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Monday, August 21, 2017

Trump doesn’t condemn racism – he instigates it

No automatic alt text available.Trump’s unwillingness to denounce the white supremacists who came to Charlottesville bent on violence has been part of his political strategy from the start.

Remember, weeks after he began his campaign by alleging that Mexican immigrants were criminals and rapists, two brothers in Boston beat up and urinated on a 58-year-old homeless Mexican national, subsequently telling police “Donald Trump was right, all these illegals need to be deported.”

Instead of condemning the brutality, Trump excused it by saying “people who are following me are very passionate. They love this country and they want this country to be great again.”

During campaign rallies Trump repeatedly excused brutality toward protesters. “You know what they used to do to guys like that when they were in a place like this? They’d be carried out on a stretcher, folks.”

After white supporters punched and attempted to choke a Black Lives Matter protester, Trump said “maybe he should have been roughed up.”

Business as usual: Nazis, good or bad?

For more cartoons by Tom Tomorrow, CLICK HERE.

One of those "beautiful" monuments Trump wants to preserve

For more information on this "beautiful monument," CLICK HERE.

Trump busts the Secret Service

Donald Trump has been wasting taxpayer dollars on his personal vacations, protection for his giant golden tower in New York, security at his golf clubs, and pretty much everything else you can imagine ever since he assumed office.

But if you needed an example of how bad things are…we can’t even afford to pay the Secret Service agents protecting him anymore.

CNBC reports that more than 1,000 agents have “already hit the federally mandated caps for salary and overtime allowances that were meant to last the entire year” thanks to the “crushing workload” Donald Trump has brought them.
The compensation crunch is so serious that the director has begun discussions with key lawmakers to raise the combined salary and overtime cap for agents, from $160,000 per year to $187,000 for at least the duration of Trump’s first term.
But even if such a proposal was approved, about 130 veteran agents would not be fully compensated for hundreds of hours already amassed, according to the agency.
“I don’t see this changing in the near term,” Alles said.

TODAY: Free Trees Available To Homeowners This Fall

Registration for popular program that helps save energy, money opens August 21st

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is teaming up once again with the Arbor Day Foundation, Rhode Island Tree Council, and the Rhode Island Nursery and Landscape Association to give away 1,000 trees as part of the State's Energy-Saving Trees Program. 

The Program helps homeowners conserve energy and reduce utility costs while beautifying their neighborhood.

"We're excited to join with the Arbor Day Foundation and our local partners again this fall to offer free trees to Rhode Islanders," said DEM Director Janet Coit. 

"This program is extremely popular and most trees are spoken for within days of registration opening - so be sure to register early! Planting a tree is a great way for homeowners to reduce their monthly expenses while promoting a healthier environment and creating a beautiful memory with their families."

Gutting public education for fun and profit

Betsy DeVos’s ‘School Choice’ Is Really Crony Capitalism
Jeff Bryant

Image result for School Choice’ Is Really Crony CapitalismU.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos says she supports “great public schools,” but her actions continue to show her hypocrisy on that subject.

Her recent trip to Michigan, her home state, offers yet more proof of the real focus of her leadership – and it isn’t about supporting public schools.

Whose STEM?

During her visit to a Michigan community college, reporters questioned DeVos on her support for public school teacher training and professional development programs.

The school, Grand Rapids Community College, offers an extensive array of education courses to prepare new teachers and help veteran faculty grow their instructional skills. 

Reporters couldn’t help but point out that President Trump’s budget has proposed massive cuts to teacher training programs, including eliminating $2.4 billion in funding for Title II, the third-largest federal K-12 program in the country.

Nevertheless, DeVos told reporters, “President Trump and I are very big proponents of continuing to support teachers and develop teachers.”

Sunday, August 20, 2017

It’s Not About ‘White Culture’

There's no way to march with KKK members and Nazi flags in a non-hateful way.
Image result for charlottesville protest“I came to this march for the message that white European culture has a right to be here just like every other culture,” a white nationalist protester in Charlottesville told Newsweek. But, he claimed, he’s “not an angry racist.”

White nationalists often use this messaging. They claim they aren’t racists; they just want to celebrate white European culture and heritage.

What’s unreasonable about that, they say? Shouldn’t every group of people be allowed to celebrate their own culture?

There are two problems here.

One is historical baggage. History doesn’t have many examples of people innocently “celebrating white European culture,” but it does have an awful lot of examples of ugly and sometimes violent racism perpetrated by white people of European descent. Slavery. Jim Crow. Lynchings. Hitler.

That isn’t to say that Americans of European heritage don’t have a culture to celebrate. Not at all.

They just generally celebrate it based on national traditions and not in a generic, pan-white-people sort of way. You might celebrate Irish culture on St. Patrick’s Day, for example. Or you could celebrate French culture on Bastille Day with French wine and food.

In America, we celebrate the Fourth of July with fireworks and Thanksgiving with turkey. But these holidays are for all Americans, not just the white ones.

