Earth’s greatest curse:

Posted by Tom Camfield

THE FIXATIONS OF DONALD TRUMP are many. They have left him pretty much despised around the world. They include an ego of undeserved proportions, defamation of anyone who has been more popular then he or threatens to gain more positive attention than he (Obama, Hillary, all likely 2020 election opponents), belittlement of anyone who calls him out on lies (the news media, knowledgeable scientific and financial experts), maintaining a dominant white race. Through it all, he works non-stop to convince the world that he is, rather than a selfish narcissistic individual of average intellect, the heroic genius he has created of himself in his fantasy universe.

Bellowing “fake news,” name-calling, lying and evasion seem to be his major accomplishments. Donald gave us a “tax reform” benefitting the wealthy that added a couple of trillion dollars to the federal debt, raised the 2019 defense budget by $82 billion over 2017 (to a current total of $716,000,000,000)—then makes a big show of nickel-and-dime savings of a few millions here or a few millions there that merely add to the suffering and death-rate for many millions at home and abroad. He is “saving” little beyond polluting industry and a class society.

He has scorned NATO (the main peace-keeping force in Europe since World War II) while pandering imperialistic Russia and bad-mouthing the European Union, dismissed primarily black nations as “s—hole countries,” hamstrung United Nations peace-keeping and aid programs, waged an all-out battle against Hispanic immigrants—even insulted Canada just to keep in practice.

That’s how it looks to me. I have here just a few of the many headlines that show the news in its reality and how Donald is recreating the world in his own image:

Feb. 2, 2015—“Obama budget to include $1 billion for Central America.” Obama’s budget for fiscal 2016 included this $1 billion fund to assist the governments of Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador in addressing epidemic levels of insecurity and violence, poor governance and lack of economic opportunities driving migration from the region.

March 13, 2017—“Trump wants UN funds cut more than 50 percent.” Hardest hit by such cuts would be peacekeeping, the UN development fund and UNICEF (International Children’s Emergency Fund). Effects on the World Food Programme and UN refugee operations were not clear, as they are administered by the Agriculture Department.

May 28, 2017—“U.N. says Trump budget cuts would ‘make it impossible’ to do its job.” The United Nations said the proposed 2018 budget, which would reduce State Department funding by about 1/3 and foreign assistance by 29%) “would simply make it impossible for the U.N. to continue all of its essential work advancing peace, development, human rights and humanitarian assistance.”

Dec. 21, 2017—“Trump threatens to cut aid to countries over UN Jerusalem vote.” Donald threatened to withhold “billions” of dollars of US aid from countries that voted in favor of a United Nations resolution rejecting his personal recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. (Bullying, blackmail, petulance . . . you name it.)

July 11, 2018—“FACT CHECK: Trump’s claims on NATO spending.” Donald had been continuing charges that other NATO counties were deadbeat free-loaders taking advantage of the U.S. Continuing to make it up as he goes along, he said: “Many countries owe us a tremendous amount of money from many years back, where they’re delinquent as far as I’m concerned, because the United States has had to pay for them. so if you go back 10 or 20 years, you’ll just add it all up. It’s massive amounts of money is owed.”

FALSE—The U. S. has not been stiffed for unpaid bills by NATO allies, as the article goes on to explain in great detail. “There is no ledger that maintains accounts of what countries pay and owe . . . NATO is not like a club with annual membership dues.”

July 25, 2018—“After Trump cuts aid, U.N. relief agency lays of staff in Gaza and West Bank.” This was an initial cut of several hundred million by Donald. The UN Relief and Works Agency was forced to lay off more than 250 Palestinian employees, while 580 others were moved to part time.

Aug. 26, 2018—“Trump cuts $200 million in aid to Palestinians.” The Trump administration already had cut aid the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA) from $360 million to $60 million. “We pay the Palestinians HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS a year and get no appreciation or respect,” said Donald. “They don’t want to talk peace,” he said dismissively on behalf of Israel.

Sept. 7, 2018—The Trump administration announced further cuts, a planned $25 million to cover cancer treatments and other critical care for Palestinians at six Jerusalem hospitals, some church run.

FYI—“To date, the United States has provided Israel $134.7 BILLION (current, or non-inflation-adjusted, dollars) in bilateral assistance and missile defense funding. Almost all U.S. bilateral aid to Israel is in the form of military assistance, although in the past Israel also received significant economic assistance.” About the same time Donald was making a $200 million cut in aid to Palestine, he was adding the same amount to the existing annual payout to Israel for military aid.

