Maine Writer

Its about people and issues I care about.

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Location: Topsham, MAINE, United States

My blogs are dedicated to the issues I care about. Thank you to all who take the time to read something I've written.

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Judicial - Third Independent Branch of Government Civics 101

Obviously, Donald Trump does not understand how there are three branches of government and each are independent of the other.  He can't fire people and make them obey because by interfering with the Justice Department he is violating the law----again!

Donald Trump is despearate to claim his own dictatorship in the White House but he hasn't a clue how to do it and get away with tweeting his way to success.  In fact,Trump doesn't have a golf course to hide on these days, so he's signing executive orders with a the pen, probably pretending it's a golf tee. Meanwhile, the Congress and his White House Staff are picking up Trump "dung" like they're all circuls clowns following the elephants around the big top.
Loretta Lynch praises Sally Yates for 'courageous leadership'
Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Assistant Attorney General Sally Yates have created a wake of distrust for Donald Trump with their courage and ability to stand "truth to power". Any new "boss" at the Justice Department will have two tough leadership acts to follow.
On Monday night, in a fit of anger at the Assistant Attorney General, because she wouldn't follow his "Achtung!" directions about his immigration Muslim Ban, he fired Sally Yates like she was an ingenue on The Apprentice, a reality television show.

Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who served under President Obama, responded:

Loretta Lynch praises Sally Yates for 'courageous leadership'
By Rebecca Savransky for The Hill

Former Attorney General Loretta Lynch on Tuesday praised former acting Attorney General Sally Yates for her "courageous leadership." 

"With her decision not to defend the executive order regarding immigration, Sally Yates displayed the fierce intellect, unshakeable integrity, and deep commitment to the rule of law that have characterized her 27 years of distinguished service to the Department of Justice under both Democratic and Republican administrations," Lynch said in a statement.
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Former Assistant Attorney General Sally Yates

"Her courageous leadership embodies the highest traditions of the Department of Justice, whose first duty is always to the American people, and to the Constitution that protects our rights and safeguards our liberties."

Loretta Lynch statement on Sally Yates: "Her courageous leadership embodies the highest traditions of the Department of Justice..."
On Monday night, Trump fired Yates just hours after she ordered that the Justice Department not defend the president's controversial executive order on immigration.

The order bars people from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia from entering the country for 90 days; suspends the country's refugee resettlement program for 120 days; and indefinitely suspends resettlement of refugees from Syria.

The White House on Monday issued a statement saying Yates, who was appointed by former President Barack Obama, had "betrayed the U.S. government." (This is hypocrisy- it's the Trump administration who is betraying the desperate refugees and making innocent people feel like criminals without cause and stripping them all of due process!)

In the statement, the statement said Yates was "weak on borders and very weak on illegal immigration." (But, it was Sally Yates who prosecuted and convicted the evil Atlanta bomber 
Eric Rudolph, the man who attacked the 1996 Summer Olympic Games)

"It is time to get serious about protecting our country," the statement said.

Trump selected Dana Boente, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, to replace Yates until his attorney general nominee, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), is confirmed by the Senate.

Obama nominated Yates for deputy attorney general in December 2014. She was confirmed by the Senate in May 2015, making her the Justice Department's No. 2 under Lynch.

Dana Boente will collect tax payer $alary for taking the position Yates has vacated; but morale at the Justice Department will not be quickly repaired, especially when the former Attorney General Lynch and the Assistant Attorney General Yates created a wake of distrust and left behind a path of fearful employees.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump has violated his leadership responsibility to support the Constitution- there are three branches of government and Trump can't influence the Justice Department!. 

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Seal Team 6 - heros in a failed Yemen raid

Unfortunately, Seal Team 6, the heroic USNavy unit that effectively assassinated Osama Bin Laden, was used to create a leadership legacy for #POTUSTrump. Sadly, the ace combat team of heroes were unable to succeed when Donald Trump ordered their raid on an Al Qaeda camp in Yemen. This failied bravado, an attempt to act like a Commander in Chief, was preventable. It was preventable because Donald Trump craved his leadership moment, but now he must face the conseequences of bad decision making. One Chief Petty Officer tragically killed and an expensive intelligence helicopter destroyed to prevent release of clandestine technology. Donald Trump has not had time to learn his job, never mind give executive orders for expensive SealTeam Six operations. Don't send a USNavy Seal team to do what an attack drone could've done instead!

Navy SEAL Killed During Yemen Raid Identified as CPO Ryan Owens  by Tim Stelloh
Chief Petty Officer William Owen Rest in Peace
My husband Richard and I visited Senior Chief Owens' grave in Arlington National Cemetery on April 14, 2018

The Defense Department on Monday identified the Navy SEAL killed during a raid on al Qaeda militants as Chief Petty Officer William "Ryan" Owens.

This death will impact USNavy Seal6 Team morale; my sincere sympathy to Chief Owen's family and to his brave colleagues.

In a statement, Defense Secretary James Mattis said Owens, 36, "gave his full measure for our nation, and in performing his duty, he upheld the noblest standard of military service."

Owens was killed when his aircraft, an MV-22 Osprey, experienced what the Pentagon officials described as a "hard landing."Two other SEALs were injured in the landing, which occurred Sunday at a secondary staging area.

Related: U.S. Service Member Killed in Raid on Al Qaeda in Yemen

The purpose of the raid was intelligence gathering, Pentagon officials said, adding that al Qaeda's affiliate in the region had been exporting plans globally.  (Seems to me, a military drone would've been more effective in this failed Donald Trump ordered operation, with it's successs record of survellance and sharp attack capabilities, it would've been a better decision than wasting national treasure by sacrificying SealTeam6)

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Monday, January 30, 2017

Google doodle warninng- Trump headed to Muslim registry

Google makes a strong statement with a Japanese internment camp survivor on the site- this salient warning is about the potential for the danger of a Donald Trump Muslim registry.

Obviously, Donald Trump doesn't appreciate the American Muslims who have served and died in the US Military, including Captain Humayun Khan- who was killed in Afghanastan.

Fred Korematsu's 98th Birthday
Fred Toyosaburo (1919-2005)

Captain Humayun Saqib Muazzam Khan (1976-2004)

Amid outcry over a wide-reaching immigration crackdown, Google is featuring a Japanese-American civil rights activist who was interned during World War II.