America has never been a white country. It was once entirely populated with Native Americans. Then the first Europeans arrived, and they soon brought the first enslaved Africans. 

All of those groups, as well as all of the people who followed later, contributed to making our country and our culture what it is today.

Second, the goal of “celebrating white European culture” is a thinly veiled lie.

It’s a lie because the marchers were carrying Nazi flags, flags associated with the genocide of 6 million Jews and countless others the Nazis wanted to remove from humanity’s gene pool.

Trump to the rescue

For more cartoon by Mike Luckovich, CLICK HERE.

Recap of yesterday's Boston protests

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Crank the AC, cut in-car pollution

Engineers show how to best reduce pollution exposure during commutes
By Erika Ebsworth-Goold  Washington University School of Engineering & Applied Science

Image result for auto air conditioningFor many, the commute to and from work is a lengthy, stressful process. According to the U.S.  Census Bureau, it takes the average American about 26½ minutes to get to work.

That’s nearly an hour each day — to work and back — to face traffic snarls and congested highways. 

That commute can also be hazardous to your health, exposing drivers to an increased amount of air pollutants that have been linked to a whole host of medical maladies, including cardiovascular disease, respiratory issues and even lung cancer.

After conducting a new research approach using actual commutes, a group of engineers at Washington University in St. Louis discovered a simple shift in driving habits can help to reduce those risks while out on the road.

Trump's Week Fifty in Review

Feds award $8 million to URI to study drinking water pollutants

Emphasis on Fluorinated pollutants
Related imageNonstick cookware and firefighting foam are miles apart in their purpose, but they have one disquieting characteristic in common. Both products are made with chemicals that could be contaminating drinking water and posing a human health hazard.

Fluorinated pollutants, or poly- and perfluorinated alkyl substances, have been used for more than 60 years in a variety of items; still, studies of the chemicals are limited and conflicted.

Now the University of Rhode Island is moving into the forefront of research institutions committed to revealing more about the pollutants. URI has received an $8 million federal grant to research how these industrial compounds, also used in rain-proofing fabrics and food packaging, get into water supplies and harm humans, who are likely to come in contact with the chemicals daily.

The five-year grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences establishes URI as part of a national network of Superfund Research Program centers with Rainer Lohmann, a professor at the Graduate School of Oceanography and an expert in marine pollutants, as director. 


Foreign Investment and America First
By Phil Mattera for the Dirt Diggers Digest

Related image
Foxconn: electronic sweatshop?
Donald Trump has built an image as a champion of workers by fomenting fear of immigrants. Get rid of the foreign-born, he vows, and native workers will prosper.

What’s odd is that this misguided notion is coupled with an embrace of foreign corporations. The administration’s America First economic policy relies to a substantial degree on promoting investment from abroad.

Many of Trump’s supposed job creation achievements have involved Asian companies. Soon after the election Trump claimed that Japan’s SoftBank had promised to invest $50 billion in the United States and create 50,000 jobs.

Soon thereafter, Trump and Chinese mogul Jack Ma vowed that the latter’s Alibaba e-commerce empire would create 1 million U.S. jobs.

In June, Samsung said it would open an appliance plant in South Carolina.

More recently, Japanese automakers Toyota and Mazda said they would jointly build a $1.6 billion U.S. assembly plant with 4,000 jobs.

With the blessing of the White House, Taiwan’s Foxconn announced plans for a $10 billion flat-screen plant in Wisconsin (probably in the Congressional district of Speaker Paul Ryan) that would purportedly employ up to 13,000 people. Foxconn is reported to be considering another plant in Michigan.

While these announcements are presented as a boon to American workers, there are reasons to be cautious. Companies such as Foxconn have made big promises in the U.S. before and failed to deliver.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Dems denounce Trump defense of racism and Nazis. Republicans don’t.

By Bob Plain in Rhode Island’s Future

Rhode Island Democrats castigated President Donald Trump for equating protesting white supremacy with advocating for white supremacy after a racism rally in Charlottesville, Virginia turned violent and left one woman dead and many others injured.

“The United States fought against Nazis and fascism in World War II.  Over 400,000 Americans gave their lives in that fight,” said Senator Jack Reed. “President Trump failed to do the right thing and remember that sacrifice and why Nazis, bigotry, and white supremacists can have no place in our country.  The President of the United States is the leader of the free world and should serve as a symbol for what is best about America.  It is time for him to stop excusing white supremacists and start working to bring Americans together in the fight against racism and intolerance.”

Senator Sheldon Whitehouse said, “The Greatest Generation fought, bled and died to defeat the Nazi flag that flew in Charlottesville this weekend.  Instead of flatly condemning these monsters of the past, the President equivocated and blows dog whistles to the bigots of the alt-right.  Bigotry and hatred are not the lights of our nation’s future, and those who champion those ideas are a stain on our democracy.”

Rural character

Playing the Country Card
For more cartoons by Jen Sorenson, CLICK HERE.