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Can We All Agree – 6/27/15 Edition

June 27, 2015

Can we all agree that President Obama may have just had the single best week any modern president ever had?

Can we all agree that The Supreme Court Ruling on the Affordable Care Act was perfect for everyone?

Can we all agree that it solidified a Democratic legacy and gave the GOP something to oppose with no political consequences?

Gay Pride at The White House

Gay Pride at The White House

Can we all agree that The Court’s approval of gay marriage had the same impact?

Can we all agree that Justice Antonin Scalia has officially gone off the rails in his dissents?

Can we all agree that the speed with which the GOP was able to reverse the vote on fast-track trade authority, really makes you wonder about congressional motives for the enormous waste of time on so many other matters?

Can we all agree that Rep. Nancy Pelosi was badly out-manuevered?

Can we all agree that a symbol, like the Confederate flag, can indeed incite violence?

Can we all agree that removing the Confederate flag or any references to it, may be the single biggest impact of the 9 deaths in South Carolina?

Can we all agree that the President’s speech on Friday in Charleston was among his most moving since he took office?

Can we all agree that he will not replace Taylor Swift atop The Billboard 100?

Can we all agree that musical artists of every stripe owe Ms Swift a huge debt for her stand against Apple’s initial royalty payment system?

Can we all agree it would be nice if she changed her policy for photographers who provide her with publicity?

Can we all agree that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s apology for the Boston Marathon  bombing was too little, and too late, even for those of us opposed to the death penalty?

Can we all agree that while the GOP Presidential race got another entrant, no-one even noticed the additional clown in the car?

Can we all agree that we are all losing interest in terrorist attacks around the world?

Carli Lloyd #10 of the United States celebrates as she heads the ball past goalkeeper Wang Fei #12 of China in the second half for her team's first goal in the FIFA Women's World Cup 2015 Quarter Final match at Lansdowne Stadium on June 26, 2015 in Ottawa, Canada. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)

Carli Lloyd #10 of the United States celebrates as she heads the ball past goalkeeper Wang Fei #12 of China in the second half for her team’s first goal in the FIFA Women’s World Cup 2015 Quarter Final match yesterday. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photo/Getty Images)

Can we all agree that when we lose interest, it’s probably just a matter of time before an attack hits closer to home?

Can we all agree that when the Greek Prime Minister calls for a referendum on a debt bailout, he’s not showing much leadership?

Can we all agree that the US Women’s Soccer Team’s victory over China to reach the World Cup semi-finals was pretty lopsided, even though the final score was only 1-0 ?

 

 

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Can We All Agree – 6/20/15 Edition

June 20, 2015

Can we all agree that no President should have to address the issue of mass shootings 14 times in 7 years?

Can we all agree that allowing guns in churches, as the NRA suggests, is not the answer?

Can we all agree that as long as people insist on  honoring the Civil War with Confederate flags racism will live in the United States?

Pope Francis

Pope Francis

Can we all agree it’s not a free speech issue?

Can we all agree that the Pope has every right to speak out on climate change, and should continue to push the issue?

Can we all agree that politicians who argue with the Pope are just upset because it’s, well, inconvenient?

Can we all agree the deaths of 6 young people in Berkeley, should never have happened?

Can we all agree that once again ‘the media’ has shot itself in the foot with it’s coverage of the Berkeley tragedy?

Can we all agree that Brian Williams belongs in TV’s minor league (MSNBC) for the rest of his career? Rachel Maddow is welcome to him.

Can we all agree that there is no reason not to regulate the fuel economy of trucks?

Can we all agree that, while it will be nice to see a woman on a $10 bill, the $20 bill dispensed by most automatic teller machines would have been more fitting tribute?

Can we all agree that the  prison escape in upstate New York, gets more and more bizarre each week?

Can we all agree that the California Labor Commission was right to rule that Uber drivers are employees?

Building Inspectors in Berkeley

Building Inspectors in Berkeley

Can we all agree that, while Disney deserves credit for rehiring 35 tech workers, the H1-B visa scandal is a dirty little secret that no-one in Silicon Valley wants to admit?

Can we all agree that the playing conditions at the Women’s World Cup are another sign of the corruption at FIFA?

Can we all agree that the Golden State Warriors’s NBA championship just might restore some dignity to the sport?

Can we all agree, that, with apologies to Steph Curry, we should all just pause a bit before calling them the ‘greatest team’ ever?

