[guest post by Dana]
First news item
A Saudi dairy company that grows hay in Southern California and Arizona for export to the Middle East is set to lose several leases that allow it to pump unlimited water from government-owned farmlands.
Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs announced this week that the state has terminated one of the leases held by the company, Fondomonte, and will not renew three other leases when they expire in February.
Fondomonte, a subsidiary of the Saudi dairy company Almarai, also owns thousands of acres of farmland in Arizona and California, producing alfalfa that is shipped overseas to feed cows.
Second news item
Loose lips sink ships and we all know that the former President is not known for being discreet:
Months after leaving the White House, former President Donald Trump allegedly discussed potentially sensitive information about U.S. nuclear submarines with a member of his Mar-a-Lago Club — an Australian billionaire who then allegedly shared the information with scores of others, including more than a dozen foreign officials, several of his own employees, and a handful of journalists, according to sources familiar with the matter.
A few details from Anthony Pratt, the subject involved:
According to Pratt’s account, as described by the sources, Pratt told Trump he believed Australia should start buying its submarines from the United States, to which an excited Trump — “leaning” toward Pratt as if to be discreet — then told Pratt two pieces of information about U.S. submarines: the supposed exact number of nuclear warheads they routinely carry, and exactly how close they supposedly can get to a Russian submarine without being detected.
In emails and conversations after meeting with Trump, Pratt described Trump’s remarks to at least 45 others, including six journalists, 11 of his company’s employees, 10 Australian officials, and three former Australian prime ministers, the sources told ABC News.
Third news item
Will Californians’ increasing frustration about homelessness and property crime lead to the Golden State moving politically to the right? Some see the latest decision by the mayor of San Francisco as an indicator that it just might:
Last week in San Francisco, London Breed, the city’s mayor, announced a bill to deny welfare benefits to anyone “suffering from substance-use disorder” who was not enrolled in a drug rehabilitation or treatment program. “No more handouts without accountability,” Breed said. “In order to receive resources from our city, you will need to be in a substance-use-disorder program and consistently seeking treatment.”
And yet, let’s face it: voters in California aren’t known for the ability to put two and two together:
Up north, the recall of Chesa Boudin in San Francisco was supposed to be proof that voters in a famously liberal city had had enough, but soon after Boudin was recalled, Pamela Price, a fellow-progressive, was elected as the district attorney of Alameda County. Now Price herself is facing a similar recall campaign, which some would marshal as proof that “the wokes” have lost for good.
Fourth news item
“(Russian President Vladmir Putin) is losing the war because the Ukrainians are getting western equipment from the United States and (the European Union). But he continues to throw more and more men into battle to die,” said British financier and activist Bill Browder.
“Putin’s big bet is that he doesn’t have to win the war, he just has to outlast the patience of the West.”
Meanwhile, next week’s vote for House speaker will impact future aid to Ukraine, given Reps. Steve Scalise and Jim Jordan’s opposing views of the issue. Scalise has supported additional aid to Ukraine, while Jordan has voiced his opposition to it.
Fifth news item
A Russian missile strike killed at least 51 people, including a child, in a village near the eastern Ukrainian city of Kupiansk on Thursday, officials say, in one of the deadliest attacks against civilians since the conflict began.
Moscow’s forces targeted a cafe and a shop in Hroza, in the Kharkiv region, soon after midday local time, according to Ukrainian Interior Minister Ihor Klymenko.
Kasparov unloads in response:
This is murder. This is Russia’s attempt to eradicate the Ukrainian state and the Ukrainian people. While Scholz refuses to provide weapons Ukraine could use to defend itself by striking military targets, the Russian terror state continues to strike civilians. Cowardly Western politicians are more worried about hypothetical Russian military targets than about real Ukrainian civilians. There will be no peace until Ukraine is whole and free, and the only way that can happen is for Ukraine to win this war as quickly as possible. Biden, Scholz, all the rest withholding the weapons Ukraine needs to stop this slaughter: Stop protecting a terror state. Stop siding with the terrorists because you still think you can make deals with Putin. Be on the right side of history now and save more lives. When in history has anyone regretted acting more quickly to prevent terror and genocide? No, the regrets always come after doing too little, too late. Ukraine is already paying the price in blood, fighting the war NATO was created for alone. Stop dreaming there is a way back with Putin, that Cold War-style great power deals can or should happen. Russia is a terrorist mafia and must be defeated, not bargained with. Concessions and negotiations with Russia are only death by another name and Ukraine has bled enough.
Sixth news item
Black musician David Ryan Harris was accused of child trafficking while on an American Airlines flight:
The singer-songwriter, who is Black and was traveling with his two biracial children, questioned whether the incident was an instance of racial profiling, which he said had left him “shocked and humiliated.”
Shortly before landing, a flight attendant had asked his children for their names. His 7-year-old, who Harris said is shy and was tired from a 4 a.m. start time to catch their early flight, didn’t immediately respond, instead looking toward Harris. “One of them is pretty shy — I always have to tell him, ‘Hey buddy, tell the guy your name, shake his hand, look him in the eye,’ and quite frankly he doesn’t owe that to anyone,” he said of his son Hendrix.
The airline has since offered Harris an apology:
This week, American Airlines issued its apology to Harris — who has toured with John Mayer and performed with the Dave Matthews Band and Carlos Santana — nearly three weeks after the incident. The airline said that the flight attendant did not follow policies on identifying possible signs of human trafficking.
Three weeks later…
Seventh news item
Instead of sides, we need to speak, and think, in terms of positions. On any given issue, there are almost always more than two. But adopting a position is very different than choosing a side. It takes thought; it takes investigation; it takes a willingness to consider alternatives. Sides are intellectually easy and emotionally satisfying. Positions are intellectually challenging and emotionally complex. Once you know which side you’re on—in the culture war, or the political war—you can let your friends, or your podcasts, do your thinking for you. But “positions” requires you not only to think things through for yourself, but to think each issue through on its own terms, from the ground up.
Eighth news item
A resolution celebrating Pride Month and affirming support for the LGBTQ community was unanimously passed by the Los Angeles Unified Board of Education in June 2022. Thus, the week of Oct. 5-9 has been designated as the period of time LAUSD schools – including elementary schools – will celebrate ‘National Coming Out Day’. You can read the resolution here. You can view the Week of Action Toolkit for Elementary Students provided to teachers here. They just keep giving parents of young children more reasons to to opt out of public education.
Have a great weekend.