Doesn’t seem to me quite the way to get Palestinians to talk peace. More like just another arm of Donald’s general racist holy war against Islam (except for his sucking up to the oil-rich and high-living Saudis).

And, of course, humanitarianism continues to be sucker-punched at our southern border (as well as throughout our own society).

Oct. 23, 2018—“Trump’s cuts to Central America aid will lead to more caravans.” The sub-head read: “U.S. programs can make the Northern Triangle a better place to live than to leave.” This story reported that the aid program was acting as intended, that once U. S. dollars shifted from military hardware to governance and economic development, many initiatives attacked the complicated root causes that had been pushing so many to emigrate. More kids were remaining in school, new businesses begun, domestic violence cases adjudicated, etc.

But not fast enough for Donald Trump, who maintained the U.S. isn’t getting its money’s worth (and, of course, the original program had Obama’s name on it).

Dec. 18, 2018 “U.S., Mexico pledge billions to reduce migration from Central American.” The two countries announced a bi-lateral assistance program. However, this was merely symbolic for the U.S., involving basically money allocated from existing programs over a period of time. It was a “fake news” put-off by the Trump administration.

March 30, 2019—“Trump plans to cut U.S. aid to 3 Central America countries in fight over U.S.-bound migrants.” This plan to slash hundreds of millions of dollars epitomized Donald’s impatience, his “retaliation for what he called their lack of help in reducing the flow of migrants to the U.S. border.” He said we had been giving them $500 million and “they haven’t been doing a thing for us.” The State Department followed through on this cut.

He also threatened to totally close our southern border with Mexico, unless that country closes its own southern border—to shut out migrants intending to head north toward the U.S. “Nobody’s been able to manage Trump. It’s a mess,” concluded Mexico’s foreign minister.

As Donald continues to exacerbate rather than abate an ongoing problem, his border wall continues to appear less and less significant in the scheme of things. And after someone pointed out to him the economic disaster of a border closure and reminded him of the 2020 election, he kicked the can down the road, and reversed that whim—magnanimously granting Mexico a year’s grace period to shut down its own southern border. Estúpido e incompetente.

In a related matter, I remain concerned on Donald’s failure to take action on creating a smooth path to citizenship for nearly a million DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) individuals, brought here as children by illegal migrants years ago. Most must be voting age by now, and with citizenship most would be voting Democrat. Not to hard too follow Donald’s thinking here.

Meanwhile, here’s a lengthy illustrated article from The New York Times that indicates that it’s more on top of things than the Trump administration in Honduras—where continuing grisly murders of women are driving survivors out of the country. It probably involves more reading than Donald undertakes over the course of a year. It also gives some indication of the aim of the Obama program for which he has impatiently cut funding.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/04/05/opinion/honduras-women-murders.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

Because of length here, I’m saving health care, the war in Yemen, more specifics on immigration (including the fact that most incoming Hispanics are in no way “illegal”) and other humanitarian issues for another day.

Comments

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Justin Hale

The fixation of the pathological Trump haters evidenced once again.

Maybe you forgot Tom but the POTUS doesn't make tax laws, that's the Legislature and if you have a beef with the tax laws you need to aim at the Congress, but then you wouldn't be able to dump on Trump. I will once again remind you that President Trump is the first POTUS who is not taking a salary.

Tell me what good all of the Billions of our tax dollars have done in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador. I say not one more dime of our tax dollars go to those nations. "once U. S. dollars shifted from military hardware to governance and economic development, many initiatives attacked the complicated root causes that had been pushing so many to emigrate". What nonsense. If that were the case why did we see over 100k rushing our southern border last month?

It's funny, you Trump Dumpers wail about how Trump has ballooned the budget, while if you were truthful you would say it's Congress that balloons the budget, and at the same time you criticize Trump for wanting to cut back on the money we send to the UN and Central America, which way is it Tom?

Thanks for confirming what the Conservatives have been saying for years, that the reason the Democrats encourage illegal immigration is because those migrants tend to vote Democrat.

Play your word games Tom but the fact is if a person crosses our border against our laws they are ipso facto "illegals". Another fact that you probably won't mention is that a large percentage of those overwhelming our borders never appear for their court hearing, ipso facto "illegal". But what the hell they vote Democrat right Tom.