Can we all agree that the NHL champion  Chicago Blackhawks might fit the title of dynasty?

Can we all agree that while the St. Louis Cardinals apparently broke a law in hacking another team’s computer, no one seems to be as outraged as they were at the Patriots for ‘deflategate.?’ – which does not involve the FBI.

Can we all agree it’s nice to have ‘Jeb!’ officially in the race but it’s more entertaining to have Donald Trump?

Can we all agree that, without some last minute breakthrough, The EU will be minus one country within the year?

Can we all agree that stationing tanks and heavy artillery in Eastern Europe is a dangerous reminder of an earlier era we would all rather forget?

Can we all agree that it’s OK to be white and identify as Black, but It’s not OK to claim you are African-American when you are not?

lagotto Romagnolo

lagotto Romagnolo

and finally,

Can we all agree that the BIG story of the week is the AKC’s decision to admit three new breeds into their private club coronation ceremony in New York?

 

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Can We All Agree – 6/13/15 Edition

June 13, 2015

Can we all agree that even Joseph Heller could not have come up with a better name for the State Police officer heading the search for two escaped convicts in upstate New York: Major Guess?

Can we all agree that despite White House spin to the contrary, this week’s Democratic vote against the President’s trade plan, was a major defeat.

American Pharoah

American Pharoah

Can we all agree that even the casual fan was thrilled to see a Triple Crown winner?

Can we all agree that we haven’t heard the last of the Fast-Track trade authority?

Can we all agree that no matter whose side you are on, the campaign season is very entertaining? Where else would ‘Bro with no Ho’ become a catch phrase?

Can we all agree that the San Francisco City Councl decision to put warning labels on sugary soft drinks is a giant step in the right direction?

Can we all agree that the most popular word on the lips of every Californian is ‘El Nino.?

Can we all agree that those of us who lived through the Viet Nam War are a bit nervous to hear that 450 more ‘advisors’ are heading to Iraq?

Can we all agree that Hillary’s event in New York City this weekend is more about regaining momentum, than actual policy?

Can we all agree that while baseball will study fan safety, nothing of substance will come from the tragic injury to a Fenway Park fan when a broken bat flew into the stands.

Tonya Carpenter: injured at Fenway Park in Boston

Tonya Carpenter: injured at Fenway Park in Boston

Can we all agree that the death of the Iowa straw poll is good news for every Republican?

Can we all agree that despite major leadership changes at Twitter and News Corp. the general public will barely notice.

Can we all agree that the electoral defeat of Turkey’s leading party, could have far reaching consequences for world politics? Not that most Americans are even paying attention, since we seem to barely care that Greece may break up the EU.

Can we all agree that continuing revelations about the hack of government personnel files is making the US look totally unprepared for cyber warfare?

Can we all agree that the EU investigation into the Amazon pricing policy of e-books, should have been done long ago in the United States?

Can we all agree that once Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Scott Walker finally announce their candidacy for President in the coming weeks,we can get down to the ‘real’ campaign, and just maybe, we will start to see people leaving the race?

Can we all agree that ‘stress’  is really no excuse for pinning a teenager to the ground and waving a gun while trying to break up a pool party?

Can we all agree that every Baby Boomer recognized the name of Vincent Bugliosi, who passed away this week?

 

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Can We All Agree – 5/9/15 Edition

May 10, 2015

Can we all agree that the Big news of the weeks the return of the Muppets toTV?

The Muppets

The Muppets

Can we all agree that the addition of 230,000 new jobs last month confirms that the rest of the nation has joined the economic recovery that began here in California?

Can we all agree that the biggest news out of the Conservative Party’s win in England was the faulty performance of so many polls?

Can we all agree that England’s new princess, Charlotte Elizabeth Diana, may have the best name in royal history?

Can we all agree that Pamela Geller is a publicity-seeking racist who does nothing to improve the relationship between Muslims and everyone else in the world?

Can we all agree that despite the latest additions to the GOP presidential list, it’s still a pretty sorry group?

Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana

Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana

Can we all agree that revelations that the Germanwings co-pilot may have rehearsed his tactics is even more terrifying than his final successful crash?

Can we all agree that mandatory water cutbacks may be the only way California will survive its drought?

Can we all agree that Patriot’s quarterback Tom Brady’s legacy may be forever tarnished by the ‘Deflategate’ report, but that he still belongs in the Hall of Fame.

