CURRENT EVENTS – SUMMER, 2019 – CONTINUED

We continue our review of current events and begin with:

Mass Shootings Demand Action

Since the year 2000, 475 innocent people have been killed and hundreds more wounded.

We can’t avoid it any longer. It should be illegal for private citizens to own an AK-47 or other military style weapons.

Enough is enough!

NBA Major Player Moves and Big Changes

All the excitement in the NBA actually started in June when Magic Johnson and his elite PR image shocked everyone by resigning as President of Laker Basketball Operations. In the process, he harshly criticized the GM and everyone else he left behind.

It was very unlike Magic. It wasn’t smart, it wasn’t cool, and it was very unprofessional. You think it had some influence on Kwali Leonard and others who came to visit but didn’t stay?

Golden State Warriors (GSW) Break Up The Old Gang

After playing in the last five NBA finals (unprecedented), GSW had some major changes:

• MVP Kevin Durant left to join the Brooklyn Nets on a four-year contract and brought Kyrie Irving with him. (Hmm, wonder why?)
• Andre Iguodala goes to Memphis. Jordan Bell to Minnesota and backup point guard Shaun Livingston is released.
• D’Angelo Russell (a Laker that got away) comes in on a four-year contract.

DeMarcus Cousins, after an injury-plagued year, goes to the Lakers to join Anthony Davis, who came to Lakerland on a trade, primarily arranged by LeBron James.

After paying a courtesy call at the Lakers, Kawli Leonard joins the Clippers with his buddy Paul George. Two others the Lakers passed on; Trevor Ariza went to Sacramento Kings and Julius Randle is now a New York Knick.

Russell Westover, 1-on-1 superstar, has opted to rejoin his 1-on-1 buddy James Harden in Oklahoma City. Both brilliant players whose teams never got far in the playoffs.

Prediction in the West Coast Conference: the Lakers will be No. 1, Clippers 2 and GSW 3.

Now a couple of observations:

A.  Jerry West, outstanding Lakers GM, became a consultant for GSW and helped put their winning team together. He’s now with the Clippers. With all the turmoil in Lakerland, why didn’t they bring him back?
B. There’s a new trend emerging when superstars Kevin Durant and Kwali Leonard changed teams, they bring a buddy with them.
C. Load Management is the new “in” word among several teams with aging superstars. Last year, Kwali Leonard only played in 60 games with the Toronto Raptors.

New Laker coach Frank Vogel has indicated he will implement the concept with Davis, James and Cousins. Wonder how the season ticket holders will embrace this concept. Maybe they’re telling us the 82 games regular season schedule is a little too long.

Apparently, Busing Is Still A Controversy

In the first Democratic debate, Kamala Harris badgered good ole boy Joe Biden about his somewhat shifting view on busing 50 years ago.

For some, bussing was a lifeline, a policy that profoundly changed their future by creating more opportunity. Others have called it counterproductive, heavy-handed and an unfortunate mistake.

R. Darrell Meadows grew up in Oklahoma City. Mr. Meadows, who is of Hispanic heritage, said he was bused from a predominantly white, working-class neighborhood to attend integrated schools across town, and that he is now “keenly aware of the ways my experience of busing irrevocably and positively shaped my perspective on the world by facilitating a greater diversity of childhood friendships.”

Joe Weinmunson grew up in rural Louisiana in an area where a busing decree was enforced in the 1980s. Mr. Weinmunson, who is white, wrote that busing “was one of the best things that could have happened for me.”

Mr. Weinmunson attended Natchitoches Central High School. “I was a white city boy who moved to the country to help care for my aging grandparents and their land. My school did nothing to dispel the worst concepts of poor, rural whites: insular, conservative, friendly enough as long as you were one of them.”

One year later, he was glad when he started to attend more integrated schools. “I spent far more time on the school bus than I ever wanted to, but the people and experiences I was exposed to were worth the dreary rides.”

Frederick Alcorn, a 70-year-old veteran, wrote that he went to Overbrook High School in Philadelphia from 1963 to 1966. The experience “did very little to advance the intention of integration,” wrote Mr. Alcorn, who is African-American. “The curriculum was Eurocentric and patriotic to an unexplained history of enslavement and conquest.”

Students self-segregated outside of the classroom, except for sports,” he added. They were also academically tracked to different floors of the schools “which quietly promoted degrees of classism among black students.” The teachers were primarily white, and those students who were not considered college-bound candidates didn’t get much attention.

Across the country, many Americans have argued that busing students to integrate schools was a failure, but research shows that integration measures like busing, when fully implemented, proved an effective tool in closing the achievement gap and building understanding across lines of race and class.

Medicare Report

The 2019 Medicare Trustees Report says:

A. Medicare will be insolvent in seven years
B. $48.5 billion in improper payments in the last fiscal year

Curbing that would help the march to insolvency.

It’s been an interesting summer; and with Congress on vacation, there shouldn’t be too much more to come.

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