Friday, August 18, 2017

Charlottseville lessons for Boston

Following the events of last week in Charlottesville, Virginia and the upcoming Free Speech rally this weekend in Boston, one cannot help but try and understand better what happened in Charlottesville in the hope of preventing it occurring again in Boston.

The organizers of the Free Speech rally previously held a similar event on the Boston Common in May.  Antifa counter-protesters were nearby, but the two groups were separated by police.  That event was small with only a few hundred participating from both sides and no violence occurred.

The upcoming Saturday event will draw an unknown number of Free Speech protesters that some estimate will be a few hundred.  Counter-protester numbers are expected to be much higher - potentially in the tens of thousands.  

The City of Boston has taken many actions to prevent any violence.  The Mayor, after consulting with the Southern Poverty Law Center, asked people to stay away and avoid confrontation.  The City has experience with both protest and counter-protest groups and has met with them to detail methods to prevent violence.   Sticks, bats and other potential weapons have been banned for example. 

Despite preparations and warnings - things can go wrong.  They did in Charlottesville.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Nuclear Armageddon – stop worrying

The Trump Administration is attempting to stop the accelerating North Korean nuclear and missile development programs with a different approach from the past.  In a recent joint editorial Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis said, “We are replacing the failed policy of “strategic patience,” which expedited the North Korean threat, with a new policy of strategic accountability.”  The President’s charged language, though unconventional, may be part of the strategy rather than the obstruction most of the media suggests.  The strategy is having the desired effect and may be successful in the long term.

The escalating confrontation between the United States and North Korea has generated rhetoric that recently reached a fevered pitch as North Korea threatened to launch missiles at Guam and President Trump made statements in non-diplomatic language about grave consequences should North Korea take such an action.