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Is the Supreme Court now out of step with the majority of Americans? Has it become just another political organization?

A friend, a retired OB-GYN, has a long list of when and why some pregnancies simply must be terminated.

His list ranges from life-threating complications of the mother and baby to a woman having to live with the mental trauma of incest or having been raped!

The potential for serious medical problems and personal moral issues are compelling reasons why a woman should be able to chose what is best for her own body.

When terminating a pregnancy becomes a political issue, well-meaning legislators too easily outlaw all abortions, ban contraception (including the morning-after pill), and thereby eliminate the personal rights of the mother and father to collaborate with counselors… and choose the kind of future they will face.

The digital media revolution has confused the marketplace of ideas, provided powerful communication tools to extremists, and established situations where repeated lies start to sound true.

In the case of terminating pregnancies, serious medical conditions and mental problems often result… and these can last a lifetime.

Using his party’s script, a Republican Congressman from Texas repeated that instead of going after Trump again and again, Democrats should be discussing gas prices, inflation, the pandemic, the border and other issues.

Actually, all of us, including the news media, are discussing these issues every day, including criticisms of the current government. In addition to reporting these issues, the primetime hearing gave journalists all they will need to add their own investigations to their daily agenda.

Maybe we will even learn the names of those in Congress who asked for pardons while Trump was still President.

Will any Republican Party loyalists change their minds about Trump? Maybe only a few. But even if they don’t we all will come to know the truth. And those still in denial will be condemned to dishonor… and eventual political defeat.

This should not be a political issue. It’s a “preserving democracy” issue. Finding, reporting, and acting on the truth is what matters. Otherwise we risk living with an autocracy… or even a dictatorship.

The real heroes are those who choose our Constitution and Democracy over party loyalty!

The United Kingdom is not perfect. As in the United States, the UK has many ethnic tribes threatening it. But the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebration appeared to pull the country together and reminded UK citizens what it really means to be British!

The Internet and social media have facilitated political polarization and tribal anger, and made it more difficult to find this kind of cultural commonality. Currently, tribal groups in the United States are trying to change the founding date, arguing that Columbus was not the first to discover America. Some want to tear down historical statures, arguing that many of our founders were tied too much to slavery. For these and other reasons many even want to rewrite our Constitution.

Whether you are black, brown, white, gay, straight, trans, Democrat, Republican, man, or woman, we must simply find a way to think more broadly about what it means to be an American. What really unites us?

July 4th is coming soon… and this year it could be our Jubilee!

Here is a check list of initiatives to consider…

  1. Require background checks.
  2. “Red Flag” requirements to report dangerous and mentally ill people to law enforcement.
  3. Required after-purchase training.
  4. Include gun shows and buying-on-the-street in background check and training requirements.
  5. Ban military-style weapons for citizen purchase.
  6. Impose limits on ammunition purchase.
  7. Voluntary buy-pack program (successful in Australia).
  8. Increase minimum age for purchase.
  9. As stated by the Atlantic victims of school mass shootings should refuse to return to school until effective national controls are approved.
  10. As I stated in my previous post (Lesson 625) the news media should continue to report the gun control story long after news interest wanes.
  11. Fight everyway you can for rational gun laws that continue to protect citizen gun rights.

Finally, the news media is focusing on pointing out the obvious contradiction between believing in “the right to life” and the willingness to do all we can to protect society from “mass killings.”

Journalists are finally teaching us how most other countries have mental illness and videogame-obsession problems… but few if any have mass killings. Why are we the exception?

We are also finally learning more about how the gun-lobby works in Washington, and how it finances political campaigns.

We are also finally learning how social media platforms are being used to effectively mobilize small groups of extremists, and how public opinion can be effectively ignored.

How can anyone who really believes in the “right-to-life” not be be willing to even discuss the killing power of open-carry laws, unrestricted gun shows, no background checks,18 year old’s buying high powered guns and ammunition with no questions asked, and/or no required training in responsible gun use?

We must find a way to separate political issues from moral ones! Declaring my right to do and own whatever I want is simply too self-centered. “The greater good” must come to mean much more!

Simply put… political polarization has created an urgent moral crisis that really should have nothing to do with politics!

What should this mean in an Internet and information-cluttered world?

What happens when news media organizations seize clear opportunities to advance ratings and profits, and focus on making stars out of attractive anchors and articulate reporters?

In other words, should NBC be bragging about its “Anchor for America,” or CBS its “trio of self-admiring morning stars” matter to us at all?

Or should investigating the existing president, and inviting adversaries to say whatever they will, be what “speaking truth to power” means to us?

Or should a focus on popularity polls no longer frame the approach of media organizations, when explaining facts, truth, and context, are much more important?

Should we therefore expect much more of news media organizations than focusing on advancing their own successes?

The answer is NO! Why? It’s very clear that we cannot “un-invent…”

The Cell Phone

The Internet

Social Media Platforms

The Digital Camera

TV News

Somehow we now live in a world where national security has become dependent on international collaboration. It’s amazing that a courageous young president in a place called Ukraine would be the person to teach the world this lesson. He, together with new media, have made the realities of globalization permanent.

Mr. Putin’s thinking is a relic of the old world… and this is why it’s inevitable that he will fail. We get to see and hear everything he’s doing every day. Would-be autocrats and dictators better be paying attention!

Putin has made it clear that his mission is to bring back the Soviet empire

  1. Stalin established the Soviet empire, often using violence on his own people.
  2. The appealing idea of this empire no doubt has been in Putin’s mind since his service in the KGB.
  3. Toward that end, he made brutal attacks on several former Soviet countries. including the Ukraine.
  4. In today’s internet and social media world, he could be thinking that this is his last chance to bring back that empire.
  5. Rather than admitting defeat, he might actually prefer to “go down” fighting, and have history record that he was the one who tried.
  6. The big issue for the EU and NATO: Would Putin actually resort to chemical and/or nuclear weapons?
  7. If so, how will they respond? Right now the answer remains unknown.
  8. Whatever happens, it certainly is clear that the vast majority of the world prefers democracy and freedom over the control of autocrats and dictators. Would-be autocrats better be paying attention!
  1. “Putin’s folly” is being brutally exposed on television for all to see every single day!

2. Early pictures of beautiful Ukraine cities, modern music halls, impressive museums, state-of-the-art hospitals and people going about everyday business, remain in our minds.

3. But these are constantly contrasted with horrible images of destruction by a mindless dictator’s brutal assault on a peaceful country.

4. We see homes bombed into rubble, and women and children leaving cars by the roadside as they struggle to get out of the country.

5 We see babies crying as adults are dying in the streets.

6. Over time, these images accumulate and linger in our minds with a relentless staying power.

7. Digital technologies which have be used to produce confusion and political divisions, are finally being used to save democracies everywhere.

8. The people of Ukraine, and the reporters covering their stories, are showing the world just what it takes to end tyranny… and to hold on to a life of freedom.

Putin’s dream of empire could very easily become his worst nightmare…

He must have thought he could overrun Ukraine in a day or two.

He clearly underestimated the willingness of the Ukrainian people to stand their ground.

Reports are that many in Putin’s army look confused and uncertain about what they are doing.

Many of his tanks are running out of gas… an indication of inadequate training.

He might try to intensify his assaults… but sanctions, world support, and resistance will only increase.

NATO and EU support has become more unified and focused every day.

Many other countries around the world have also pledged their support.

Putin’s recent nuclear threats will very likely backfire… and could also cause his own officials to stop him.

Citizen protests in Russian cities are growing… and they could intensify out of fears of a nuclear war.

Putin’s power inside and outside Russia will come to an end… maybe even sooner than many thought.