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CWAA: Can We All Agree™ – 11/25/17 edition

November 25, 2017

Can we all agree, the long-term implications of the FCC reversal of net-neutraily laws and media ownership may have a bigger impact on society than anything else the Administration does in the next year?

Can we all agree, no one knows what former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn is up to, but if it comes down to a choice between saving his son and saving his former boss, we’d all bet that he wants to keep his son out of jail?

Can we all agree, Donald Trump Jr.’s. bravado suggests that he’s really worried about where Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s probe is headed?

How many turkeys can you fit in one photograph? (NYT photo)

How many turkeys can you fit in one photograph? (NYT photo)

Can we all agree,  Speaker Paul Ryan’s sexual harassment video, now required for everyone in the House, is an embarrassing joke?

Can we all agree, purging the list of citizens with outstanding warrants, from the FBI’s  gun-purchase database, is just one more sign that the NRA is in control of the nation’s gun-policy?

Can we all agree, we are all thankful Mr. Trump took time out from his busy holiday golfing schedule, to tell us how thankful we should be that he’s in the White House?

Can we all agree, the latest battle over who will head the consumer protection bureau is sure to wind up in court?

Can we all agree, sexual harassment is wrong in any form, but there is a continuum and Rep. Joe Barton deserves to be at the higher end, not for exposing himself online, but for threatening the woman he emailed his naked image to?

Can we all agree, our President is already at a 12 on that 1-10 scale?

Can we all agree, it appears that Vladimir Putin and Roy Moore have something in common – they would never lie to Mr. Trump?

Can we all agree, the longer the public has to study the GOP tax plan, the more it looks like US businesses are getting a tax break financed by the poor and middle class?

Can we all agree, in a capitalistic system, the most effective way to make our views known is through the economic choices we make – a lesson the Trump hotel empire is learning the hard way?

Can we all agree, while the proposed  fees for our national parks may be out of line, the National Park system has long been the biggest bargain in America – particularly for senior citizens?

Can we all agree, Bashar Assad owes Vladimir Putin more than a hug?

Can we all agree, Charles Manson’s death is good news, despite what the Alt-right says?

Can we all agree, the world is praising the conviction of Ratko Mladic, but a few years in prison is really a pretty light penalty for the supposedly-ill, 74-year-old ‘Butcher of Bosnia?

Can we all agree, you can’t help but wonder if anyone creating our nation’s new immigration policy has ever been to Ellis Island or read the inscription on the base of the Statue of Liberty?

Can we all agree, the Federal Courts may be trying to stymie Mr Trump, but AG Jeff Sessions is finding new ways to overturn our system of justice?

Can we all agree, Uber has a long way to go before, it regains the public’s trust?

Can we all agree, the 2020 censes already appears to be a disaster?

Can we all agree, there are some folks who hope the US follows the lead of Zimbabwe in transitioning to a new government?

Can we all agree, Donald Trump has made it almost impossible for the Justice Department to win its anti-trust case against the ATT-Time Warner merger?

Can we all agree, journalists need to stop covering the President’s continuing tweet tirade against sports personalities?

Can we all agree, Nebraska regulators seem to figured out a way to approve the Keystone Pipeline project and stop it at the same time?

Can we all agree, there is something truly American in the latest scheme to prove the earth is flat?


and finally:

The story of a man freed after serving 29 years in prison for a murder he did not commit.


More lives destroyed by our nation’s fixation with guns.

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Can We All Agree – 8/20/16 edition

August 20, 2016

Can we all agree it will take more than one dramatic photo of a dazed little boy, to force the warring factions in Syria to stop fighting and get serious about ending a war that no one can win?

Omran, a Syrian boy, awaits treatment. (Mahmoud Rslan/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)

Omran, a Syrian boy, awaits treatment. (Mahmoud Rslan/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)

Can we all agree the actions of Ryan Lochte and his fellow swimmers are probably the biggest unforced error in Olympic history?

Can we all agree the whole episode just takes the spotlight away from the spectacular performance of the athletes?

Can we all agree the actions of distance runners Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D’Agostino should be the story that gets the most attention?

Usain Bolt wins the 100 meter race at the Olympics. (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Usain Bolt wins the 100 meter race at the Olympics. (Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Can we all agree the United Nations should be embarrassed that it took them 6 years to admit their soldiers brought cholera to Haiti?

Can we all agree that we have no interest in getting a ride from one of Uber’s planned driverless cars in Pittsburgh? Maybe they knew a SF judge was going to reject their proposed settlement with drivers?

Can we all agree that it would be a lot more comforting to wait five years for the Ford fleet to become available?

Can we all agree the only reason Donald Trump went to visit Louisiana flooding victims was to embarrass the President?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s “teleprompter regret” didn’t come close to an apology?

New Zealander Nikki Hamblin helps fallen U.S. athlete Abbey D'Agostino. (Ian Walton / Getty Images)

New Zealander Nikki Hamblin helps fallen U.S. athlete Abbey D’Agostino. (Ian Walton / Getty Images)

Can we all agree Mr. Trump needs to look no further than this week’s news from Washington state, to see the impact of his hateful speech?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s latest campaign reorganization is probably his last gasp? Or maybe it’s a death rattle?

