Two stories in yesterday’s news caught my eye and the juxtaposition was jaw-dropping. One is about a good person, a truly inspirational leader, stepping down, and the other is about a young, grossly ignorant punk being treated like royalty.
A good person stepping down
I was saddened to see that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand is stepping down. I have a great deal of respect and admiration for Ms. Ardern, who has been Prime Minister and leader of the Labour Party since October 2017. She first came to my attention on March 15th, 2019, when 51 people were fatally shot and 49 injured in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, by a gunman espousing anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant hatred. Ms. Ardern stepped up to the plate in a very difficult time, saying …
“We represent diversity, kindness, compassion. A home for those who share our values. Refuge for those who need it.”
Ardern spearheaded legislation to ban military-style semiautomatic weapons and assault rifles just six days after the attack. She also acted quickly to close the country’s borders early during the Covid pandemic, and imposed strict quarantine requirements that went a long way toward keeping New Zealand’s Covid mortality rate far below most other countries.
While she is still popular, however, time and circumstances take a toll. In announcing her decision yesterday to step down ahead of elections later this year (October), she said …
“I’m not leaving because I believe we can’t win the election, but because I believe Labour can and will win it. We need a fresh set of shoulders for the challenges of both this year and the next three. I have given my absolute all. I know what this job takes, and I know that I no longer have enough in the tank to do it justice. It’s that simple.”
I wish her the best and I hope that New Zealand can elect another with her passion and compassion, her humanity.
A rotten person rising up
There is something wrong with this country, my friends. A young man, a high-school dropout who was not even old enough by law to have a gun in his possession, borrows a gun, crosses state lines, shoots three people, killing two, and just two years later he is being hailed as a hero???????
Yes, you know who I’m talking about … Kyle Rittenhouse. On August 25th, 2020, he shot three people at a protest against the shooting of a Black man, Jacob Blake, by a police officer in Kenosha, Wisconsin. He was 17 years old at the time, not old enough to own a gun, but he borrowed one, an AR-15 military-style assault rifle, and had his mother drive him from his home in Illinois to the event in Wisconsin. At his criminal trial in 2021 he claimed self-defense and the jury bought his bullshit, refusing to convict him. Perhaps it was the crocodile tears he cried while on the stand that swayed them.
Today, Rittenhouse seems to be the darling of the revised Republican Party … you know, the Republican Party that welcomes insurrectionists into their ranks in Congress and supports liars, conmen, and cheats. Tucker Carlson of Fox “News” introduced Rittenhouse on his show as “bright, decent, sincere, dutiful, and hardworking… exactly the kind of person you would want many more of in your country.” Makes me want to throw up. No, Tuck, I don’t want more like him in any country! Rittenhouse has been welcomed at Donald Trump’s residence, has held ‘events’ at Turning Point USA, a video game called Acquitted was developed featuring Rittenhouse, and he has even received internship offers from Republican members of Congress!
This week, he got a bit of a slap in the face when an event promoting Rittenhouse at a venue in Las Vegas was cancelled, the owners saying that “this event did not align with our property’s core event guidelines.” At least somebody’s got a bit of good sense – obviously the Republican Party doesn’t and for sure this young arsehole doesn’t!