“Why do the heathen rage and the people imagine a vain thing?” (Psalm 2:1 KJV) That didn't take long. Less than 48 hours after the shooting rampage targeting Republican members of Congress and their staff on a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia, followed by the picture of Republicans and Democrats kneeling in prayer at Nationals Park before their annual charity game, things returned to normal...or abnormal.
In television it's called a "loop," the replaying of the same scene over and over and over again. The latest and most assuredly not the final terrorist attack in London last weekend was a "loop" that has become all-too familiar. The jihadists who claimed to be acting on orders from their god, killed at least seven and injured more than 45 others, some critically, with a brazen attack on London Bridge and in a nearby pub.
For sheer hilarity and hyperbole it's hard to beat a recent headline on a Washington Post editorial opposing President Trump's decision to remove the U.S. from the nonbinding and unenforceable Paris climate agreement. "Trump turns his back on the world," it screamed. A close second goes to the headline on a New York Times piece by columnist David Brooks: "Donald Trump Poisons the World."
The terrorism scenario is always the same. Events repeat themselves, like in the film Groundhog Day. First the video of screaming innocents, as in Manchester, England, where an Islamist detonated a suicide bomb at an Ariana Grande concert, killing at least 22 people, many of them children, and wounding dozens of others.
Roger Ailes was no genius, not in the league of Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein. The founding chairman of Fox News Channel, who died last week from complications after suffering a fall, understood and respected Middle America from whence he came.
The ransomware cyberattack that wormed its way into at least 74 countries recently exposed new vulnerabilities in the UK's National Health Service (NHS), as if it weren't vulnerable enough. Hospital systems in England and Scotland were taken offline. Major operations were delayed, causing frustration and additional worry to patients who spoke to TV interviewers.
Awards once meant something. There was a time not that long ago when they were given in recognition of important accomplishments. Today, we tend to value celebrity over steady achievement. Fame is paramount. It matters little how one attains it. The Kardashians are just one of many examples.
President Trump is about to score a religious trifecta, visiting Saudi Arabia, Israel and Rome, the "home" of three monotheistic religions. The president has said he wants to make the ultimate deal and achieve peace between Israel and the Palestinians. While the goal is similar to a high school kid attempting to hit a curve ball from an all-star pitcher, the scenario cannot end well for Israel. How do I know this? One has only to look at history.
President Trump and I have something in common. We were both invited to last Saturday's White House Correspondents' Dinner and we declined. The president wasn't interested in hearing himself mocked by an industry that holds him to a different standard than his predecessor and I wasn't interested in hearing the predictable jokes denigrating all things Republican, conservative and Fox News.
The headline in the March 5, 1929 edition of the Chicago Tribune read, "Plain Citizen Coolidge Shuts Desk and Quietly Goes Home." Calvin Coolidge would write a newspaper column from Northampton, Massachusetts, for which he presumably was paid a pittance, but other than that he refused to exploit his notoriety or accomplishments as president for money.
President Trump did something Monday I have long advocated. He met with a small group of conservative journalists, pundits and radio talk show hosts. I was among them. After ticking off a list of what he said were his accomplishments leading up to the arbitrary 100-day marker of his presidency, we asked him questions.
As is almost always the case, signs of trouble preceded the latest shooting in Paris, which left one police officer dead and wounded two bystanders before police killed the gunman, later identified as French national Karim Cheurfi, a known criminal with a long, violent record. ISIS claimed to be behind the attack. According to police, a note praising ISIS fell out of Cheurfi's pocket when he fell.