Wednesday, April 10
Tom Camfield

Sometimes I think you don’t see the forest for the weeds, Justin. Trump “makes” laws however he can, pushing a tax cut for the wealthy through a pandering Congress for one example. He also puts forth a federal budget each year, which prior to the pre-2018 mid-term met little resistance from a still-GOP dominated Congress. And he flails around in his emperor-of-the-world sort of way directing the direction of authorized funding within the budget, for instance the state department—“yes” for Israel, “no” for Palestine, “no” on Central America, “no” for the UN, etc.

Congress is not consulted between pre-dawn tweets.

The county does, in truth, lack a Democratic Senate with a social conscience to slow him down more effectively.

It’s always “I’m going to cut this,” or “I’m going to cut that;” it’s never Congress being involved. His silly no-salary bit is a farce. That’s only a PR bit. He’s probably skimmed off that much more than 100 times over from his phony charitable foundation, his fake business college, rentals of his fancy establishments to foreign dignitaries and lobbyists, etc. I think he’d be out on his butt in short order if he ever gave the public a look at his income tax records. I’m surprised he’s slithered by this long.

Let’s not cop out by trying to insinuate the current Congress as a cop-out for Trump’s fascist agenda. The current House of Representatives has been empowered only since January of this year. Prior to that, Donald was aided and abetted by a totally-GOP Congress only too happy to gorge at the trough with its own corresponding political philosophy and agenda.

Those non-citizen Hispanic immigrants don’t “vote Democratic,” Justin. They don’t vote at all. Donald just doesn’t want them to have a shot at citizenship, and thus the ballot box. Most of the actual “illegals” now are not sneaking across the Rio Grande but are those who have over-stayed legitimate VISAs. We’re also being flooded now by perfectly lawful asylum-seekers, under a law that Donald wants to circumvent. It frustrates the hell out of him. He seemingly would rather send these faceless people back home to be beaten, raped or murdered—and divert the aid money to his border wall or the U.S. military. I also have yet to see a report of a mother whose child was ripped away from her at the border having trekked thousands of miles just to smuggle drugs into the U.S.—or any young male adult doing the same either for that matter.

As for the funds to Central America under a broad-encompassing program, no one promised an instantaneous turn-around of world affairs, back when reason and compassion was in charge in the Oval Office. Donald, of course, is an impatience sort, not aging well, wants instantaneous glorification—and to take Obama’s name off everything that might benefit the common level of human existence.

Wednesday, April 10
Justin Hale

"Those non-citizen Hispanic immigrants don’t “vote Democratic,” Justin. They don’t vote at all." ..... Really? How do you know that? A large number of states refused to divulge their voter registration information when President Trump formed a commission to investigate possible voter fraud. Motor voter laws are an open invitation for voter fraud, you're living in a fantasy world if you think voter fraud doesn't exist.

"We’re also being flooded now by perfectly lawful asylum-seekers," BS. I'm betting that the majority of these migrants are going to apply for assistance ASAP. Poverty is not a valid/lawful asylum claim.

After all these years of sending "Aid" to those countries what have we got to show for it? And yet you advocate for more of this BS.

"no one promised an instantaneous turn-around of world affairs"..... And yet Billions of our tax dollars have been sent to those countries for how many years? To "stabilize" those countries? And what we have today is a mass migration, legal and illegal, across our southern border.

Wednesday, April 10
Marge Samuelson

Justin, J.F. Kennedy and Herbert Hoover did not take a salary.

Thursday, April 11
Justin Hale

You get a silver star for that info Marge, I'll have to ammend that to read "President Trump is the first POTUS who is not taking the Presidential salary in half a century" Better?

Thursday, April 11
Tom Camfield

As Donald continues his ill-founded fear-mongering, he raves about ever-more dangerous criminals pouring illegally across our southern border. It's a straight-out fat-faced lie. The number of illegal crossings is down and has been for some time. Customs and Border Patrol figures show that apprehensions along the border have cropped shortly since a peak in 2000. However there is an annual seasonal peak at present due to the advent of spring and warmer weather.

The fact also remains that illegal immigration is not mostly via sneaky border crossings. More illegal immigration is by individuals overstaying lawful vIsas. This has been true for the past 10 years, according to a study published in January by the Center for Migration Studies. Interestingly, the study noted that "over a seven-year period, most of the arrivals who lacked legal status came to the U.S. via air travel."

