Friday, November 18, 2016

The Flint River Water Project

I have run into a few interface problems this week. I have been provided with people to call, email and codes assigned to my FOIA request to insure cooperation in resolving these speed bumps.

We are being taken seriously. That is a good thing. 

Thank you. - Like it or not, the Clinton Foundation fills in the gaps in USA policy.

Perhaps President Obama and First Lady Michelle will continue their involvement in foreign affairs with the Clinton Foundation as well. It is times like this that the Clinton Foundation has served a vital role in maintaining global security by increasing the quality of life of people.

Will the incoming Trump administation (click here) fundamentally change U.S. relations with Africa? Republicans with African expertise are promoting continued engagement with the continent which they argue serves American interests. But others believe the bipartisan consensus that has characterized policy for several decades could be upended. Whatever the downsides, could there also be an opportunity for Africa if governments make reforms to attract investors?

Donald Trump should keep an open mind in foreign policy. The status quo is the best if countries are to understand the future and achieve goals. That is especially true of Africa.

18 November 2016
By John Allen
Atlanta — Top U.S experts (click here) who have advised Republican leaders on Africa are concerned about President-elect Donald J. Trump's failure to include any Africans, except Egypt’s ruler, in the first round of calls to foreign heads of state. Two of the advisors are urging Trump to pay attention to the continent, which they argue would serve American business and national security interests.
In a guest column published by AllAfrica, Herman J. (“Hank”) Cohen, Assistant Secretary of State for Africa in the administration of the first President Bush, says the Trump administration would do well to maintain President Barack Obama's “excellent” programs to boost electricity supply and modernize agriculture in Africa, known respectively as Power Africa and Feed the Future.
The programs are good for American national interests, Cohen says: “Under 'Power Africa', American investors can make good profits selling electric power to African utilities while also contributing to African development – a win-win situation. As for agriculture modernization, the more food that Africa produces on its own, the less food the United States will have to send as humanitarian assistance.”...

The words Donald Trump has many meanings. Did Donald Trump turn the USA on it's head?

November 17, 2016
By Ivy DeJesus

The Wolf Administration (click here) on Thursday issued directives aimed at addressing the troubling incidents of racism and religious intolerance that have played out across Pennsylvania schools in the wake of the election.

The administration has directed schools to contact the Pennsylvania Department of Education Safe Schools office and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission whenever an incident of hate or intolerance takes place.
State offices will dispatch counselors to the school and along with commission staff take appropriate measures to provide assistance. The Pennsylvania State Police will also play a role, monitoring threats and providing support to victims and other law enforcement agencies.
"We need to fight racism and bigotry when it arises and my administration will work actively with school districts and other public institutions to stand up to intolerance," Gov. Tom Wolf said in a written statement. "Our schools must be safe and open spaces where all children can learn and grow free of concerns for their physical, mental, and emotional safety."...

The name Donald Trump has many translations globally. 

November 17, 2016
By Henry UmorU

Femi Fani-Kayode

Abuja-Former spokesperson (click here)  of ex- President Goodluck Jonathan’s campaign organisation, Chief Femi Fani- Kayode said yesterday that the President- elect of the United States of America, USA, Donald Trump would confront those in government with hidden agenda to islamise Nigeria and turn Nigeria into a nation of ethnic and religious vassals that must bow before President Muhammadu Buhari and his kinsmen.

In a statement yesterday in Abuja, Fani- Kayode who personally signed the statement congratulating the President- elect, said that his victory was a fulfilment of prophesing, said, “He will also confront their hidden agenda to islamise Nigeria and turn us into a nation of ethnic and religious vassals that must bow before President Muhammadu Buhari and his kinsmen....

Donald Trump's name also takes on far different meaning than President Obama.

November 16, 2016
By Michael Stone

Earlier this week President-elect Donald Trump sent a confusing message concerning abortion and gay marriage while appearing on “60 Minutes.” In essence, Trump said that he would fight to overturn Roe v. Wade, but believes that the Obergefell v. Hodges decision granting marriage equality is settled law.
However, at least one of Trump’s top picks for the Supreme Court is not so tolerant of same-sex relations.
Last May Donald Trump released a list of 11 people he would consider as potential Supreme Court nominees. On that list was William Pryor, who is considered to be “the most demonstrably anti-gay judicial nominee in recent memory” by the legal advocacy group Lambda Legal.
In the past, Pryor, who now sits on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, has made the deplorable argument that consensual sexual activity between same-sex partners should be criminalized....

For some Americans the name Donald Trump means regression into social isolation. Again. I think it can be called segregation. To raise hate as a legitimate state for the USA is to segregate communities and increase victimization.

November 16, 2016
By Donne Levy, Sparks

The longtime trend in America has been to increasingly accept diversity. (click here) 
Demographically our country has changed. Yet, Donald Trump was elected while veering in the opposite direction.
Trump called Mexican immigrants rapists and murderers, although their rate of violent crime is lower than that of American citizens.

Rapists and murderers is the excuse for the hate and the wall of hate at our southern border.

Trump expressed religious bigotry by proposing to ban Muslims from our shores and threatening to take citizenship rights from American Muslims. Some Muslims fought for America and are buried at Arlington National Cemetery.
Trump has been timid about denouncing his white racist and anti-Semitic supporters. He can begin by condemning the Ku Klux Klan chapter that scheduled a victory parade following his election.
We must communicate to the new president and all public servants that we reject any movement toward religious, ethnic or racial bigotry. The same holds true for prejudice against gender or sexual orientation.
We want America to be a great country for ourselves and our children. Greatness means respecting diversity.