On Monday, Google's U.S. homepage features Fred Toyosaburo Korematsu, a Japanese-American who tried to enlist in the military during World War II, but was turned away due to his ethnicity, according to Google's official blog.

At 22, Korematsu went into hiding to avoid being relocated into an internment camp, and was later arrested and sent to a camp until 1945, Google's blog said. 

Korematsu was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom after his conviction was overturned, according to Google's blog. Korematsu's birthday, Jan. 30, is officially recognized as Fred Korematsu Day in California, Hawaii, Virginia and Florida, Google's blog said.

The illustration, known as the Google doodle, comes a day after Google established a $4 million fund for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Immigrant Legal Resource Center, International Rescue Committee and UNHCR- the United Nations refugee agency. 

The ACLU is one of the main organizations fighting Donald Trump's executive order to temporarily ban travel for immigrants from seven Muslim-majority countries — Iran, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen — and temporarily halt the entry of refugees into the United States. 

Google co-founder Sergey Brin, whose family fled the Soviet Union in the 1970s, participated in protests of the travel ban this weekend, telling a Forbes reporter, "I'm here because I'm a refugee."

For more background on the doodle, see Google's blog post here.

—The Associated Press contributed to this report

Americans must revolt against the Donald Trump executive order banning Muslims from entering the US, because this evil policy is just the first step to establishing a Muslim registry. #Mayday!

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Mexico Catholic Bishops respond

As a Roman Catholic woman I'm calling on Cardinal Dolan and all American Bishops to become engaged in opposing the Donald Trump regime anti-immigrant policies. In fact, Bishops in Mexico already made a statement. I'm disappointed the American Catholic Bishops have been, apparantly, reticent.

The spirited response of Mexico's bishops to Trump's border wall 
Banner us to mexico border credit joseph sohm via wwwshutterstockcom cna 1 8 16
US-Mexico border
Mexico City, Mexico, Jan 27, 2017 / 05:05 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- The bishops of Mexico on Thursday reacted to United States' president Donald Trump's executive order to build a wall on the nations' border by urging a more thoughtful response to legitimate security concerns.

We express our pain and rejection over the construction of this wall, and we respectfully invite you to reflect more deeply about the ways security, development, growth in employment, and other measures, necessary and just, can be procured without causing further harm to those already suffering, the poorest and most vulnerable,” the Mexican bishops' conference said Jan. 26 in a message titled "Value and Respect for Migrants".

Donald Trump on Jan. 25 ordered a wall to be built on the U.S.-Mexico border. An estimated 650 miles of the 1,900 mile-long U.S.-Mexico border have a wall constructed currently.

The Mexican bishops noted that for more than 20 years, the prelates of “the northern border of Mexico and the southern border of the United States have been working” to achieve “the best care for the faithful that live in the sister countries, properly seen as a single city (from a faith perspective); communities of faith served by two dioceses (such as Matamoros and Brownsville, or Laredo and Nuevo Laredo, for example).” “What pains us foremost is that many people who live out their family relationships, their faith, work or friendships will be shut out even more by this inhuman interference,” they lamented.

The bishops recalled the statement of Bishop Joe Vasquez of Austin, head of the United States bishops' committee on immigration, that “this action will put immigrant lives needlessly in harm's way. Construction of such a wall will only make migrants, especially vulnerable women and children, more susceptible to traffickers and smugglers. Additionally, the construction of such a wall destabilizes the many vibrant and beautifully interconnected communities that live peacefully along the border.”

The bishops of Mexico said that “we will continue to be close to and support with solidarity so many of our brothers coming from Central and South America, who come in transit through our country to the United States”

The prelates also encouraged Mexico's authorities “in talks and seeking agreements with the United States, to advocate for just ways, which safeguard dignity and respect for persons, regardless of nationality, creed, and above all, appreciating the richness they bring in their quest for better opportunities in life. Each person has an intrinsic and invaluable worth as a child of God.”

The bishops expressed their respect for the right of the U.S. government to have its border respected, but said they do not consider “a rigorous and intense application of the law to be the way to achieve its goals, and that on the contrary these actions create alarm and fear among immigrants, breaking up families without further consideration.”

MaineWriter footnote- Hispanic neighbors are "First Nations" people, IMO, therefore, their precedence deserve priority human rights protections.

The prelates concluded their statement asking Our Lady of Guadalupe to “accompany those in both countries who are responsible for negotiations” and to “bring consolation and provide protection for our brother migrants.”

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Sunday, January 29, 2017

Immigration and Roman Catholic Bishops- accept liturgy readings

"He opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures." Luke 24:45

Therefore, as it is written: "Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord."
 1 Corinthians 1:31 (Donald J. Trump had a problem with the pronounciation of the word "Corinthians".)

The purpose of this blog is to call on the American Catholic Bishops, who are Christian leaders, to oppose Donald Trump's anti-immigration executive orders.
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Zephaniah 2:3 - Seek righteousness, seek humility; perhaps you will be sheltered on the day of the LORD's anger.
Scripture readings for the Fouth Sunday in Ordinary Time impressed me for the timely appropriateness. Yet, I wondered if American Catholic Bishops really believe these beautiful passages? 

Honestly, I've been disressed by the lack of outrage by religious leaders to oppose the immigration bans imposed by Donald Trump.

Although the world is distressed by the un-Christian executive orders issued by Donald Trump about preventing Muslims from entering the United States, an illegal discriminatory action based on religon, the fact is, the American Catholic Bishops gave tacit support to the Republican, now president. Unbelievable, but the Bishops are not criticizing Donald Trump's un-Christian immigration ban. 

It seems to me, the least the American Catholic Bishops should do would be to read, understand, accept and internalize Scripture readings from text on the Fouth Sunday in Ordinary Times:

Reading 1 ZEP 2:3; 3:12-13
Seek the LORD, all you humble of the earth,
who have observed his law;
seek justice, seek humility;
perhaps you may be sheltered
on the day of the LORD's anger.e LORD:
the remnant of Israel.
They shall do no wrong
and speak no lies;
nor shall there be found in their mouths
a deceitful tongue;

they shall pasture and couch their flocks
with none to disturb them.

Responsorial Psalm- PS 146:6-7, 8-9, 9-10
The LORD keeps faith forever,
secures justice for the oppressed,
gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets captives free.