The Department of Homeland Security's Government Accountability Office stated that in 2017, Trump's first full year in office, 702,000 visitors who came to thE U.S. by air or sea overstayed their visas. Overstay figures apparently are not available for previous years, nor are any official estimates available for how many of such individuals remain in the U.S. So Trump's Folly wall seems ever-more ridiculous. The main emergency at our souther border is the inability to expeditiously deal with the many asylum-seeking refugees who are legally being allowed to cross into the U.S. More military troops, as Donald is calling for, is just more of his attempt to pin phony medals on himself.

Thursday, April 11
Justin Hale

And Tom continues to downplay the serious situation of illegals entering our country.

I'm sure that the families of those killed by an illegal will take solice in your statistics.

"The fact also remains that illegal immigration is not mostly via sneaky border crossings.".....how many people enter this country by sneaking across our border who are never caught?, we don't really know do we, what number would you say is acceptable? Whatever that number is add it to those who are in this country illegally because they overstayed their Visa, and add to that the number of people who fail to show up for their immigration court hearing and you've got a hell of a lot of illegals in this country, but that seems acceptable to you for some reason. And the majority of those illegals are never vetted as to their possible criminal background, but that also seems to be OK with you.

Your wrong about the current "emergency" on our southern border is not an inability of our agents at the border, it is the rushing of the border by migrants crossing illegally and when caught turning themselves over to the authorities and saying "now I'm your responsibility". If the migrants would go through the proper ports of entry and follow the legal process there would be no problem on our border. It's amazing to me that in this entire scenerio you constantly Dump on Trump but seem to be OK with the illegals coming into our country.

Thursday, April 11
Tom Camfield

Donald also continues to avoid reality and come up with chaos on top of chaos. HIs latest proposal of vengeful petulance is to dump all of the mass of legal border-crossing refugees seeking sanctuary (two-thirds of them women and children) into avowed sanctuary cities (such as Port Townsend and Seattle)—and let "Democrats" take care of them. Just what we need with our current homeless problems.

So right off, he's admitting that, at least in his own mind, Republicans don't have any humane sympathy for such people. It's "bleeding-heart" Democrats who should be suddenly struck out of the blue with the task of dealing with the incompetence of an insane Republican president. I think he's bad-mouthing a lot of rather nice Republicans there. Guess he wrongly assumes they're all like him. And, of course, he wants to avoid spending any money on the suffering. He'd rather budget it for sending more troops to the border. Ever the arrogant bully. The biggest mass of refugee immigrants flooding our border area remains those legally seeking asylum. They are not evil huns trekking thousands of miles from Honduras or El Salvador for the purpose of raping, pillaging and slaughtering—an image Donald continues to work at placing into the public mind.

I dare say that more lives will be lost domestically to the agenda of Donald Triump than to the activities of non-terrorist immigrants. I think of pollution, lack of health care, disdain for nutrition and mental health programs, pandering the IRA in the matter of gun control, encouraging racist white supremacy.

Friday, April 12
Justin Hale

God forbid that those who advocate for illegals and sanctuary cities/state have to suffer the consequences of their convictions. I totally agree with bussing all of the illegals to sanctuary cities, more specifically dropping them on the doorsteps of those who advocate for illegals. Like I asked you a long time ago Tom, how many are you willing to support and accept onto your property.

" Just what we need with our current homeless problems." That's right Tom we have enough problems with our own needy, we cannot be a dumping ground for the worlds needy.

As David Frum wrote in the Atlantic Journal "If Liberals Won’t Enforce Borders, Fascists Will"

(https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/04/david-frum-how-much-immigration-is-too-much/583252/) Give it a read Tom.

Friday, April 12
Tom Camfield

Let’s get one thing clear right off: Donald Trump is by no means “the leader of the free world.” Quite the contrary. He obviously yearns to be supreme leader all right, but he’s pretty iffy on much of that “free” stuff.

Those of us who defend the rights of asylum-seekers are not “advocating for illegals.” Yes, asylum-seekers have rights—under both domestic asylum law and international human rights law. There is no quota on asylum-seekers; they do not need visas.

The U.S. has long adhered to international laws and conventions allowing people to seek asylum on grounds that they are being persecuted because of their race, religion, nationality, political beliefs or whatever. Donald Trump’s attempt to paint such people as murderers, drug smugglers and rapists rather than refugees from violence is just plain loathsome. Trump’s law does not supersede human rights. Something as simplistic as hanging a “zero tolerance” tag on a refugee does not make him or her an “illegal immigrant.”

