United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA) is on strike for the first time since 1989 over demands for increased pay and the hiring of additional teachers; their wide-ranging demands include a 6.5% pay increase for teachers retroactive to July 2016, the hiring of more teachers and service staff, and greater regulation of charter schools in Los Angeles.
Today we see it fit to discharge our elders into what we call “retirement homes,” little more than waiting rooms for Death’s final embrace, abandoning those who brought us into existence and built the nation and society we so are so blessed to behold. By throwing away our duty to the past, throwing away the experiences of lifetimes, we leave ourselves stranded, with no land in sight, sailing to a desperate future with no grounding in the American spirit and in the practices and values that have brought America from a speck on the Atlantic coast to the world’s sole superpower. Whatever happened to the notion of caring for one’s own instead of giving up and allowing some distant entity to take society’s place? Whatever happened to pride in our shared national heritage? It’s time for us to get back in touch with our roots and bring our elderly home.
As if Russian airstrikes, ISIS suicide attacks, and chemical warfare were not enough, Turkish troops now join the Syrian civil war, a conflict entering its eighth year. On January 20, the media focused on the American government shutdown, providing no coverage on the day’s most significant development: Turkish president Recep Erdogan launched his long-promised assault on the Kurds in northern Syria, one of America’s closest allies in the campaign against ISIS.
Given the inherent tension between support for Israel and aversion to military action in the Middle East, the United States must find ways to support Israel without engaging in military conflict. One soft power approach to consider would be supporting Israel’s claim to the Golan Heights.