The Best of Times, The Worst of Times


Requesting Reflections On Race: In Charlottesville this past weekend we saw two Americas: An ugly and violent America tied to white nationalists and one that refused to be intimidated by the alt-right. The weekend’s events filled us with both pessimism and optimism, and revealed the country at a critical juncture where it could swing further into violence and hate and a country that has shown itself repeatedly to be able to form a more perfect union.

We felt pangs of pessimism that such strong hate and ignorance abounds. And yet we are also  optimistic that such hate is being exposed, discussed, and confronted. Daily Pnut readers, please share with us your thoughts about Charlottesville and race in America at We will publish reader comments in Friday’s edition.

Three additional notes:

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Charlottesville Rally Turns Deadly: The tragic confrontation Saturday in Charlottesville, VA between white nationalist “Unite the Right ” supporters and counter-protesters resulted in three deaths and dozens of injuries. 20-year-old James Fields, Jr. of Ohio, accelerated his car directly into the crowd of counter-protesters on the pedestrian mall, fatally striking 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring 19 others. Fields was arrested and charged with one count of second-degree murder, three counts of malicious wounding, and one count of hit-and-run failure to stop with injury, police said. The Justice Department has opened a civil rights investigation into the deadly crash.

The rally was intended to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from a downtown park. The rally, scheduled for noon, ended before it began as hundreds of white nationalists, neo-Nazis, and Ku Klux Klan members and Black Lives Matter and other counter-protesters traded blows and hurled bottles and chemical irritants at one another. Police evacuated Emancipation Park, formerly Lee Park, and three men were arrested in connection with the violence. Hours later, two state police officers died when their helicopter crashed on the outskirts of town.


70 Years Ago, India and Pakistan Were Born: Today, Pakistan celebrates 70 years of independence with military pageantry,  fireworks, and national pride, but it also remembers the turbulent and traumatic events that led to the country’s birth. In August 1947, British rulers sliced its giant Indian empire into two new countries: a Hindu-majority India, which celebrates its independence tomorrow, and Pakistan, home to mostly Muslims. The partition ended two hundred years of British colonial rule and triggered one of the largest human migrations ever recorded in history.

An estimated 12 to 15 million people left their homes and crossed the new border based on their faith–Muslims to Pakistan, Hindus and Sikhs to India. Approximately 1 million people died along the way, many facing a violent end, and at least 75,000 women were abducted and raped by people of the opposite faith. This “hastily drawn line” (why oh why have human beings ever thought that the actual drawing of lineswas ever a way to solve geo-political crises?!) and the violence of partition plague relations between India and Pakistan to this day. Since 1947, the two nations have fought four wars, mostly because of disputes over who controls the northern Himalayan state of Jammu and Kashmir.


Japanese Economy Gets A Much Needed Boost: The Japanese economy had its longest economic expansion in more than ten years–it grew at 1 percent in the last quarter, its sixth straight quarter of growth. The better-than-expected figure is attributed to strong domestic demand and capital spending, which offset a decline in exports. Private consumption grew at 0.9 percent; consumption accounts for more than half of Japan’s GDP but has been sluggish for years. The world’s third largest economy is finally picking up some steam, and investments linked to the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics are also giving the economy a much needed boost.

White House Communications Are Always Crystal Clear: Chinese media is going to have to learn what American media has learned–that just because President Trump says he plans to do something, doesn’t mean he actually plans to do that thing. The China Daily warned Trump that he “could trigger a trade war” if he launches an investigation into whether China is stealing US technology. What Trump actually said, according to senior administration officials speaking in a conference call Saturday morning, is that he intends to sign an Executive Order on Monday afternoon that directs his top trade negotiator (we thought that was Trump) to determine whether or not to investigate China for harming intellectual property, innovation, and technology. But then the Trump administration also apparently announced sometime Saturday that it is planning to launch an investigation under the Trade Act of 1975 into Chinese intellectual property violations that could result in severe trade penalties. So, are we all clear now?


Sitting, Slippery & Shirtless: The NFL preseason has kicked off and if the preseason is a prognostication for the regular season, then this year will continue last year’s fiercely debated issue over why certain NFL players refuse to stand for the national anthem. This past weekend Marshawn Lynch didn’t go “Beast Mode” but was in sit-mode during the national anthem. So was Michael Bennet.

Bryce Harper slipped on a wet first base, but fortunately the injury is just a bone bruise as opposed to ligament damage or worse. Harper is invaluable to the Washington Nationals, and he could earn as much as $400 million after the 2018 season.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored, took off his shirt, and was given a yellow card. He left the game shortly after with a second yellow card but not before pushing the referee. Ronaldo’s team, Real Madrid, won 3-1 over Barcelona. Lionel Messi scored Barcelona’s only goal.


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