Wednesday, July 01, 2015

Wednesday News and So Forth

This should have happened decades ago but for Cold War rhetoric:

President Barack Obama announced Wednesday that the United States and Cuba have struck a deal to open embassies in each other's capitals and re-establish diplomatic relations for the first time in half a century.

"The progress we make today is another demonstration we don't have to be imprisoned by the past," Obama said.

Obama emphasized that the U.S. and Cuba have some shared interests, such as strong anti-terror policies and disaster response. But he acknowledged that the two nations still have "very serious differences" on issues like free speech.

PBS's Frontline had a story on confused kids who are being pressured to mutilate themselves to conform to stereotypes; i.e., "transgender kids," that was more evenhanded than most recent stories have been trying to glorify a mental disorder.

Obituary: Neocon writer Ben Wattenberg, 81, died following complications of surgery, according to his son.

He was frequently seen and heard giving his ideas about various topics showing he didn't really know what he was talking about.

That didn't stop him, though:

After the Democrats imploded in the late 1960s and early ’70s in internecine warfare between liberal and moderate factions over the Vietnam War, Mr. Wattenberg sought to rescue the party, in his eyes, by promoting the candidacies of moderates like Senators Henry M. Jackson and Hubert H. Humphrey.

He emphasized cultural touchstones like crime, race and welfare that were worrying many Americans as much as traditional economic concerns in urging Democrats to appeal to the “middle-aged, middle-class, middle-minded, unyoung, unpoor, unblack,” who, he said, constituted the moderate majority.

Obituary: WWII hero Nicholas Winton, 106, has died.

It was only after Mr. Winton’s wife found a scrapbook in the attic of their home in 1988 — a dusty record of names, pictures and documents detailing a story of redemption from the Holocaust — that he spoke of his all-but-forgotten work in the deliverance of children who, like the parents who gave them up to save their lives, were destined for Nazi concentration camps and extermination.

For all his ensuing honors and accolades in books and films, Mr. Winton was a reluctant hero, often compared to Schindler, the ethnic German who saved 1,200 Jews by employing them in his enamelware and munitions factories in Poland and Czechoslovakia, and to Wallenberg, the Swedish businessman and diplomat who used illegal passports and legation hideaways to save tens of thousands of Jews in Nazi-occupied Hungary.

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