Brookins Head Shot

Trevor Brookins

*I generally advocate for the importance of diplomacy in foreign relations.

So the nuclear restrictions that Secretary of State Kerry negotiated this summer with Iran makes sense to me.

At some point folks need to realize that it is impossible to sustain a position of leadership by isolating oneself from everyone else.

By not allowing allies a voice, you lose them. By not allowing potential enemies to reform, you push them further away. By dictating to someone instead of negotiating you encourage them to ignore you. The best leaders do not impose their will through fear, they promote mutual respect.

I know that budget cuts are usually not effective immediately. So I know that the NASA budget cuts of 2015 had no bearing on the flyby that was conducted on Pluto. But it was ironic that those two pieces of news came within months of each other.

If a young person walks down the street and grope someone or worse, they call the police and a criminal investigation begins. If a young person walks down the campus of the college they attend and does the same thing, the call goes to the school administration and conduct investigation usually ensues. The fact that these two situations are handled differently makes no sense and indicates a de-valuing of young women. I’m not sure how this began but victims of sexual assault should be able to pursue criminal justice against their attackers no matter the venue.

I recognize and will admit that presidents get too much credit and blame for things that happen during their time in office (depending on whether the events are good or bad). On the other hand there are things that happen because a specific person pushes for it. Healthcare, which I think we’ll view as positive in American society as we gain perspective on the issue, was the priority of President Obama. He pushed for it and now he will be talked about in the same vein as Lincoln, Roosevelt, Roosevelt, and Johnson.

If you think illegal immigration is a problem in the United States because Latinos are entering the country, how much worse is the situation in Europe. Conservatives dislike Latino immigration because they feel superior to Latino immigrants, there is a language barrier, and their presence stresses our infrastructure. But at least Latinos are mostly Christian. In Eastern Europe they are dealing with undocumented immigration from Middle Eastern refugees, who may or may not be Muslim, fleeing their homelands for the life. Those countries have to grapple with the fact that folks are dying in Syria, but places like Hungary and Turkey are even less able than the United States to handle large influxes of people. How do you handle lifeboat ethics?

On a related note, it is a shame that ISIS is destroying cultural artifacts because of the religious nature of the artifact.

The United States attempted to overthrow Cuban leader Fidel Castro way back in 1961 after which Cuba became an ally of the Soviet Union. But the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991. It shouldn’t have taken over 20 years to normalize relations between our two countries. If we could speak and work out agreements with China, we could have done it with Cuba. At least now this folly has ended.

The person who produced the footage that paints Planned Parenthood as trafficking in body parts has admitted that he was dishonest in how he edited the video. Knowing this I’m not sure how anyone changes their mind about the organization. There have always been those opposed to the mission of Planned Parenthood but there have always been more people who support it. So how have the percentages changed?

Trevor Brookins is a free lance writer in Rockland County, New York. He is currently working on a book about American culture during the Cold War.  His writing has appeared in The Journal News. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @historictrev.