Us versus Them – Put It to an End

The last week has been hard in the US. It’s been especially hard here in St Paul, the nearest large city to Falcon Heights. That is where St Paul resident Philandro Castille was gunned down at a traffic stop, and the city that has seen the brunt of the protests as his home and the capitol of the state.

More than the horror of this shooting and the protests which turned ugly afterwards, the situation appears to be spinning out of control. For those of us who support the Black Lives Matter movement as well as our excellent St Paul Police there is a lot to be concerned about.

If cooler heads prevail, as they usually do in this city, we’ll be allright. But we have to keep our eyes on the prize and no longer accept the “Us versus Them” mentality destroying our nation.

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Violence at the Core

Another week, another shooting. This one at a Planned Parenthood clinic, leaving three dead. The shooter, as is so often the case, was a white guy – a European-American – who in this case muttered, “No more baby parts” as he was led away. The reports that Planned Parenthood sold aborted fetuses for cash, long proven to be false, may have pushed him over the edge but that may be beside the point.

He was in a murderous state of mind. And that state is remarkably common among people of European descent.

Where we often site “Islamic Extremists” as being particularly violent, history tells us that those of us who come from European stock are much worse. It’s time we confront this problem and stop assigning the characteristic “violent” to others.

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Flak Over Frack

There is probably no more contentious issue at the crossroads of politics and technology than hydraulic fracturing, or fracking. The process, where oil and gas drillers chew up rock deep in the earth, is responsible for the major oil boom that produced so much oil it collapsed into the current bust – with very low oil prices. It also creates a lot of environmental damage and, as a relatively new technology, is remarkably unregulated.

New rules were introduced for fracking on federal land on Friday by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Eagerly awaiting them were the drilling industry and environmentalists, both of which had a big stake in the regulations. If you are a long time follower of these procedures, or simply a cynic, it might come as no surprise that both sides are unhappy.

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