Can we all agree that the investigation of police attitudes in San FranciscoBaltimore and other cities may be the start of a long healing process we desperately need?

Can we all agree that Benjamin Netanyahu must be envious of the outright  victory won by David Cameron in England? Natanyahu was not able to form a government until two hours before a 30-day deadline was about to expire.

Can we all agree that giving Congress a say in the upcoming Iran nuclear treaty will produce what can only be called a circus-like atmosphere in the Senate as multiple Presidential hopefuls jockey for position?

Can we all agree that  a Federal  court’s decision declaring  the NSA’s phone record collection illegal, makes Edward Snowden’s actions a bit more understandable?

Can we all agree that with multiple polls showing Hillary Clinton either doing better than expected or in deep trouble it’s really too early to tell?

and finally:

Can we all agree that hiring a man, convicted of sexual harassment to run a woman’s basketball team is just absurd? But that’s what James Dolan did this week in New York when he hired Isiah Thomas to coach the New York Liberty. You can’t make this up.

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Can We All Agree – 4/25/15 Edition

April 25, 2015

Filed under: Can we all agree,Politics — Tags: , , , , , — admin @ 6:22 am

Can we all agree that as long as it keeps raining in California, as it did last night in the Bay Area, the governor will have a tough time convincing people we are in a drought?

Can we all agree that the governor lost a key weapon when a court said water boards could not charge water use abusers more for their water?

Can we all agree that while drone strikes may have problems, American prefer them to seeing troops on the ground?

Can we all agree that The confirmation of Loretta Lynch as our Attorney General, turned into an embarrassment for the GOP?

Loretta Lynch

Loretta Lynch

Can we all agree that, speaking of embarrassment, Ted Cruz’s decision not to show up to vote was a major league cop out?

Can we all agree that naming the Waldo Tunnel for Robin Williams was a great move by the Califrnia legislature?

Can we all agree that Chris Rock nailed it this week when he explained why baseball is having a tough time attracting Black fans?

Can we all agree that despite being cleared of obstruction charges, Barry Bonds may have a tough time winning election to the baseball Hall of Fame?

Can we all agree that adding Carly Fiorina to the list of GOP candidates for Prseident just adds another name with no chance of winning?

Can we all agree that as the 2016 election campaign heats up in the Fall, we will miss Jon Stewart?

Can we all agree that the EU taking on Google one week and Gazprom the next make US anti-trust actions look like child’s play?

Can we all agree that the EU’s reaction to the refugee crises in the Mediterranean has been a disaster. since over 1,000 people had to die in one week before they did anything.

Can we all agree that no one, especially those of us in California, is surprised that pumping waste-water back int the ground is creating more earthquakes?

Can we all agree that, speaking of quakes, todays’ 7.6 trembler in Nepal, may make us pay attention to recent warnings for California?

Can we all agree that the NFL’s concussion settlement will help retired players yes, but it still leaves the league with a big black eye?

Can we all agree that the Comcast-Time Warner merger was a bad idea from day one?

Can we all agree that regardless of what you call it, the slaughter of 1 million Armenians 100 years ago, needed to be acknowledged.

And finally:

Can we all agree that the GOP is probably sorry they pushed the lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act, since so many of their voters now depend on it.

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Can We All Agree – 4/5/15 Edition

April 5, 2015

This week’s commentary on the news:

Can we all agree that no matter what kind of agreement the EU and US reach with Iran, Mr. Netanyahu and his GOP will oppose it?

Can we all agree that it’s better to be talking with Iran than fighting with them? Although it’s tough to ignore their state sponsored terrorism.

Can we all agree that the continuing revelations about the copilot of the Germanwings plane, make the whole episode, much more tragic?05kentucky2-master675

Can we ll agree that Lufthansa Airlines is in a lot of trouble if they knew their pilot was seriously depressed, and still allowed to fly?

Can we ll agree that, it’s not the ‘liberal press’ or ‘militant gays’ that are behind the brouhaha over the Indiana and Arkansas religious freedom bills?

Can we all agree that the European Union’s skepticism about the business practices of Google, Apple and Facebook is much healthier than the unquestioning ‘regulation’ of US agencies?

Can we all agree that for residents of the northern third of the country, ‘Play Ball’ may be the most welcomed phrase they’ve heard in a long time?

