10 May 2023 NPR’s Morning Edition: Jake’s Takes

1.    Fort Hood Army base in Texas is renamed for Hispanic 4-star general Richard Cavazos. Different regions in this country have different histories, and yet we share a national identity. This tension is most visible in the south where regional culture might still be at odds with the national narrative due to a history that includes a civil war. We have been witnessing the attempt to rename things that were previously supposed to honor members of the Confederate party and the visible hostility it provokes. There is nowhere in the nation more tense than Texas right now as Title 42 expires and the resulting increase in migrants seeking asylum comes to pass.

2.    The challenges involved with establishing a peaceful, stable Sudan. Sudan is much more formed by the Nile River and the ancient histories that the people of the region remember than it is by any modern drawing of borders. And yet, to fully function in a modern world, Sudan will have to adapt and learn to manage its resources and people in a way that works on the international stage. There is no hiding from the world. 40 million people are not going to be kept invisible.

3.    Latest inflation information comes as the Fed rethinks its aggressive rate hikes. Inflation is dropping, but not far enough. We still have high prices that are affecting the common citizen’s ability to pay their bills. Raising the interest rates on bank loans issued from the Central Bank may have run its course, however. The question becomes: how can the economy regain a solid footing and stabilize the pricing situation?

4.    Texas House panel votes to raise the minimum age to buy AR-15-style rifles. Texas is once again in national news, this time for taking a step to implement some commonsense gun control measures. The power of the gun lobby has kept the debate so fervently on the side of protecting 2nd amendment rights, that any kind of gun control has sparked outrage among the public. Texas is the state with the loosest gun laws and the most mass shootings. They have been a victim of this experiment in easy access to modern weaponry. Any step in the direction of gun control will help to balance things out in that hot and volatile state.

5.    Best in show at Westminster: Buddy Holly, a petit basset griffon Vendéen. We have so many weird traditions and this is at the top. I’m sure that once you enter this world it is full of interesting people and animals, but it seems so strange from the outside. I suppose it is a way for people to find a passion for something, to spend their time in a non-destructive way. It serves as an outlet for their creativity.

6.    Thousands of flood victims are still missing in Democratic Republic of Congo. Climate Change is one of the biggest sources of argument in the world today. Either you believe that humans have inadvertently caused global warming, or you think that it is a hoax designed to control people. Those are the two sides of the debate. Those who believe in Climate Change feel that we have a responsibility to pay attention to climate science and to do whatever we can to mitigate the damage done. The other side thinks that the planet goes through phases, and they are beyond our control, therefore it is futile to try and change our behavior. When the seasons become hotter, the storms become stronger, the floods displace more people, and they are lost it doesn’t matter who is right. Whatever you think about the climate, should we care more about a dog show or people who are being deluged by powerful rains?

7.    Mexico was my favorite country out of all 14 I went through, teen cyclist says. We can infer from this headline that the cyclist traveled the length of the continent and how does a teen achieve a goal this lofty? That’s a good question. When people do remarkable things they can inspire us to see bigger goals. It is also a reminder that other countries do not have to be scary or dangerous but can be fun.

8.    CNN’s town hall with Donald Trump takes on added stakes after verdict in Carroll case. I don’t have much interest in cable news. If you must watch the news, then I don’t really follow. There’s too much entertainment value in a televised news broadcast. News is supposed to be informative and interesting, but not something that you eat popcorn to watch.

9.    Artificial intelligence can be found in many places. How safe is the technology? It seems to me that this is a case-by-case scenario. It is as safe as the application allows it to be. We are still in the early stages of AI. Has it already begun to reprogram its own capacity? Is it entering our consciousness to change our view of it? Or is AI less about an entity that has volition of its own and a set of programs that work to make more order out of our chaotic digital lives?

10. Mammograms should start at age 40, U.S. panel recommends. That is so dang young. What is the rate of breast cancer and how treatable is it? Has this always been the case or is it changing over time? These are the things we should be investigating. How are health patterns changing for the better or the worse and how can we tip the balance in our favor?

11. Remembering America’s first social network: the landline telephone. It’s amazing that something as revolutionary as the landline telephone would only exist for a short period of history before it was replaced with wireless technology. It makes you think about things that we take for granted as being subject to change. Anything could become something else and if it is a better solution, then things will follow that course.

12. At the Golden State Warriors home games, older dancers steal the show. People get so up in arms about changes in our culture. They lament the good old days when Victoria’s Secret only featured models who had a certain body type. They conveniently forget that the owner of that brand was also the number one client of Jeffrey Epstein. That shows that we all had a certain level of complicity in that arrangement. We shared in that sickness even if it was so watered down that we couldn’t really identify it accurately. There is a concentration of wealth in this country and there is a concentration of pathology. Do they coincide? I’ll let you decide.

13. After months of rhetoric, Biden and congressional leaders met to discuss debt ceiling. This has been the most frustrating story of recent weeks as the economy struggles to get back on its feet and our highest officials who are immune to the negative effects of inflation play chicken with our national debt. However, there is something interesting to learn about this process. What we come to find is that our debt is something that controls us, and yet we own it. Most of our national deficit is owned in the form of bonds and treasuries by the American public. This pattern shows us the path to a more socialist society where the ownership of the GDP belongs to the people.

14. Israel targeted airstrikes in densely populated areas of the Gaza Strip. So much of the unrest in the world today started at the end of WWII. War exhausts people on every level, but the resolutions of wars create a set of new situations that demand energetic action to make them go well. The situation in Israel is scary and it is hard to see how this region will ever find a peaceful way to coexist. The fighting over territory is at the root of all war, but is there any positive solution to these disputes without the use of arms?

15. No one was injured when a meteorite crashed through the roof of a New Jersey home. One imagines this could become an attraction, an amusement park featuring reenactments of the moment the meteor struck. People will come from far and wide to see the destruction caused by a rock from outer space in a kind of interstellar freak show.

16. There are concerns airlines won’t be able to keep up with busy summer travel. People must hate their lives. That’s the only explanation for the prevalence of addictions, and flying is one of the biggest forms of this pathology. Travel is something that we invented and then became held hostage too, like any drug. If you can do without it, you are doing better. In some cases, travel may be necessary or desirable, but as a leisure activity, it is insane. People want to do it, I understand. But they also want to do heroin.

17. Federal jury finds Trump liable for battery and defamation in E. Jean Carroll trial. One of the disturbing things about this case was the judge’s advice to the jurors that they hide their identities. What the fuck does that say about our system of law and order? Because the former president was found liable of a complaint and is being forced to pay $5 million dollars the judge is worried about the safety of the jurors. Well, if that doesn’t speak to the un-American character of that group, then I don’t know what does.

18. The arrest of Imran Khan triggered protests across Pakistan. The strangest thing about this was the way it happened. He was violently taken by men who were not identified as government officials from a courthouse where he was on trial. There is more to this story, for sure.

19. U.S. stands by as a partner to help as Khan’s arrest adds to Pakistan’s turmoil. It’s hard to know what exactly is happening in this case, but Pakistan is an enormous country with nuclear powers, so we should all be concerned when they are experiencing unrest.

20. Rep. George Santos is in custody after facing a federal criminal charge. It is so strange to live in a time when our elected officials are so blatantly corrupt as to face federal charges. What gives these people the inclination to attempt such brazen crime in the public eye?

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