American Catholic Bishops must stand against Donald Trump's anti-Muslim immigration policy, because the Republican administration is opposed toRoman Catholic social justice teachings. As Roman Catholics, we are called to hear the Scriptures as they are read during the Mass and to believe them!

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Steve Bannon "look alikes" - Kim Jong-Un and Joseph Goebbels

Steve Bannon was a low ranking US Naval officer, but in his mug shot he looks more like a drunken sailor than the man Donald Trump appointed, without vetting, to sit on the National Security Council, representing the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In other words, low life Bannon will be in a position of being able to speak for the Generals and Admirals, who earned the privilege of being on the NSC.  

Curiously enough, Steve Bannon resembles North Korea's tyrannical dictator Kim Jong_un (probably just coincidental ya'think?)

Image result for Kim Jong Un
Kim Jong-un- leader of North Korea
Image result for Joseph Goebbels
Joseph Goebbels - Nazi propaganda minister for Hitler
For those who believe in reincarnation- it's possible Steve Bannon is the Joseph Goebbels reincarnated, Reich Chancellor; appointed by Adolf Hitler before he committed suicide. Goebbels also died by suicide on May 1, 1945 with his wife and children.
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Steve Bannon- Brietbart_barfcart news CEO
Former Annapolis graduate low ranking Navy officer
WannaBe Joint Chiefs representative on National Security Council- is a slob.

Steve Bannon: Claims of Anti-Semitism, Ties to the Alt-Right and Now a Powerful Job

With National Security Council Shakeup, Steve Bannon Gets A Seat At The Table- "Gosh darn Dad, I always wanted to sit at the big people's table!"

President Trump has reorganized the National Security Council by elevating his chief strategist Steve Bannon (a former low ranking USN officer and Annapolis grad who served in the Navy for 7 years) and demoting the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

MERRIT KENNEDY- reported for BBC
Now, Bannon will join the NSC's principals committee, the top inter-agency group for discussing national security. The National Security Council is the staff inside the White House that coordinates decision making by the president on such matters, in coordination with outside departments including the State Department and the Pentagon.

It's an unusual decision, NPR's Mara Liasson reported. "David Axelrod, for instance, who had a similar job as Bannon in the Obama administration, never sat in on Principals meetings," she added. When such figures seen as part of the political wing of the White House have participated in broader National Security Council meetings, it's sparked sharp criticism from the national security establishment.

Before joining Donald Trump's inner circle during the 2016 campaign, Bannon was the head of Breitbart News (Breitbart_barfcart), a far-right media outlet that has promoted conspiracy theories and is a platform for the alt-right movement, which espouses white nationalism.

Bannon was extremely influential during the first week of the administration – he is said to be part of a small group inside the White House driving the flurry of executive actions this week, Mara Liasson has reported.

Some of those orders have provoked criticism that Bannon and other administration officials are not coordinating with other agencies on major policy changes, Mara says, such as the chaos and detentions at airports following Trump's (illegal) executive order on immigration.

The NSC principals committee is defined as "the Cabinet-level senior interagency forum for considering policy issues that affect the national security interests of the United States.

The NSC is chaired either by national security advisor Michael Flynn or homeland security advisor Tom Bossert and now includes the secretaries of state, defense and the Treasury, plus the attorney general, White House chief of staff and the president's chief strategist, which is Bannon's position.

On the other hand, the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will now attend Principals Committees meetings only when "issues pertaining to their responsibilities and expertise are to be discussed," according to the presidential memorandum issued on Saturday.

As NPR national security editor Philip Ewing explains, Trump "is shaking up the wonky process by which the executive branch makes its toughest decisions on national security – the big question is how much that will matter." Here's more:

"On paper, these are big changes: Past administrations ran their National Security Councils with a Great Wall of China-separation between the political team at the White House and the nonpartisan specialists who help with decision-making. The explicit inclusion of Bannon means that Trump's top adviser on messaging, strategy and other partisan issues means he could also be part of decisions about policy toward adversaries, military actions and other such decisions.

"What does it all mean, in practical terms? It's too soon to say. 

(But it's dangerous to have this former low ranking officer in charge- like Hitler who never made sergeant ie "the little corporal" now Bannon is a self appointed senior officer NOT!

Former national security council staffers say their day-to-day meetings and process were not governed by whatever formal instruction issued by their respective presidents. 

Political staffers from the White House have attended meetings in the past. The committees invite who they think they need to invite given the topics under discussion – something that will likely continue under [National Security Advisor Michael] Flynn."

Top security officials from the Obama administration are blasting the decision.

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who served under Obama and George W. Bush, called the demotions a "big mistake" in an interview with ABC News. " I think that they both bring a perspective and judgment and experience to bear that every president, whether they like it or not, finds useful," Gates said.

Former National Security Advisor Susan Rice called the move "stone cold crazy." In a sarcastic tweet, she said: "Who needs military advice or intel to make policy on ISIL, Syria, Afghanistan, DPRK?"

White House press secretary Sean Spicer (the creator of alternative facts "Spicerfacts) responded in an interview with ABC News. "That's clearly inappropriate language from a former ambassador," Spicer said. "We are instilling reforms to make sure that we streamline the process for the president to make decisions on key, important intelligence matters. You've got a leader in General Flynn who understands the intelligence process and the reforms that are needed probably better than anybody else."

Spicer also defended Bannon's qualifications. "Well, he is a former naval officer (a low ranking officer- never advanced beyond junior status after 7 years). He's got a tremendous (not) understanding of the world and the geopolitical landscape that we have now," Spicer said. (Spicerfacts on steroids!)

Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Armed Services Committee, told CBS News, "I am worried about the National Security Council. Who are the members of it and who are the permanent members? The appointment of Mr. Bannon is something which a radical departure from any National Security Council in history."

McCain added that, "One person who is indispensable would be the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in my view."

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Saturday, January 28, 2017

Donald Trump international retaliation - Iran bans Americans

Certainly Donald Trump put the world into international chaos in only 8 days of holding the US exeuctive office. Now, Iran announced a retalitory ban on American citizens entering their country in response to the stupid executive order signed by an unhinged Trump to discriminate against Muslim's and refugees.

Iran said on Saturday it would stop U.S. citizens entering the country in retaliation to Washington's visa ban against Tehran and six other majority-Muslim countries, announced by new U.S. President Donald Trump.
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on September 21. (Why does President Rouhani look so happy? He's got a reason to rally his nation! Against Donald Trump!)  EDUARDO MUNOZ/REUTERS
(I'm sure there's more momentum building against Donald Trump, it's snowballing, moving faster than even Twitter seems able to keep pace.)

