adopted what they saw. That admission however led to furious accusations that the two white women were guilty of “cultural appropriation.” They eventually shutdown their food truck.
This week President Donald Trump again made headlines in denying that he ever mentioned Israel in his giving highly sensitive intelligence to the Russians. (The problem is that no one suggested that he had and the later statement appeared to reaffirm to the world that Israel was the source of the human intelligence from a spy inside ISIS. News accounts suggested that Israel might have been the source but no one suggested that Trump said it was Israel to the Russians). Now the Trump Administration is accused of leaking British intelligence to U.S. media in the aftermath of the massacre in Manchester. The British were reportedly irate and made a formal complaint over the violation of core protocols and protections for intelligence sharing. This is a very serious complaint and further undermines the core relationships that we rely on in the sharing of national security information. It should result in an immediate congressional investigation to determine what happened.
We have previously discussed the worrisome affinity that President Donald Trump has appeared to show toward authoritarian figures like Turkish strongman Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Now the Department of Foreign Affairs has reportedly released a transcript of the call between Trump and its blood-soaked president Rodrigo Duterte. The transcript shows Trump heaping praise on Duterte specifically for his crackdown on drugs — the very program that has made him an international pariah over its extrajudicial murders of suspects. Thousands have been reported murdered under Duterte’s reign of terror for criminal suspects. The White House has not denied the accuracy of the transcript. Duterte is now threatening to remove any semblance of a democratic system and declare martial law over the entire island.
It appears that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross has found relief from the pesky protesters of Western democracies. He gave an almost breathless account of how he didn’t spot nary one protester in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, just tranquil silence of the Saudis. It could be that the Trump Administration found a country unanimously and enthusiastically supportive of its policies. It could also be that protests are generally unlawful in the Kingdom. The Saudis however are famous for public demonstrations of a different kind from beheadings to the image above of festive hangings.
In Oryol, Russia, Orthodox Bishop Nektary (Nikolai Seleznev) has declared that he is entitled to a new form of manna from heaven in the form of a new top of the line, fully loaded luxury Land Cruiser. When confronted by the ethical questions over the gift from a local agribusiness, Seleznev insisted that Jesus would have definitely taken such a sweet ride if it were offered.
We have often discussed how controversial views or positions are often expressed in terms of discrimination as opposed to good-faith disagreements. A case in point is found in a debate over the consumption of alcohol by pregnant women. The view of the medical profession has certainly changed where some doctors are suggesting that moderate alcohol consumption might not be harmful to a baby. However, when Chief Medical Officer, Dame Sally Davies, stated that the rule against any alcohol consumption was still advised, she was denounced as “sexist” and “alarmist.”
President Donald Trump is finding friends in all the wrong places this week. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov seemingly came to his defense by outright denying that he and Trump ever discussed the Comey firing in their controversial visit to the Oval Office. After all, who are you going to trust if you are not going to take the word of dictator-loving, soulless apparatchik serving Vladimir Putin?