Can we all agree the change was inevitable once the word got out about Ukraine’s secret payments to campaign manager Paul Manafort?

Can we all agree Mr. Trump’s plan for increased vetting of Muslim’s entering the country, is just wrong on every level? Even conservatives are dismayed.

Can we all agree that adding Roger Ailes to your list of advisors, probably won’t win you any female votes?

Can we all agree real panic has set in with the GOP, as they ponder losing control of both the House and Senate?

Can we all agree, if Hillary Clinton is elected, she and her husband should give up any role in their foundation and maybe even close it down?

Can we all agree a judge’s decision forcing Mrs. Clinton to submit written answers to questions about her use of a private email server, will uncover few new facts and just keep the issue alive – which is exactly the point?

Can we all agree the Obama administration’s explanation  about the money paid to Iran, when hostages were released, is still just linguistic gymnastics?

Can we all agree, that with no rain due until November, California firefighters have their work cut out for them?

Can we all agree the Justice Department’s decision to gradually eliminate using private prison firms for inmates should be copied by the states?

Can we all agree that. if Kamala Harris is elected as California’s next senator she will be featured at the 2020 convention and will find her way on to the presidential ticket in 2024? You read it here first.

Can we all agree there probably won’t be many young ‘snowbirds’ vacationing in Miami this winter?

Can we all agree the GOP is now getting another black eye from it’s own candidates for not approving any money to fight the Zika virus?

Can we all agree, if former Boston Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling runs against Elizabeth Warren for US Senate, it will be a replay of the Trump campaign, just on a smaller scale?

Can we all agree the Social Security Administration’s plan to get seniors to confirm their identity by using text messaging, had to be dreamed up by an out of touch millennial?

Can we all agree that we don’t understand the French ban on Burkinis at the beach?

Can we all agree it’s one thing to steal  DNC emails but quite another to hack the NSA?

A Burkini bathing suit on the beach

A Burkini bathing suit on the beach

Can we all agree this may be the week the California drought was declared over, but we still have water problems?

Can we all agree, it’s easy to understand the frustration in Milwaukee, but they may have chosen the wrong incident to express their emotions?

Can we all agree the former Pennsylvania Attorney General needs to understand that all is fair in politics, unless you break the law?

and finally:

Can we all agree David Brooks and Jennifer Rubin, two conservative columnists,  could speak for all of us?


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CWAA: Can We All Agree – 5/14/16 edition

May 14, 2016

Can we all agree that waiting in security lines for over an hour to get on a plane is n0t the payoff we expected for improved security when we travel?

Waiting in line in Minneapolis (Star Tribune Photo)

Waiting in line in Minneapolis (Star Tribune Photo)

Can we all agree that opponents of the death penalty may have found an unlikely ally in Pfizer?

Can we all agree that George Zimmerman has carved out a new definition of insensitivity by deciding to auction the gun he used to kill Trayvon Martin? And that’s the kindest thing I could say.

Can we all agree, speaking of insensitivity, it’s hard to figure out what a Belgium beer company was thinking when they decided to replace the name on their beer cans with ‘America?’

Can we all agree the Obama Administration’s decree on bathroom use has made an isolated problem into a national issue?

Can we all agree we finally found someone nasty enough for Donald Trump to disavow – his  former Butler ?

Can we all agree Donald Trump’s reaction to calls for release of his tax return makes even his supporters squirm?

Can we all agree, it’s nice to know the GOP’s Stop-Trump movement is still in the game?

Can we all agree that new revelations about how Donald Trump handles himself with women is not exactly a surprise?

Can we all agree the Russian government’s reaction to the Olympic doping scandal, just adds credibility to the charges?

Can we all agree the GOP’s ‘victory’ over the Affordable Care Act, issued by a Republican judge, will be short-lived since the Supreme Court has already ruled on the issue?

Can we all agree the Catholic Church’s decision to study the possibility of female Deacons, does not mean it will happen, but it adds to Pope Francis’ legacy of change?

Can we all agree that reading about the political turmoil in Brazil is starting too get very boring?

Can we all agree that Speaker Paul Ryan’s meeting with Donald Trump was all form and no substance?

Can we all agree that if Mr. Trump is elected President he will have at least one foreign leader who will welcome a visit – the new President of the Philippines? He appears to be Trump 2.0.

Can we all agree that Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s social media attacks on Mr. Trump may not win her a VP job with the Clinton campaign, but it’s sure fun to watch?

Can we all agree it’s about time an American President visited Hiroshima?

Can we all agree that the tactics Uber and Lyft are using to avoid improved background checks on their drivers are leaving a bad taste with many consumers?