"While respecting the American people and distinguishing between them and the hostile policies of the U.S. government, Iran will implement the principle of reciprocity until the offensive U.S. limitations against Iranian nationals are lifted," a Foreign Ministry statement said.

"The restrictions against travel by Muslims to America... are an open affront against the Muslim world and the Iranian nation in particular and will be known as a great gift to extremists," said the statement, carried by state media.

This has to be illegal but, in fact, reports Newsweek, the U.S. ban will make it virtually impossible for relatives and friends of an estimated one million Iranian-Americans to visit the United States.

Earlier on Saturday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said it was no time to build walls between nations and criticized steps towards canceling world trade agreements, without naming Trump.

Trump on Wednesday ordered the construction of a U.S.-Mexican border wall, a major promise during his election campaign, as part of a package of measures to curb illegal immigration.

Today is not the time to erect walls between nations. They have forgotten that the Berlin wall fell years ago," Rouhani said in a speech carried live on Iranian state television.

"To annul world trade accords does not help their economy and does not serve the development and blooming of the world economy," Rouhani told a tourism conference in Tehran. "This is the day for the world to get closer through trade."

The protectionist-minded Trump formally withdrew the United States from the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal on Monday, fulfilling a campaign pledge to end American involvement in the 2015 pact.

Rouhani, a pragmatist elected in 2013, thawed Iran's relations with world powers after years of confrontation and engineered its 2015 deal with them under which it curbed its nuclear programme in exchange for relief from sanctions.

(I'm sure we haven't heard the last of these retaliatory actions, as Rachel Maddow of MSNBC says, ..."watch this space".)

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Senator Corey Booker - only 7 days in office Trump is a repeated liar and propagandist

This Twitter exchange with Senator Corey Booker might entice those thinking about subscribing to become more involved in the exciting and fast paced 120 bite exchanges.

For the benefit of the timid social media users or those who abhor this method of communication altogether, perhaps this cut and paste exchange will ease your transition.

To be honest, not all comments on the exchange were suitable for family reading. Therefore, I did some serious triage, but included those that gave flavor to this particular Twitter conversation's trend. (Twitter is not for the timid.)
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Senator Corey Booker  Democrat from New Jersey on All in with Chris Hayes
Senator Corey Booker, the Democratic Senator of New Jersey, on "All in with Chris Hayes" in a Twitter conversation, some of which is pasted here for the benefit of those who are "Twitter averse":
Sen. Cory Booker: Trump "in only 7 days in office has proved himself to be a repeated liar and a propagandist."

(I removed the senders's handles to protect their identity but they are in the Twitter feed at this url:
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"All In" with Chris Hayes on MSNBC
Some of the responses to this story below: 

@allinwithchris @CoryBooker @MSNBC Remember: Booker stood against Sessions & has bravery to call Trump liar. Support him #resist
@allinwithchris @CoryBooker @MSNBC I could not possibly agree more with everything Senator Booker is saying at this time. DJT is a liar.

@ArgentinaPatito @allinwithchris @CoryBooker @MSNBC As is Spicer. Hard to say who lies more Conway or Trump.

@allinwithchris @Northquahog48 @CoryBooker / I applaud Senator Booker for calling #Trump what he is. A liar.

@allinwithchris @chrislhayes @CoryBooker @MSNBC - the only reason Dems should reach across the aisle is to put repubs in a straightjacket.

@soultraveler Maybe U want 2 Make these CEOS Richer,But I want 2 send them 2 the Unemployment line!#Healthcare Is a Right,NOT a Privilege!

allinwithchris @chrislhayes @CoryBooker @MSNBC start impeachment proceedings now

@allinwithchris @LarryWilson Good for you, Senator @CoryBooker, for your honesty! @MSNBC

@allinwithchris @chrislhayes @CoryBooker @MSNBC Please move for impeachment

"Maine Writer" purpose in posting this blog is to reinforce the transcending euphamisms for the word "lie".  Regardless of how a reader feels about Senator Booker, he as addressed at least one issue that the right wing is furious about, being the use of PC language. In the past, it was not "political correct" language to say "liar"; but thanks to the Trump cult's new world order, the word "liar" is now a popular way of saying "we support Donald Trump".  In other words, "liar" is now the euphemism for Trumpist right wing #alternative_facts #fake_news and of course #Spicerfacts

"PC" or not, the four letter word "liar" is a cozy fit in the 120 word Twitter allowable bites per post. Whew!  It's the right word for the Twitter universe plus! (wait! there's more!) most people understand what the word "liar" means, even if they can hardly even read.  

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Friday, January 27, 2017

Bullies and public health- Justice for All with Gary Haugen

" matter where you are in the world, no matter which country you’re in, people with power – whether political or police – tend to abuse it if they are not held accountable..."- Gary Haugen, leader of the International Justice Mission (IJM)
As a nurse, I found this article to be interesting on several public health topics: poverty, security, health and safety!

An excellent positive correlation between protecting public health and providing people with safety in the article "Justice for All", published in the February 2017, The Rotarian Magazine

by By Sallyann Price for The Rotarian

Link to a human trafficking website with more data

In 1994 Rwanda was reeling from the genocide of as many as 1 million people over 100 days, the apex of decades of civil conflict in the East African nation.
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Gary Haugen: The hidden reason for poverty the world needs to address now

Gary Haugen, then a young human rights attorney working for the U.S. Department of Justice, landed in Kigali to head a United Nations unit investigating the genocide and gathering evidence needed to prosecute the perpetrators for war crimes.

“There was basically no functioning government, Haugen recalls. “So much chaos is unleashed when there isn’t a civil authority exercising control. A lot of people tried to help, sending food and medicine and providing housing and education, but when it came to the problem of violence, very few people stepped up to that challenge.

Haugen established the International Justice Mission (IJM) in 1997 to address violence in developing countries. The organization has 17 field offices and works with local investigators to rescue victims of violence, support survivors, strengthen law enforcement, and bring violent criminals to justice. In his 2014 book, The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence, Haugen argues that the progress made in the global fight against poverty means little when citizens’ basic safety is threatened.