It’s just as ridiculous to propose that we who champion asylum- seeking refugees are advocating “illegal immigration.” Likewise the dismissive suggestion that we take them into private homes ill equipped to accommodate them. We are merely supporting our local governments in providing assistance in whatever form possible—largely banning “profiling” and persecution by law enforcement.

Donald is not competent to deal with immigration, and Republicans in Congress continue to sit on their thumbs. As with all things, he’ll just deal with it in his usual impatient, inhumane, militant, bullying way between tweets and rounds of golf.

We all know how Donald detests any form of multi-lateral governance interfering with his autocratic complacency. However, the High Committee for Refugees of the United Nations has stated: “refugees should not be penalized for their illegal entry or stay . . . the seeking of asylum can require refugees to breach immigration rules. Prohibited penalties might include being charged with immigration or criminal offenses related to the seeking of asylum, or being arbitrarily detained purely on the basis of seeking asylum.”’

Donald can’t fire that guy, but he can weaken his status financially; He’s already been steadily withdrawing the U.S. from U.N. funding for humanitarian aid. And “refugee” is likely a word that will get one fired if used around the West Wing. It’s not inflammatory and divisive enough.

Sunday, April 14
Justin Hale

These migrants coming from Central America are gaming the asylum system, if these people were truly fleeing their homelands because of a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group why did they travel thousands of miles to the US border when they could have made a much shorter trek to Costa Rica or Mexico. Asylum seekers are given a court date and a good percentage never show up, they just melt into our country, unvetted and Illegal. And Trump never said that ALL of the migrants rushing our southern border were criminals, but a lot are. And allowing unvetted foreigners into our country on the honor system is a recipe for disaster. And this is the system that you advocate?

"the seeking of asylum can require refugees to breach immigration rules" Yeah if they are being chased, shot at or gassed maybe, these migrants from C.A. were neither and their crossing the border illegally they did merely for their own convenience.

It's not at all dismissive to suggest that advocates for illegals take them in and care for them. Our Church Family took in and Housed a Vietnamese "boat people" Family way back when and my family took in a Polish immigrant until he could go out on his own. It can be done but it's easier to "let the government do it", and people who disagree with providing shelter for illegals end up paying the tab.

Sunday, April 14
Tom Camfield

In any case, if I played any role in deporting to their home country anyone fleeing death threats, I'd certainly feel complicit in murder. If I decided some young woman from Honduras was not my country's problem and sent her back where she came from, I'd spend the rest of my life wondering if she wound up tortured, raped and murdered. But these people are faceless entities to sociopaths such as Donald Trimp

Why not take the billions Donald wants for his stupid wall and put it into a project to deal with these people legally seeking asylum via our regular points of entry? Even slip a billion or so out of our military-aid budget to Israel. Or if it's all an actual national defense emergency, divert some funds out of our $716 billion annual defense budget .

Donald chooses to just get all snarky looking for scapegoats among liberals actually caring about suffering people in need. He's going to have a massive 4th of July celebration instead. Celebrating our forefathers' escape from oppression (at the expense of our country's native population). I feel a lot of irony in all of that.

Monday, April 15
Justin Hale

"Donald is not competent to deal with immigration, and Republicans in Congress continue to sit on their thumbs."..... So what immigration legislation has the Democrat Legislature come up with that the Republicans are not moving on?

"if I played any role in deporting to their home country anyone fleeing death threats, I'd certainly feel complicit in murder.".....And that's exactly the mindset that the illegals play on. You advocate for and encourage illegals, do you feel responsible for the death of that Kittitas County deputy Ryan Thompson who was killed by an illegal?

You advocate for Illegal's crossing our border and justify your position by saying " If I decided some young woman from Honduras was not my country's problem and sent her back where she came from, I'd spend the rest of my life wondering if she wound up tortured, raped and murdered." and yet the fact is that "According to a stunning Fusion investigation, 80 percent of women and girls crossing into the U.S. by way of Mexico are raped during their journey. That’s up from a previous estimate of 60 percent, according to an Amnesty International report.". But according to you, it's all Trumps fault,,,what BS.

"Celebrating our forefathers' escape from oppression".....What oppression did your forefathers escape from? Mine came over from England in the mid-1600's, they were farmers looking for cheap land. From what I've read about the early immigrants to the New World most were not fleeing oppression, where did you get that idea? The Migrants from C.A. today are economic migrants looking for a better life, and I have no problem with that, as long as they go through our legal process.

Monday, April 15