Steph Curry: NBA MVP (USA Today photo)

Steph Curry: NBA MVP (USA Today photo)

Can we all agree it’s good to know that our representative in Washington can’t agree on fighting Zika, or helping Puerto Rico, or any of a host of other problems, but they can agree that the bison should be the national mammal? As a true orange and blue Bucknell bison I am just so proud.

Can we all agree that Commencement season is destroying the concept of free speech, as campus after campus cancels an invitation, because some group raises an objection?

and finally:

Can we all agree Steph Curry’s shimmy may be a bit of unnecessary celebration, but he certainly deserves to be the first unanimous MVP of any major sport?

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Coming to America

September 24, 2015

Filed under: observations,Sharing economy — Tags: , , , , , , — admin @ 9:47 am

Took my car to be serviced this week, so I used BART to get back and forth to the dealership. I just needed a short ride from my home to the station and back. I used a cab inon e direction and Lyft in the other.

The result was two distinct views of America.

Note to self: It’s no longer good to ask a cab driver, “How’s business?” – my standard line, rather than just sitting in silence.

The cab driver, who was Indian and spoke with a typical accent, launched into what was probably a frequently repeated refrain about Uber and Lyft.

“Those drivers don’t make any money,” he told me. “After paying for their cars and insurance and gas they lose money, every day they drive.” he continued.

I asked how long he had been driving and he proudly said, 23 years, although he wasn’t sure how much longer he could continue. “Business used to be good, but now, sometimes I make less than $100 in a day,” he told me.

I asked if he had tried driving for one of the new competitors. “Why, I wouldn’t make any money.” Then he added, “The government will have to do something.”

My driver back to retrieve my car turned out to be a young Afghan immigrant who was a translator for the Army near Kabul. He’s been in the US for two years and has been driving his 1-year-old Prius for several ride-sharing services since last December.

He was able to come here with his wife and two children, but left his brother and mother behind. It took him five years to get a visa and he realizes how lucky he is, pointing out that another 10,000 translators may never be granted permission, despite assurances from the US government that they have priority status.

“They have stopped issuing any more visas,” he told me. “And since the Syrian refugee crises, the whole system has stopped.” He admitted that the rest of his family lives in fear because the Taliban know that he worked for the US Army, but, he says, his mother and brother probably will never get out. He speaks with them regularly via cellphone.

Despite that, he says that he is doing very well. His wife is taking English classes and he is studying to get his GED, although he has an IT degree from school in Afghanistan.

“I need to have something to show people. I have nothing from my home.” he says.

While he speaks with an accent, his English is near perfect and it was clear that getting a GED was just a formality. When he first came to this country he worked for a Fremont company testing file servers.

“They paid me $15/hour, but the job was boring, so I tried driving on my days off and found I could make $300/day in 6 hours, – so I quit.” he says. “Now I drive 4 hours a day and study and if I need extra money, I can work on the weekend and make $600 a day.”

Is it any wonder  so many people want to come to the US.


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Can We all Agree – 7/25/15 edition

July 25, 2015

Can we all agree that despite another gun attack on unsuspecting moviegoers, Americans will shake their heads and agree with candidates who say “Now is not the time to talk about gun control.” When exactly would be a good time?

Can we all agree that part of Donald Trump’s appeal is ‘decision fatigue.’ – the feeling we all get when we have too many choices and find it easier to  take the easy way out?

Can we all agree that the last thing Hillary Clinton needed was another headline talking about classified emails?

Can we all agree with a Federal Court ruling that families fleeing political repression should not be held in detention camps?

Can we all agree that, the crises in Greece is really the product of a long-standing class war between Northern and Southern Europe?

Barry Bonds

Barry Bonds

Can we all agree that Planned Parenthood has made a PR mess out of their handling of the secret videos of their internal operations?

Can we all agree that the GOP really doesn’t want an abortion debate to be the central campaign theme?

Can we all agree that the $15/hour minimum wage is coming to America, whether businesses like it or not?

Can we all agree that anyone stopped for failing to signal a lane change should not be in jail three days later?

Can we all agree that while Barry Bonds may have finally come out on top in his battle with the judicial system, the court of public opinion made up its mind years ago?

Can we all agree that that theme of the Pope’s conference on Global warming and poverty was summed up pretty well by Gov. Jerry Brown’s quote: “We’re talking extinction…”

Can we all agree that the opening of embassies in Havana and Washington was a welcome site?

Can we all agree that Bill Cosby’s attempts to defend himself against his own deposition testimony, may be the final nail in his coffin?

Can we all agree that it’s great to see that the Kepler satellite has found another ‘Goldilocks planet’ similar to earth that we can add to the other 1 billion planets scientists say we might colonize after we have destroyed this one?

NASA graphic via Cal Tech

NASA graphic via Cal Tech

Can w all agree that Uber’s agreement to participate in a traffic study of NYC is really just an excuse to get both sides more time to negotiate an operating agreement with the Mayor?

Can we all agree that we are not surprised GM had to recall a million cars because their computers could be hacked, as the owners were driving?

Can we all agree that the President’s trip to Kenya only served to highlight the many problems that country faces?


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