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Climate Change

By Saxon Haney

On Friday, September 20, New York city schools authorized student absences for those wishing to participate in protests over climate change. The students were required to submit supporting letters from parents, but the message was clear: climate change activists, lacking convincing messages to support wholesale changes to energy use, shamefully used children as props to advance their agenda. Why were children needed to miss school? Wouldn't the protest have been more effective had the activists arranged for it to occur on a Saturday? That way, they could take advantage of the hordes of students who are ready to sacrifice their standard of living on a promised reduction of 1-2 degrees in global temperatures.

For sure, some of the students who participated are really concerned about climate change. It seems just as likely though that most were just enjoying a day off. On a more sinister level, arranging the protest in this manner was akin to protests arranged in Iran, Venezuela, and other countries in which protesters are "bribed" for their participation. Furthermore, the media seemed to cheer the city and parents for authorizing kids to miss school. Let's hear it for education!

China is the world's top-ranked polluter. The United States contributes, according to estimates, between 10-15 per cent of carbon-based emissions..wouldn’t the protests have been more effective had they occurred on the streets of the top polluter? Beijing would have been a good spot. Of course, the Chinese government would not allow that. Perhaps, the best lesson learned from the way the protest was organized is this: it doesn't take much courage or sacrifice to use children as props to push forward ideas that would suffocate our living standards and create mass economic upheaval. I hope New Yorkers take heed and understand that food doesn't grow in the big cities. All their sustenance is brought to them on vehicles, planes, trains, and ships that all use oil and gas.

The Antonio Brown Saga

The New England Patriots released all-world wide received Antonio Brown on Friday after signing him less than two weeks ago. Brown, formerly of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Oakland Raiders, is facing multiple allegations of sexual assault and other wrongdoings. The latest incident allegedly involved threatening text messages Brown sent to his accuser to end her suit against him.

The Pittsburgh Steelers traded Brown to the Oakland Raiders in the off-season after deciding that his frequent outbursts of criticism against the team and some players was hurting the team. The Raiders released Brown from his contract after he got into a verbal confrontation with a senior executive in the franchise. The New England Patriots then quickly signed him to a one-year contract but then released him Friday, presumably, as a result of the surfaced allegations.

For their part, the New England Patriots made the right call in releasing Brown. The National Football League claims to be strict proponents of efforts to eliminate sexual harassment and domestic violence. Had they kept him, the Patriots would have served as a textbook example of hypocrisy.

The End of the Blitz

September 15 marked the 79th anniversary of the end of the Blitz, Nazi Germany's failed effort to force Great Britain to sue for peace by way of relentless air bombings. For over six weeks after their victory in France in June 1940, the Nazis, unable to force an invasion by sea, bombed Great Britain relentlessly. At first, Germany focused their assaults on British industry and airfields. However, they changed tactics after Britain inadvertently bombed a German city in late August of that year. In response, the Germans shifted focus to bombing London. This was a tremendous error as it allowed the British critical time to repair their crippled air force. In the last two weeks, the Germans lost nearly 800 aircraft, and called off the Blitz on September 15 after recognizing that they could not win through attrition.

The victory stiffened Britain's resolve to continue their defiance of Nazi aggression, and Germany ended their plans to invade the island nation. Germany, under the megalomaniac Adolf Hitler, then turned their attention to the invasion of the Soviet Union, which launched on June 22, 1941. The Blitz marked the first significant defeat inflicted on the Nazis and strengthened Prime Minister Winston Churchill's staunch refusal to acknowledge Nazi domination of Europe.

Although the defeat in no way weakened the relative strength of the Nazis compared to Britain, its critical importance lay in the resulting change of Hitler's plans. The Nazis, with no effective way to defeat Britain directly, turned their attention to the Soviets, thus preserving allied resistance. It took nearly five more years to end the horror of the Second World War, but the end of the "Battle of Britain" was a key factor in the eventual defeat of Nazi Germany.

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