At the 2016 Rotary International Convention in Korea, Haugen talked to Rotarians about one of the most harmful forms of what he calls the “everyday violence affecting the world’s poorest people – forced labor, or slavery. “Slavery is not a relic of history," he said, noting that an estimated 35 million enslaved people are hidden in plain sight, all over the world, generating $150 billion in profits for traffickers who seldom face prosecution. “It’s vaster and more brutal than ever. And it’s more stoppable than ever.

Haugen sat down with contributor Sallyann Price in Seoul to talk about the importance of addressing violence and safety in development work.

The Rotarian: How are poverty and violence related?

Haugen: When people think about the world’s poorest people, they don’t usually think about violence. They think of hunger, disease, and a lack of education and job opportunities. But just as important is daily vulnerability to violence, and not necessarily the violence that makes headlines: war, genocide, mass atrocities.

The form of violence that is far more destructive is what we call everyday violence – that’s sexual violence, police abuse, land theft, and forced labor. On a daily basis, these types of violence make it very difficult for the common poor person to improve his or her situation. You can give all kinds of goods and services to alleviate poverty, but if you’re not able to restrain the hands of the bullies that have the power to take it all away, you won’t see the kind of progress you want.

Abuse of power is a very simple human dynamic. It’s what a kid will understand in the schoolyard: There’s the kid who’s stronger and bigger than everybody else, and he’s abusing that power to take something from the victim, whether it’s lunch money or possessions or just their dignity. You see the same dynamic in the adult world; it just manifests itself in more adult, violent ways over time and on a bigger scale.

TR: Your address to the Rotary Convention focused specifically on the issue of slavery. Why this message for this audience?

Haugen: We are in a moment in history when forces are coming together to make it possible to end slavery in our lifetime. For the first time, enslavement is completely against the law everywhere. It’s an ancient evil that still exists, but it’s no longer the center of the global economy.
Rotary International
Rotary has demonstrated a unique capacity to focus effort on a global problem that simply shouldn’t exist anymore. Look at the example of polio: We have a vaccine that works perfectly well and we agree that everyone should be safe from this disease, but there’s an access gap. Similarly, everyone should be safe from slavery, and no parent should have to worry about a child being enslaved. We know that a combination of effective law enforcement and excellent survivor support can measurably reduce slavery, and violence overall. Rotarians, in their work to end polio, have shown the kind of focus and determination we need to succeed in that struggle.

TR: How do you respond to scientist Steven Pinker? In his book The Better Angels of Our Nature, he argues that this is actually the least violent time in history.

Haugen: If you look at the broad scope of history, there is, on average, much less violence in our world today. That’s good news because it shows progress is possible. But think of the comparison with polio – fewer people are vulnerable to the disease, but does that mean we don’t finish the job? Like polio, the violence that remains in our world is more concentrated in the lives of the world’s poorest people.

Wealthier countries provide a measure of security and law enforcement on a public basis, but in the developing world, personal safety often means hiring private security. The world is now divided between those who can afford to pay for their own protection and the billions who are left in lawless chaos, experiencing extreme levels of violence.

TR: What role can more powerful members of society, like Rotarians, play in improving the situation?
Haugen: In much of the developing world, the public systems of justice are so broken that those with wealth and resources do not depend on them. Every culture debates the role of government and the range of services it should provide, but there should be no doubt that the most basic of those services is seeing to the security of its citizens. Those with the opportunity to lead must invest in public security so all citizens can enjoy that same safety.

It’s fascinating that the most common forms of violence in the developing world are almost always against the law already. The problem is not the absence of law, but the absence of law enforcement that protects everyone. That’s our focus at IJM.

TR: When did you first see this pattern?

Haugen: After I graduated from college, I lived in South Africa. The big issue at the time was the apartheid crisis. That’s where I started to see what it was like to live in a society of violent oppression and abuse. After law school, I went to work for the U.S. Department of Justice, where I worked specifically on the problem of police abuse in the United States. I started to see that no matter where you are in the world, no matter which country you’re in, people with power – whether political or police – tend to abuse it if they are not held accountable. I saw the particular problem of violence against the poor when I was sent to Rwanda in 1994 to direct the UN’s investigation into the genocide there. A lot of people tried to help, sending food and medicine and providing housing and education, but when it came to the problem of violence, very few people stepped up to that challenge. Slavery in this era strikes me as a similar issue: We are aware of it, we can stop it, and it is up to us to take that responsibility.

TR: How does IJM help a community plagued by violence?

Haugen: In many parts of the developing world, people have given up hope that law enforcement will ever protect the poor from violence. Our work demonstrates that it’s possible to change. The recovery of that hope is a game-changer.

We begin with what we call collaborative casework with the local authorities. We recruit a local team of lawyers, investigators, and social workers and start working on individual cases. As we try to bring the criminals to justice, we start to see the broken points in the criminal justice system.

When we begin working on a case, we pursue a baseline study to measure the prevalence of different types of violence and the performance of the police and the courts. Working from those two baselines, we can measure when the criminal justice system starts working better and violence decreases. Over hundreds of cases over many years, we’ve documented that it is possible to transform a broken law enforcement system into one that protects poor people effectively.

TR: How is that progress measured?

Haugen: One measure of success is the relative ease or difficulty of committing a particular crime. Cambodia is a great example. When we started working there 15 years ago, you could arrive in Phnom Penh and within an hour you could easily purchase a child for sex. That’s much harder to do now. Our project there focused on enhancing the criminal justice system’s capacity to send sex traffickers to jail, and we’ve seen hundreds of convictions since then. Our baseline study found that as many as 30 percent of commercial sex workers there were children. That figure is closer to 1 percent now. Also, because the Cambodian authorities are effectively enforcing the law, IJM is no longer needed. That’s our ultimate objective.

TR: How does IJM determine where to intervene?

HAUGEN: IJM uses a variety of criteria for assessing the location of a future project, including prevalence of crime and the political will of the government and local law enforcement to address crime. Because our model of justice system transformation centers on building capacity in the public justice systems of the countries and communities we’re working in, it is imperative that there be at least some desire to address the problem from within law enforcement.

TR: How can Rotary members help keep communities safe as they plan humanitarian aid projects in the developing world?

Haugen: Ask people what they need and connect with local groups addressing those needs. Since people are less likely to talk about violence, Rotary members should be very intentional about facilitating conversations to explore specific problems. Once you start the conversation and sharpen your focus on this issue, you start to see it over and over again.