Can we all agree that while McDonald’s decision to give raises to minimum  wage employees at company stores, is good news, $12/hour is still not a living wage?

Can we all agree that while California’s drought is very serious, exempting farmers, who use 70% of the state’s water, undermines Governor Brown’s credibility? BTW: It’s supposed to be raining for the next three days here in Northern CA.

images Can we all agree that outside of  Kentucky, most of us were pulling for Wisconsin in the NCAA semi-final on Saturday?

Can we all agree that varsity letters should be awarded for academic accomplishment, as well as extra-curricular activities such as  speech, drama, music, art, and dance?

Can we all agree that the charges against  NJ Senator Robert Menendez are an indictment of the Citizen’s United, Supreme Court decision?

Can we all agree that Trevor Noah is off to a bad start as host of The Daily Show, even though he hasn’t even hosted a program yet?

Can we all agree that while cheating is wrong, and should not be condoned, we are troubled by  the potential jail terms that the Atlanta educators are now facing?

And finally,

Can we all agree that the thought of Al Franken and John Stewart in the US Senate is very funny?

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Can We All Agree? 3/21/15 Edition

March 21, 2015

Can we all agree that the ‘arsenic in wine’ news could win the award for bogus story of the month. Now SF lawyers are trying to make a killing off it?

Can we all agree that the last thing we want with our coffee is a conversation about race relations?Unknown

Can we all agree that a Church who tries to drown homeless people has lost its way?

Can we all agree that March Madness has lost a bit of luster? It’s big business and needs an overhaul.

Can we all agree that holding the Attorney General nomination hostage to abortion is a strategy that is doomed to failure? Just another nail in the GOP coffin.

Can we all agree that within the next five years Pete Rose will be welcomed into the Baseball Hall of Fame?

Can we all agree that we are shocked, that John Boehner is shocked that Aaron Schock resigned amid a spending scandal that has been going on for two years?

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Devastation in Vanuatu

Can we all agree that until last week, none of us could have found Vanuatu on a world map?

Can we all agree that the Governor and other state agencies need to do more to convince the average California resident that the drought is serious?

Can we all agree that the GOP budget produced in the House, just shows how little they understand about governance. Even their own party in the Senate thinks it’s laughable.

Can we all agree that the Israeli election means there will be no peace in our lifetime?

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Israeli’s soon to be Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Can we all agree that the explosion in new options for viewing television content is a little reminiscent of what happened when the government forced AT&T to break up? Or am I just showing my age?

Can we all agree that San Francisco’s texting controversy is shocking for the content and source of the text?

Can we all agree that Chris Borland’s decision to retire from football at 24 could signal a major change for the sport?

Can we all agree that Microsoft’s decision to put an end to Internet Explorer is a realization that they need to give up on the past and begin to innovate to stay relevant?

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Who Pays the Price?

By now Americans are aware that the products we use can come with unseen consequences. That appears to be the case for the latest smartphone you bought.

Producer Heather White introduces her film "Who Pays the Price?"

Producer Heather White introduces her film “Who Pays the Price?”

A soon to be released documentary movie, “Who Pays the Price?” tells the story of Chinese workers whose lives have been ruined by the jobs they took at factories which flaunt international standards.

Produced by Heather White, Lynn Zhang and Dal Lamagna, the film documents the plight of workers who were forced to use benzene and n-hexane to clean and mark components to smartphones and a myriad of electronic devices we use every day.

The chemicals, are well-known carcinogens and countries all over the world have agreed they should not be used without protection. But in China where they have not signed the international treaty on worker safety, the chemicals continue to be used with impunity.

The film details the life-threatening illnesses that are attributed to the chemicals and the system that has left them with no alternative to a lifetime awaiting an early death. It is a fate that many have chosen to hasten rather than be a burden on their elderly parents.

It is an indictment of both the labor practices in China, and the blind eye that consumers turn as long as they can get the toys they want.

Hospitalized workers in China, injured by unprotected chemical usage.

Hospitalized workers in China, injured by unprotected chemical usage.

“Who Pays the Price” is scheduled to be released this fall and will be the topic of a number of magazine articles later this year, so you will hear more about it I’m sure.

Heather White, a former San Francisco resident, was in the Bay Area last week, hosting a screening of a shortened version, trying to raise funds to complete the project and a planned book.

