Once again a terrible tragedy

Once again a terrible tragedy unfolds in the United States, this time in Texas, but it could have been anywhere: one of the biggest school shootings of all time. 

The republican governor’s time would be well spent doing something, doing anything, to keep guns out of the hands of maniacs like the late 18-year-old shooter who bought over $7,000 worth of guns and ammunition on his birthday to prepare for his murderous spree. 

But sadly it won’t likely happen. Republicans, now basically the so submissive servants of the NRA, are staunchly against any reasonable form of gun control, despite 90% of the American People supporting such protective measures. 

No other civilized, modern nation has the problem of gun-violence, and particularly mass casualty events, that the United States has. The politicians, especially on the right, refuse to recognize that easy access to powerful guns is a contributing factor in these horrible crimes.

And without a change in laws and policies, the problem won’t go away on its own.

Beto O’Rourke, former congressman and Presidential candidate, vigorously challenged the governor at his press conference, admonishing him for doing nothing when another shooting, so common now in the U.S., was predictable (one happens somewhere n the country almost every week). 

More Americans need to stand up to challenge their leaders, like O’Rourke did, on this issue, to fix this serious gun problem, so more innocent people won’t die. 

And the greatest and most effective challenge happens at the ballot box. Americans can and must vote for leaders at all levels of government who will put sensible and effective anti-gun violence laws in place. 

A sad night for the Academy Awards

We at Face Activities enjoy the Academy Awards, and feel it’s an important cultural and artistic event, not just for the U.S. film industry, but also for the world. Unfortunately an incident occurred that marred this year’s celebration, which we want to address.

Will Smith, angered by a thoughtless joke the emcee, comedian Chris Rock, made about Smith’s wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, jumped up on stage and struck Rock, and later shouted obscenities.

The audience was stunned, as were many viewers at home and around the world. This act of violence was unacceptable, unnecessary, and should never have happened. It was in fact a shameful and unfortunate incident staining the history of the Academy Awards.

Though clearly Rock hit a nerve with his joke, there’s a long standing tradition at the Oscar’s for emcees to joke about the celebrity guests, and it’s generally taken in good humor. 

Will Smith’s violent outburst is a terrible example to set for kids and the public at large. And to be absolutely clear, his actions were illegal, and he’s lucky he won’t be held legally responsible, mostly because Chris Rock chose not to file a police report.

Will Smith won an Academy Award that night, 40 minutes after the assault, for his critically acclaimed portrayal of Venus and Sarena Williams’ father (and coach for many years.) It was a strong performance, worthy of recognition. 

But sadly, the violence showcased that evening took away from what should have been a very special moment, a triumphant moment, for the tennis stars, who had labored for years to get this ground-breaking film made.

Smith has subsequently apologized, which of course was the correct thing to do. It remains to be seen what action the academy will take, if any, but in large part the damage has already been done. 

We hope for better days for the academy, and expect better of Will Smith in years to come.

An Evening With Bob Woodward and Robert Costa

It’s January 6th, the anniversary of the Capitol Insurrection, a day unprecedented since the civil war era.

Watch Bob veteran author and journalist Bob Woodward discuss his recent book, Peril, with Robert Costa, at the LBJ Presidential Library: learn about the Trump White House, and what lead to the dramatic events of the January 6th insurrection:

“The transition from President Donald J. Trump to President Joseph R. Biden Jr. stands as one of the most dangerous periods in American history. But as internationally bestselling author Bob Woodward and acclaimed reporter Robert Costa reveal for the first time, it was far more than just a domestic political crisis.

This classic study of Washington takes readers deep inside the Trump White House, the Biden White House, the 2020 campaign, and the Pentagon and Congress, with vivid, eyewitness accounts of what really happened.Peril is supplemented throughout with never-before-seen material from secret orders, transcripts of confidential calls, diaries, emails, meeting notes and other personal and government records, making for an unparalleled history.” – LBJ PresidentialLibrary

Run time: 43:32

License: Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)

In the workshops of the potters of Hebron

Documentary film: You don’t choose to be a potter in Hebron – since time out of mind, this calling has been passed down from father to son. Many have abandoned the craft over the last few decades – although the products have diversified and orders are on the increase. Due to local taxation and transportation problems between the Palestinian territories and Israel the profession is becoming less and less viable.

Run time: 44:14


License: Creative Commons Attribution license (reuse allowed)

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