Rotary is already raising the bar of excellence in terms of sustainability and accountability in its projects. But violence fights back in a way that is different from hunger or homelessness. If you take on violence, you may end up putting yourself on the line in some manner. The willingness to take on this challenge is a powerful message. 

Check the website: Polaris- freedom happens now

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A truth in using the word "lie"

In the "PC" world (the language ahbored- with extreme repugnance- by right wing extremists because they don'tunderstand the words), the three letter "lie word" was hardly ever used because it was like a profanity for many in the print media.  But, finally, our main stream media realizes the "truth"- a lie by any other name is still a "lie" and "The Big Lie" is being thrust upon us by non other than our unhinged American president.

"Rarely are these words...applied directly to something said by a president", Dan Barry in The New York Times.
Columnist Dan Barry

The New York Times reports;
In a Swirl of ‘Untruths’ and ‘Falsehoods,’ Calling a Lie a LieWords matter.

And from the moment he became president, Donald J. Trump has unleashed so many words of consequence that the public has barely had time to parse their full implication. 

Words about the dishonest media, the end of Obamacare, the construction of that border wall with Mexico — this is an abbreviated list, and he hasn’t even completed his first week in office.

Amid the verbal deluge, President Trump this week repeated an assertion he made shortly after his election: that millions of ballots cast illegally by undocumented immigrants cost him the popular vote. If true, this would suggest the wholesale corruption of American democracy.

Not to worry: As far as anyone knows, the president’s assertion is akin to saying that millions of unicorns also voted illegally.(Nevertheless, Trump is using tax dollars to validate an un-provable conspiracy theory!)

But such a baseless statement by a president challenged the news media to find the precise words to describe it. This will be a recurring challenge, given President Trump’s habit of speaking in sales-pitch hyperbole and his tendency to deride any less-than-flattering report as “fake news.”

The words needed to be exactly right. “And the language has a rich vocabulary for describing statements that fall short of the truth,” said Geoffrey Nunberg, a linguist who teaches at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Information. “They’re ‘baseless,’ they’re ‘bogus,’ they’re ‘lies,’ they’re ‘untruths.’”

Rarely are these words, each with its own nuance, applied directly to something said by a president, though others have also dissembled (like Bill Clinton on whether he had sex with an intern). “This is the very unique situation that we find ourselves in as journalists and as a country,” said Joshua Benton, the director of the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University. “We have an administration that seems to be asserting a right to its own facts and doesn’t seem to be able to produce evidence to back those claims.”

Still, carefully chosen words can capture that. “A whole vocabulary has come bubbling up that would not have been used five years ago,” Mr. Nunberg said in an interview. “People are going to have to sit down and decide: Are we going to want to go over the moral consequences of telling an untruth? The mere fact of it being untrue? Or the fact that it’s bogus, baseless or groundless?”

Some news organizations used words like “falsely” or “wrongly” — adverbs that tend to weaken the impact — in framing what the president said. Some used “with no evidence,” or “won’t provide any proof,” or “unverified claims,” or “repeats debunked claim.”

The New York Times, though, ultimately chose more muscular terminology, opting to use the word “lie” in the headline. After initially using the word “falsely,” it switched to “lie” online and then settled on “Meeting With Top Lawmakers, Trump Repeats an Election Lie” for Tuesday’s print edition.

People noticed, and debated its use. That is because, from the childhood schoolyard to the grave, this is a word neither used nor taken lightly. It stands apart from most other terms in the linguistic ballpark of untruths, including “falsehood,” which Chuck Todd, the host of “Meet the Press,” recently used to counter the Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway’s Orwellian phrase, “alternative facts.”

To say that someone has “lied,” an active verb, or has told a “lie,” a more passive, distancing noun, is to say that the person intended to deceive. In addition, Mr. Nunberg said, “a certain moral opprobrium attaches to it, a reprehensibility of motive.”

The question of intent has informed National Public Radio’s approach to covering Mr. Trump’s many disputable claims: that he saw thousands of people in Jersey City cheering as the World Trade Center collapsed on Sept. 11, for example, or that the news media had made up a feud between him and the country’s intelligence agencies, despite his own tweets likening those agencies to Nazi Germany.

On NPR’s “Morning Edition” on Wednesday, Mary Louise Kelly explained that she had looked up the definition of “lie” in the Oxford English Dictionary. “A false statement made with intent to deceive,” Ms. Kelly said. “Intent being the key word there. Without the ability to peer into Donald Trump’s head, I can’t tell you what his intent was. I can tell you what he said and how that squares, or doesn’t, with facts.”

Michael Oreskes, NPR’s senior president for news, supported the decision. In an article on the NPR website, Mr. Oreskes said that “the minute you start branding things with a word like ‘lie,’ you push people away from you.” The inherent risk, he suggested, was that news organizations would be seen as taking sides.

Editors at The Times also consulted dictionaries. And they had some prior experience with the matter, having approved the use of the L word once before in reference to Mr. Trump.

In September, when he grandly announced the findings of a years long so-called investigation into what nearly everyone else never doubted — “President Obama was born in the United States, period” — The Times published a Page 1 article with the headline “Trump Gives Up a Lie but Refuses to Repent.”

Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The Times, said that he learned of Mr. Trump’s latest comments in a text message from an editor on Monday night. After consulting with other top editors, he decided that the use of “lie” was warranted.

For Mr. Baquet, the question of intent was resolved, given that Mr. Trump had made the same assertion two months earlier through his preferred mode of communication, the tweet: “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.”

(Nota bene: The tweet actually contains what might be considered two untruths — or falsehoods, or erroneous assertions, or bogus claims — since Mr. Trump’s victory was no landslide, but among the closer elections in American history- he lost the popular vote!)

Mr. Baquet said he fully understood the gravity of using the word “lie,” whether in reference to an average citizen or to the president of the United States. He emphasized that it should be used sparingly, partly because the term carries such negative connotations, and partly so that it does not lose potency.

“On the other hand, we should be letting people know in no uncertain terms that it’s untrue,” Mr. Baquet said, referring to the president’s assertion of a voter-fraud epidemic. “He repeated it without a single grain of evidence, and it’s a very powerful statement about the electoral system.”