Ms White, has long been a leader in fighting for the improvement of working conditions. She founded Verite, a well-known verification company which exposed and then worked to improve the plight of workers in textile firms making products for high-end brands around the world. She has now turned her attention to the electronics industry where labor laws and unverified supply chains have made enforcement of even rudimentary standards, almost impssible.

Her goal is not to tell people to discard their smartphones or tablets, but to make them aware of the working conditions that will continue unless some public pressure is brought to bear.

Companies such as Apple and Samsung are certainly aware of what’s going on, but a complex series of factors has made them hesitant to face up to the problems. It’s easier just to deny responsibility and hope to discredit any reports that interfere with their profits.

I urge you to take a look at the trailer on the website and make a contribution or contact Ms White for more information on how we can use our technology without killing the workers that manufacture it.

 

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Can We All Agree? 3/14/15 edition

March 14, 2015

Can we all agree with Hillary that she made a big mistake in using a personal email address for government business?

Can we all agree that Rep. Trey Gowdy has some explaining to do since the head of the House Benghazi committee allegedly knew about the problem but did nothing until the New York Times pointed it out.

Can we agree, by the way, that Rep Gowdy, may have the worst haircut in Washington?

Rep. Trey Gowdy

Rep. Trey Gowdy

Can we all agree that the various GOP Senators, Governors and former office holders have been remarkably silent on the email issue. Could it be they did the same thing?

Can we all agree that paying up to ,000 for the Apple Watch is a bit risky in an industry that updates everything every 6 months?

Can we all agree that a 75 cent/gallon increase in California gas prices over the last month, sounds a bit fishy even with the refinery issues?

Can we all agree that something is seriously wrong with the culture at the Secret Service after two senior agents, apparently drunk, crashed a car into barriers at a White House entrance?

Can we all agree that the ‘Where’s Putin?’ game is more fun than ‘Where’s Waldo?’

Can we all agree that we are encouraged about reports that ISIS might be having some internal issues and seems to be losing steam on the battlefield?

Can we all agree that an increase in the potential for a major earthquake in California probably won’t make many folks leave town, or buy insurance?

Can we all agree that, despite this week’s violence in Ferguson, MO, the resignations of the City Manager, Judge and Police Chief, could pave the way for progress?

Can we all agree that the 7 Senators who did not sign the GOP letter to Iran’s leaders look like they made the right decision? And at least 46 who signed on, may be having second thoughts.

Can we all agree that Senator Tom Cotton who spearheaded the letter campaign, deserves all the criticism he gets? I’m with Joe Biden on this one.

 Can we all agree that, just like Hillary Clinton handed the GOP a great campaign issue, the Republicans have handed the President a huge club and asked to be beaten with it? And he’s happy to swing away. imrs.php

 Can we all agree that the administration caved in to an NRA letter writing campaign when they withdrew their request to end the sale of armor-piercing bullets? I guess you need them to hunt deer.

Can we all agree that if we can figure out a way to ship oil from Canada to New Orleans there has to be some way to ship the excess snow and water in New England out to the West Coast?

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Can We All Agree? 3/8/15

March 8, 2015

A shortened version this week. For more, follow me on twitter @eariess or now on Instagram at eariess:

Can we all agree that if Hillary didn’t keep handing the GOP issues, they’d have nothing to talk about?

Can we all agree that, despite GOP criticism, the President’s appearance in Selma was important? It was nice of the Republicans to send one ‘volunteer’ representative.

Preseident Obama marching in Selma

Preseident Obama marching in Selma

Can we all agree that Bibi must think the bulk of Americans are idiots when he tries to convince us that his speech was not ‘political.’

Can we all agree that based on this week’s episode, the GOP controlled Congress will get nothing done for the next two years?

Can we all agree that the situation in Russia gets more and more bizarre every day? Now a murder suspect has reportedly committed suicide.

Can we all agree that trying to read the Supreme Court based on the questions they ask is a bit like Kremlin-watching during the Cold War?

Can we all agree that when the Cleveland Police blame 12-year-old for his murder, at their hands, they have a credibility issue?

Can we all agree that ‘dismantling’ the Ferguson Police Department needs to start at the top?

Can we all agree that Daylight Savings Time is a misnomer and should be abolished?

Can we all agree that if you want see why Americans should be worried about the Workers Comp system, they should read this Propublica Series?

Can we all agree that when ‘good news’ on unemployment sends the stock market down, most Americans get a bit confused?

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