...and oppression...

November 16, 2016
By the Collegian

Try to imagine (click here) what it must be like to be a member of a diverse, multicultural and multiethnic community of approximately 1.6 billion Muslims (just under 25 percent of the global population). You visit the website of President-elect Donald Trump and read, “Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

How do you think you’d react to these words from the next President of the United States? A little empathy is all it takes to consider a range of possibilities, which include fear, insult and pain from having been so negatively stereotyped, merely because of one’s religious affiliation.

Kansas State has many Muslim students, staff and faculty. Many are international students. Our Muslim colleagues are one of many sources of the diversity that enhances the educational experiences that K-State offers. Would K-State be a better or worse university if President-elect Trump’s proposed policy becomes law? I think the answer to this question is obvious.

If a Muslim engineering international student is trying to decide between attending K-State in America or the University of Toronto in Canada, don’t you think President-elect Trump’s proposal will make it very difficult for us to recruit this student? And if a Muslim biology professor from Europe is thinking about whether to take a teaching or research position at K-State, don’t you think President-elect Trump’s proposal will make it difficult for us to recruit that professor? In fact, it might be impossible to recruit this student or that faculty member if the proposal becomes law....

Too many cooks in the kitchen and the public's confusion is the result. Interestingly enough Donald Trump is now guilty of conducting offical business on unsecure communication paths.

November 16, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump’s first addition (click here) to his inside group at the White House, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus as chief of staff, is a sound one.

Priebus is a well-connected Republican with access to congressional leaders, especially with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, whose assistance Trump will need in pushing his agenda.

The selection of Priebus quiets the fear of many Republicans that Trump will go it alone, forsaking any relationship with congressional members of his party.

Priebus will provide continuity and understanding of the need for some bipartisanship, as the Democrats in the Senate can filibuster to prevent the passage of laws and selections of which they disapprove.

The appointment of Breitbart News Executive Chairman Stephen Bannon as Trump’s senior counselor is, however, a different story.

Bannon is a right-wing ideologue — an extreme one — who has denigrated minorities and their representatives as well as being quoted as having made anti-Semitic and anti-minority remarks.

Whereas Priebus could be classified as a political moderate, Bannon is a political extremist of the right. His blog has, over the years, been a carrier of white supremacist rhetoric.

The return of racial and religious bigotry to our country at the highest levels is intolerable.

It is easy to understand the concern of the thousands of people marching against Trump. They are reflective of an America that deplores racial and religious discrimination. These are ideals that are well worth marching for.

We hope our new president will quickly realize what Bannon stands for and move him casually to the side as a domestic adviser and a foreign adviser before the Trump administration becomes identified with the bigotry that Bannon represents.

Did right become left and did the truth become wrong? Did the USA lose it's character? It is up to us to define the country and maintain it's integrity?

Everyone wants to ignore how Comey pulled off a coup. It is true there has been a White revolt, but, the palpable change in direction came from the announcement of his potential continuing investigation of Hillary Clinton. It completely shifted the down ballot races.

Fascism? It is true the Republicans always have had this 'specific social order' and authoritarian leadership, but, will it lead to fascism in the USA? Certainly the potential is there, but, the USA has learned what a Republcan White House can do when faced with the potential for war; 911. 

War has it's own fascism built into it. The entire military structure is nothing but authoritarian structure. If war becomes the dominant focus of a country as the USA did with Bush, there can be dangerous outcomes as noted in Iraq. I think the USA did learn a lesson from "W" and Cheney with the illegal and immoral invasion into Iraq. The real question is can Americans self-police their own tendancies that lead to such illegal wars? I believe they can now that they have recent experience with it. I do not believe Americans want another expensive war outside it's borders when it hasn't even concluded the present wars.

The real fascism to the USA is not necessarily war with others, but, the potential to violence within the borders of the USA and whether or not it can escalate into a civil war.

...Why did Trump succeed electorally? (click here) As The Indian Express has explained,

The economic crisis of 2008, arriving on the back of neoliberal reforms that eroded the certainty that this generation’s future would be better than the last, created a paranoiac, angry society, where racism, xenophobia, and sexism flourished. Those who warn Trump has no real agenda to address the inchoate rage of voters are right, but they also miss the point. His authoritarian populism at least offers the illusion of dismantling a hated establishment. How the US now addresses the deep fractures of race and class that a Trump Presidency will open up remains to be seen. But the coming years will, more likely than not, be the most tumultuous since the 1960s. 

Writing in The New Yorker well-known journalist David Remnick notes:  

Trump was not elected on a platform of decency, fairness, moderation, compromise, and the rule of law; he was elected, in the main, on a platform of resentment. Fascism is not our future—it cannot be; we cannot allow it to be so—but this is surely the way fascism can begin. (Emphasis ours)...

There is a real danger in the USA today and it began with an election gone wrong. There absolutely has been an uptick of hatred and violence following the election returns. The assessments need to be made to know whether this is a contained grassland fire that is good for the production capacity of the land; or is it a wildfire without definition or limits on it's duration. 

In reality, it is healthy for a country to purge itself of inhibitions, hatred and fear. We have to decide if that is what is occuring or is it something with depth that will turn the USA into a fractured society with a return of oppression, fear and underground methods of living to cope.