Mr. Baquet said that emails from readers seemed split on the appropriateness of the word’s use. Meanwhile, Mr. Benton, of the Nieman Journalism Lab, applauded its use as a noun in the Times headline (“Trump Repeats an Election Lie”); in this construction, he said, “the lie can exist as a reality distinct from the speaker’s intention.”

Over all, the tension between the Trump administration and much of the mainstream media is — what’s the word?

Troubling, according to Sara Brady, a crisis-communications specialist based in Florida. She says that a complete breakdown of the already fractious relationship affects everyone.

“The media run the risk of being disrespectful to the president of the United States,” she said. “But the problem is: If he doesn’t get called out in some way, we as Americans are never going to know what’s true and what’s not.”

In other words: Words matter.
Maine Writer analysis - I looked up the word "lie" too; guess what? It is what it is and Donald Trump's intent to lie would be arguable, except he deliberately directs his staff to "lie" in support of his delusions. Indeed, look up the word "truth" in the dictionary.

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

Trump around the world - Down Under news perspective

"Trump himself was barking at the moon at the CIA's Langley headquarters on Saturday."- George McGeough in Syndey
two wolves howling at the moon
Donald Trump tried in vain to upstage the highly successful Womens March imagery when he spoke at the "staged for TV photo op" in the CIA's sacred foyer in Langley VA

Repubicans don't realize how America's international reputation is tarnished by the buffoonery of Donald Trump's incompetent leadership.  Well, that's probably "alternative fact", like Kelly Anne Conway is fond of saying.  In fact, Republicans do realize how their unhinged leader is a buffoon but they obviously don't care. Rather, it's power first, political ambition second and "they don't care" third.

Here's what The Sydney Morning Herald reported by George McGeough

WashingtonDC: Donald Trump's ego might dwarf Uluru, a national park in the Australian Outback, but he's exceedingly thin-skinned.

However, Trump's bludgeoning of the news media is (revenge) for their accurate reporting on the puny crowd that turned out for his inauguration - the small crowd was may be just a third of those who poured into the streets of the capital for Saturday's women's protest against his election.

We're familiar with the new President's obsession about any numbers that speak to his sense of his own greatness - rally crowds, polling and TV ratings. And his bilious contempt for those that don't. Trump does not respond well to the words "smaller than" and "Trump" appearing in the same sentence.

Here are some interesting international media links:
Lower turnout and protests usher in Trump's divided state of America

Sean Spicer's denial of the truth gives birth to #SpicerFacts meme

But there's enough data now to state unambiguously that his inauguration crowd was markedly smaller than either of those for Barack Obama - in 2009 and in 2013.

Photographs and video analysis by crowd size experts, reported by The New York Times, suggests Trump's inauguration crowd was 160,000 - just a fraction of Trump's estimate of up to 1.5 million.

The experts estimate the 470,000 participated in the women's march in DC. And when attendance at similar marches in other US states are thrown in, the total protest is estimated to have included from one million to 2.6 million people.

That makes them the biggest protests since the Vietnam War; and in anyone's language, a passionate pushback to a new presidency.

The DC metro service said on Sunday that Saturday's women's march was the second busiest day in its history - more than 1 million passenger trips. It fell just short of the 1.1 million trips taken on the day of Obama's first inauguration in 2009.

Figures reported by Politifact make the Trump inauguration the most poorly attended in more than 20 years. Here are the figures:

  • Obama 2009 - 1.8 million
  • Obama 2013 - 1 million
  • Bush 2001 - 300,000
  • Bush 2005 - 400,000
  • Clinton 1993 - 800,000
  • Clinton 1997 - 250,000.
Trump can't pretend to be surprised. 

In fact, he knew that he lost the popular vote by a good 3 million votes; that he squeaked through the Electoral College thanks to just a handful of votes in three states; and that, historically, he's the least popular incoming president ever. (Maine Writer- the Electorals did not do their job as envisioned by the writers of the US Constitution they should have voted for the qualified candidate Hillary Clinton, but they, sadly, did not.)

And he can't erase the facts that the Russian hacking and the FBI's weird intervention late in the campaign took some of the wind out of Hillary Clinton's campaign sails, thereby leaving many questioning the legitimacy of his "greatest win ever".

A smart man, after the inauguration, might have sucked it all up and rolled up his sleeves to get to work making America great again. For months, Trump has been belting us around the ears with his Day One "to-do" list and his First 100 Days agenda; and, last week, aides claimed breathlessly that he had stockpiled 200 executive orders that were good to go - all they needed was Trump's signature.

It was a given that he would be peeved about the crowd reports. But instead of Trump getting it out of his system with an early hours Twitterstorm, the manner in which key members of his team jumped into the trenches to maul the media suggests a pre-planned barrage intended to damage media integrity.

Trump himself was barking at the moon at the CIA's Langley headquarters on Saturday.

Utterly insensitive to the fact that his backdrop was a memorial to CIA agents who had died in the line of duty, he rambled, from assuring his audience their new commander-in-chief was the full quid: "Trust me, I'm, like, a smart person"; to his fame - he had made the cover of Time magazine 15 times, but football star Tom Brady had made it just once.

Openly stating that he was "at war" with the media, he gave his take on Friday's crowd: "We had a massive field of people. You saw that. Packed.

"I get up this morning. I turn on one of the networks and they show an empty field. I say: 'Wait a minute. I made a speech. I looked out. The field was ... It looked like a million, a million and a half people.' … And they said: 'Donald Trump did not draw well.' "

That's what you'd expect from Trump. But later his newly minted presidential spokesman Sean Spicer harangued reporters in a briefing. It's worth recalling here that, on being appointed earlier this month, Spicer assured reporters: "I've never lied … if you lose the respect and trust of the press corps, you've got nothing."

Spicer told the briefing: "Yesterday, at a time when our nation and the world was watching the peaceful transition of power and, as the President said, the transition and the balance of power from Washington to the citizens of the United States, some members of the media were engaged in deliberately false reporting.

"This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration - period - both in person and around the globe. These attempts to lessen the enthusiasm for the inauguration are shameful and wrong."

It brought to mind Saddam Hussein's hapless spokesman Comical Ali, who bizarrely insisted to reporters that Baghdad was safely in the hands of the dictator in 2003 - even as live TV pictures showed that the city had been captured.

Spicer lied demonstrably about the size of the crowd; the numbers that rode the DC metro; the use of magnetometers in security checks which he claimed had stopped people getting in; in claiming that this was the first time that floor covering had been used, which he said accentuated empty space (the coverings were used at Obama's 2013 inauguration).

