Thursday, September 14, 2017
Friday, September 1, 2017
Climate Change, Baby Powder Threat, Cuba Exile Excoriates Trump in Art and Words, South Sudan Journalist’s Death, Comey Lecture Series, Arpaio Pardon, Emoluments, Hunger Strike for Immigrants, Artificial Wombs
So unprecedented torrential rains, floods, and hurricane force winds in east Texas three years in a row are not “climate change,” but “fake news,” according to Trump, whose administration proposes cuts to FEMA and Environmental Protection budgets? Facts on the ground may eclipse Trumpian spin and affect those elected officials still loyal to his pronouncements. Let them change their tune or be defeated at the polls. Of course, some will still say the Texas flooding was an act of God and had nothing to do with human activity, perhaps punishment for approving gay marriage and taking down Confederate statues? Meanwhile, Hispanic construction workers will be needed to re-build, so time to go easy on deportations. Trump’s threat to shut down the government contrasts with his pledge to provide flood damage relief so that the storm may have had a silver lining after all.
Just talked with Betio, a former Honduran environmental activist for whom I helped gain asylum here. He moved with his family from the DC area to Houston, but, he says, in the outskirts, a little elevated, and water has not actually entered into their house. He and his sons expect to be able to go back to work in construction by next Tues. and there's a lot of work for them to do!
This item below looks like Betsy DeVos’s doing:
With North Korea’s provocative missile launch over Japan, can the world and our country afford allow Donald Trump to have his finger on the nuclear trigger? Let’s hope that more sober folks are babysitting him on this.
With a large jury award going to a woman who blames her apparently terminal ovarian cancer on the use of baby powder, some mothers are wondering about the safety of baby powder for their babies. Counter-intuitive as it may seem, apparently it is possible for flecks of powder to migrate up through the genital tract into the ovaries and other areas, but there is no proof if that happens that the powder can cause cancer. It also seems likely that the powder could be inhaled—certainly it smells good. Given the concern, pediatricians have advised mothers not to use powder, to use a cream or Vaseline if necessary, or just to leave a baby’s bottom bare, as is done in rural Honduras. A photo of a bare-bottomed toddler is shown on p. 136 of my book Triumph & Hope. That way the child also learns to potty-train him or herself.
Here’s a guy who has done a number of anti-Trump TIME covers. He left with the Mariel boatlift like my late foster son Alex Lopez.
I fled despotism in Cuba. Now I’m fighting it in America.
By Edel Rodriguez August 25, 2017, Washington Post
Criticize Venezuela dictatorship but mum on Cuba? That’s political hypocrisy. BY ANDRÉS OPPENHEIMER http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/news-columns-blogs/andres-oppenheimer/article170268522.html
Cuba does not seem to be a priority for Trump; he is leaving it to some of his advisers. He should do that with almost everything and not activate his tweeting finger or open his mouth on any issue. Then we might get some sanity and predictability in the government. I'm sure the Cuban government is wary of him and now, with the problems in Venezuela, is trying to hold things together without being too confrontational. After so many years and after Fidel's death, especially when Cuba's influence on Venezuela is viewed negatively, the Cuban regime doesn't have the worldwide support it once enjoyed. Russia and China are giving some economic aid, but have not been loudly touting the virtues of the Cuban Revolution. Of course, Trump put his foot in his mouth by threatening a "military option" in Venezuela.
Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Stephen from Nigeria just sent me this photo from late July of us on "graduation day" at GAO with the director there.
I have been busy in my role as Amnesty Int’l USA in writing asylum support letters for both DR and Cuba asylum applicants, the
Friday, August 11, 2017
First Day at New School, Memoriam for Anna Adams, Benghazi, Anyone? What about Monica? Democrats—Get a Grip!
Another stateside visitor was Anna, whom I hadn’t seen since we were teenagers together in Colombia. After almost 50 years apart, we hardly recognized each other, but with our first embrace, it was like old times again. Valiant Anna, who still remembered Spanish, joined me on a medical brigade to La Ceiba, where a child’s father admired her beautiful blue eyes and begged her to marry him despite being already married, a rather minor detail.
On a side trip, Anna and I passed by some spikey pineapple fields en route to a mountaintop resort, Pico Bonito, where wild monkeys and toucans chattered overhead, then visited a Garífuna fishing village called Sambo Creek, and ended up eating at a Ceiba watering hole called Expatriates’ Bar. Next day, at a butterfly farm set among fragrant-blossomed orange trees, a crested lizard darted across our path, black birds with yellow wings flitted up to high-hanging nests, and flocks of wild parakeets chirped noisily overhead. We sampled bitter cocoa fruit and seeds, scarcely resembling processed chocolate.