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This week, we are all French

The world is turning into a scary place, one where you can’t even go out to dinner or a sporting event without thinking about a group of lunatics blowing themselves up, or shooting as many people as possible. Since 2001 we’ve had our share of random shootings, but nothing like what just happened in France. After 9/11/2001 the world declared that we are all Americans, now you hear that we are all French. It is a little too close to home when our European allies are under attack and Muslim fanatics are threatening us, too.
The recent terrorists’ attacks in France and the continuing bombing of the Middle East doesn’t give me much hope for a peaceful ending to this religious war, but we’ve put ourselves right in the middle of the conflict. If we leave an area it just gives the religious zealots an opening to move back in, and the people flee to what they think are safe areas in Europe. Unfortunately, it appears that some of the refugees are the same terrorists that created the problem in the first place.
There was a story in the Sacramento Bee this week about Cleveland marking its 100th homicide of the year and by the end of 2015 Cleveland may have as many people murdered as the terrorist attacks in France. For some reason no one seems to care about Cleveland, but we are concerned about France.
It may be hard to ignore all of the violence in the world, but I think we have to live our lives not worrying about being killed by some idiot, whether it is in a car crash or a gunman in a movie theater. We would be better off trying to work on finding solutions to work place violence, mental illness and riding the world of religious fundamentalists. The world has to find a solution in the Middle East, North Africa and other areas out of control. Our track record in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria isn’t something we can brag about, but something has to be done to stabilize that area of the world. The Russians have backed the Syrian government for years and are now bombing the rebels, some of whom we support but are also connected to terrorists attacks around the world. It is hard to know the difference between the good guys and the bad guys. For those as old as I am, doesn’t this sound familiar?
How hard would it be for President Obama to pick up the red phone in the White House and talk to Russian President Putin? I don’t think they get along very well, but neither has been to Winters, so we don’t really know what they think about each other. They could agree to meet in Winters, open a bottle of Berryessa Gap Tempranillo and have a conversation. If that doesn’t give them enough time to talk about are shared problems, open a bottle of Turkovich The Boss and see if they can’t agree on something. As a last resort, they can talk as they walk out to Berryessa Brewing Company and share a pint of Whippersnapper. I’m out of ideas, but that would be a start.
Thanks to everyone that has congratulated my father on his retirement. He didn’t come into the office on Monday. That is the first day that he has missed work in decades. He dropped by on Tuesday, so we will see how well he adapts to having free time.
Have a good week.