It’s been a great month for democracy.
Not because Joe Biden won, although I am happy about that. It’s been a great month for democracy because the citizens of the United States of America proved yet again that we recognize, and cherish, this beautiful system of government we have built. We cherish the right of every American – every American – to participate in the process of choosing our leaders.
Early Sunday evening, I watched a 77-year-old grandmother get punched by a Ferguson protester. She told him to stop spray-painting graffiti. She turned to talk to another protester; he took two steps toward her and cold-cocked her in the jaw, knocking her off her feet.
Continue reading https://www.stltoday.com/opinion/columnists/blake-ashby-speaking-out-against-protest-vandalism-doesn-t-warrant-physical-attack/article_49f6bad2-8f00-5680-a55c-3ce1f5f2ce56.html
Published in St. Louis Post-Dispatch 06/04/20
Information about our federal coronavirus preparedness and response is slowly starting to come out. However there’s one critical piece of data that we will likely never learn: How many people were turned down for tests because of lack of testing capacity?
Continue reading https://www.stltoday.com/opinion/columnists/blake-ashby-the-missing-data-what-you-dont-measure-you-cant-manage/article_0ab2d969-d32d-56fa-99b4-4a366907ad40.html
Published in St. Louis Post-Dispatch 04/11/20
If nothing else, the global pandemic is highlighting the interdependence of the global economy, and hopefully the need for international cooperation. Global oil production is yet another example of this interdependence.
The Green New Deal didn’t make sense before the pandemic. It makes even less sense now. What we need is an Old Energy New Deal, focused on making our existing energy infrastructure more efficient, less polluting. It’s not glamorous, but it will bring the most meaningful change.
It’s a rough time for our country, but we will get through it, and we will eventually get back to the presidential election. When we do, I’m hoping its with a more civil, less hateful approach. And that includes how we talk about President Trump.
We need to get through this crisis, and we will. Once we do, we need to have a real conversation about the proper role of government. What do we as individuals take responsibility for, and what responsibilities do we place on society, on government? It’s not an easy question – where does individual responsibility end, and government responsibility begin? Where do the rights of the individual end, and the rights of the group begin?
Lost in the global bad news over the weekend was a bit of good news – Israel became a little more democratic. For the first time ever, the parties representing Arab Israelis have agreed to participate in a coalition government. The Blue and White Party, in its efforts to cobble together a majority in Israel’s legislature, the Knesset, had asked the Joint List of Arab-majority Parties to join its governing coalition. With these added voted, the Blue and White Party has a majority of votes and has been given the right to form a new government, with its leader as Prime Minister.
One of the problems in our society is that the anonymity of digital communications allows some people to feel empowered to say things that they would never say to someone’s face. An example of this are threats of harm or even death. If threats of this nature were made face to face, the person making the threat would be subject to arrest – it is illegal to threaten to harm or kill someone. However since these threats are being made remotely, often anonymously, action is almost never taken against the person making the threat. Often they are in a different jurisdiction and local law enforcement lacks the resources or technical capabilities to adequately pursue the case.
The Digital Threats Act would address online threats.
I think, of all the Democratic candidates, Sen. Elizabeth Warren is the most disappointing. She could have been a contender. But at the end of the day she did a bunch of things that made me think of her as a hypocrite.