It was an inauspicious start for a spokesman who claims to not lie and it earned him four Pinocchios from Glenn Kessler, The Washington Post's fact checker.

Next into the fray was Trump's White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, who accused the press of attempting to delegitimise Trump. "It's really not about crowd size. It's really about honesty in the media," he told Fox News.

But what Priebus really meant became clear when Trump's former campaign manager and White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway was interviewed on NBC on Sunday morning.

Tackling her on Spicer's loony performance the previous day, host Chuck Todd wanted her to explain the absurdity of Spicer being sent before the cameras to argue what Todd said were "provable falsehoods".

At first Conway deflected: "I don't think presidents are judged by crowd sizes, they're judged by accomplishments."

Todd: "Fair enough, so why lie?"

Conway: "You're saying it's a falsehood, and Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts."

Todd, clearly flabbergasted: "Alternative fact are not facts. They're falsehoods."

So on top of fake news, we now have alternative facts.

George Orwell didn't know the half of it, did he? But with Obama and Clinton off his radar, Trump is making very clear that the media is his next biggest enemy - and it must be discredited, if not destroyed.

Conway was on the same page as Trump surrogate Scottie Nell Hughes who, during the campaign, made this breathtaking statement on National Public Radio: "One thing that's been interesting this campaign season to watch is that people that say facts are facts — they're not really facts. Everybody has a way - it's kind of like looking at ratings or looking at a glass of half-full water. Everybody has a way of interpreting them to be the truth or not true. There's no such thing, unfortunately anymore, of facts."

Evan McMullin, who ran for the presidency as a conservative candidate, put it this way: "[Trump's attacks are] intended to destroy the media's ability to hold him accountable."

These are dangerous days for the mainstream media. Many have struggled since the advent of the internet, which wrecked their traditional business model, and to the extent that they survive financially, budgets are hopelessly tight. Now there is a new existential crisis as the integrity of their reporting comes under a new and relentless attack from social media, led by the President of the United States.

Yes, Trump won the election (i.e. the Electors votes). But if a million or more Americans took to the streets of cities across the country on Saturday, it might mean that he has a bigger fight on his hands - especially if he does want to destroy the American news media.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Kino Missions - sadly waiting for refuge

Kino Border Initiative: 
Father Sean Carroll sj, Executive Director
  • Participation in collaborative networks that engage in research and advocacy to transform local, regional, and national immigration policies.
It's absolutely beyond belief and tragic to know that tens of thousands of refugees are trying to enter the United States, but are bottle necked for processing, detained and often rejected at the US Mexican border, just because they are seeking a better way of life. These people have not been engaged in crimes. In fact, they desperately want to work, but the US immigration policy is now clamping down on all of them, without  a consistent triage system for their humanitarian needs. It's a cruel Donald Trump right wing policy, rooted in selfishness, and protectionism and shouldn't be tolerated by any Americans.  Nevertheless, the news media isn't allowed to freely publish their plight because right wing Republican governors don't want Americans to know what's happening on their international borders with Mexico. Therefore, we live with our heads buried, not knowing the immigration indignities being suffered by refugees.  

What I don't understand is how this can be allowed when the Mexicans and the Hispanics who live in Central America are among our First Nations groups? In other words, although these desperate people are not Native Americans, the fact is they were invaded by the ambitious Spanish and their heritage dates back thousands of  years. 

My friend Father John Michalowski, sj, visited the Kino Missions where refugees are awaiting processing for immigration.  It's tragic to know how Donald Trump is now cutting funding for these humanitarian programs just because he can.

Father John lives and works in Charlotte, North Carolina. This is what he wrote:
Father John Michalowski sj with Julie (Maine Writer) 
Topsham Maine

Social Justice is an area that I have time to concentrate on (in Charlotte).  In the fall of 2016, four of us from the parish went to Nogales, in Arizona and to Nogales, in Mexico, to visit the Kino Border Initiative.  Nogales is a major place from the deportation of illegal immigrants and those whose asylum petitions have been rejected. People are loaded on buses from various for-profit detention centers and driven to Mexico where they go through a people version of a cattle-0shoot, into Mexican customs. They are processed there and then taken to the Kino-run comedor, what we would cal a soup-kitchen. They, there are greeted with dignity, given something to eat, given regular clothes, rather than detention -clothing and they can call their families. Some have been in the US for over a decade. Some were brought as children and their main language is English. Some left spouses an children and jobs behind. Those who are escaping the gang violence and the world's highest murder rates in Central America are mostly turned down for refugee status because American law only recognized refugees from war or political or religious or ethnic persecution.  We need a better system than we have for immigration and processing of these people. AT least, those without felonies should be allowed to get work permits so that their families are not broken up.  Most are doing jobs that few Americans want to do. On another note, over sixty members of the parish were involved in a discussion of cultural racism with members of a Catholic African American parish in Charlotte this past weekend.  Some of the stories were both sad and frightening. Clearly, our society has a long way to go. Enough progress has not been made.  
Peace and joy in the Lord, John

Epilogue from Maine Writer- The desperate refugees and asylum seekers have a recourse. They can assemble, en masse, by the thousands and storm the border.  In so doing, they would set up a video similar to what Native Americans are doing when their lands are being trampled by capitalists.  Mexicans and Hispanics from Central America are First Nations peoples, at least in my mind they are. They deserve to have access to their own country, border or not. It's the right thing to do. 

Donald Trump's mother was a Scottish immigrant. One would like to think that his public policy towards immigration should honor her memory.

The Kino Border Initiative (KBI) is a binational organization that works in the area of migration and is located in Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. The KBI was inaugurated in January of 2009 by six organizations from the United States and Mexico: The California Province of the Society of Jesus, Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, the Missionary Sisters of the Eucharist, the Mexican Province of the Society of Jesus, the Diocese of Tucson and the Archdiocese of Hermosillo. The KBI’s vision is to help make humane, just, workable migration between the U.S. and Mexico a reality. Its mission is to promote US/Mexico border and immigration policies that affirm the dignity of the human person and a spirit of bi-national solidarity through:

  • Direct humanitarian assistance and accompaniment with migrants;
  • Social and pastoral education with communities on both sides of the border;
  • Participation in collaborative networks that engage in research and advocacy to transform local, regional, and national immigration policies.

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