Posted 5/21/17

Dystopian—referring to a society characterized by human misery, as squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding.

I wrote this blog six or seven weeks ago, but it got

“bumped” as …

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Dystopian—referring to a society characterized by human misery, as squalor, oppression, disease, and overcrowding.

I wrote this blog six or seven weeks ago, but it got

“bumped” as closer-to-home idiocy featuring Donald  Trump leaped to center stage. It still appears to be pertinent, so I’ll post it now while Donald is en route to the Vatican to whine to the Pope about the news media.

A headline in The Denver Post  some weeks ago read: Worst humanitarian crisis hits as Donald Trump slashes foreign aid. This UNICEF photo above was taken by Mackenzie Knowles March 10. The caption read: “a boy named Giel wears a small white bracelet on his ankle indicating that he’s just finished treatment at an outpatient therapeutic program, as he stands on the outskirts of Udhaba, near Awell, in South Sudan. The largest humanitarian crisis in 70 years has been declared in three African countries on the brink of famine, just as President Donald Trump’s proposed foreign aid cuts threaten to pull the United States back from its historic role as the world’s top emergency donor.” 

The Post noted: “If the deep cuts are approved by Congress and the U. S. does not contribute to Africa’s current crisis, experts warn that the continent’s growing drought and famine could have far-ranging  effects, including a new wave of migrants heading to Europe and possibly more support for Islamic extremist groups.”

The United Nations humanitarian chief recently described the current crisis as the worst since the UN was created. At least $4.4 billion was seen as needed by the end of March to avert a hunger “catastrophe” in Nigeria, Somalia, South Sudan and Yemen, but at last report only about 10% of that had been received. The U. S. , traditionally the largest donor to the UN, has given more aid to Africa than any other continent. In 2016 it gave more then $2 billion to the UN’s  World Food Program, about a third of its total budget.

A Trump administration packed with UN detractors  is ready and willing to turn a blind eye to this existential crisis while continuing to stoke public fear over border security and adding another significant billions to our military budget. Trump will be turning his back on possible mass starvation overseas, action that in its own way is a crime against humanity. His proposed budget will “absolutely” cut programs that help some of the most vulnerable people on earth, according to his budget director Mick Mulvaney. The budget would “spend less money on people overseas and more money on people back home,” he said.

Not so! (with regard to people “back home”). The drive so far has been to cut spending on health care, with corresponding tax cuts to aid the very rich. Trump’s proposed budget also would cut funding on such things as Planned Parenthood . . . and even do away with the Meals on Wheels program, helping to starve many of the infirm, aged and disabled right here in the good old U.S.

Somehow, this is supposed to an “America First” agenda—which actually looks suspiciously like a “rob the poor to give to the rich” sort of thing, given also Trump’s drive to repeal all manner of regulatory control over industry. 

Why am I blogging this in a small-town weekly newspaper here in far-0ff Port Townsend, Wash.? Because it’s today’s reality. It all illustrates and connects in so many ways to the activities of our sociopathic president.  Framing the Big Picture is the extreme white (supremacy) nationalism that is being forced upon us—as we selectively bomb and kill around the world but suddenly see no need to feed and nurture . . . at least in official federal circle

Humanity, one would think, should be a world-wide family. Petulant, egomaniacal midnight tweets alone are doing much to destroy that concept. 

Global warming and climate change have  been upon us for some time, the effects no more apparent than on the African continent and its non-white population. Little Giel in the photo above is a poster boy for the expected arrival of the horsemen of the Apocalypse. Yet Trump is emasculating the Environmental Protection Agency, flaunting international accords, defunding science and education, etc. to facilitate death of the planet far beyond Africa. And all the military might in the world will not slow ever-accelerating global warming. 

Everything’s not going to “all work out” as those seduced by Trump’s lie-filled lip service attempt to convince us. Actual evidence points to the contrary.  

DEFINITELY RELATED to the foregoing is Trump’s decision to bomb a Syrian airport after the Assad regime’s use of poison gas to kill some 87 civilians, including young children. There is little criticism of this response throughout most of the civilized world. However, there are some who wonder to what extent Trump might have been inspired in this knee-jerk act by a desire to divorce himself in the public mind from Russia—which strongly supports the Assad regime. (Also see another note following)

And many of us continue to mourn the more than 55,000 children who have been killed in the six-year Syrian civil war, under the Assad regime—air raids, car bombs, chemical attacks. Many others died as refugees, and Trump would have banned them from America. According to Save the Children, last year alone more than 600 died trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea.

And yes, Obama also may have failed somewhat here and there in the face of worldwide catastrophe in its various forms. However, he was hobbled by a Republican congress that had vowed to destroy every initiative originating in the Oval Office over eight years. And he also was kept on the defensive by Trump’s baseless insistence that he was a Muslim born in Kenya. 

Along this line, let’s consider the observation by Bill Maher April 6. He addressed Trump's Syrian airfield attack on his HBO program Real Time with Bill Maher. And he was skeptical, to say the least—pointing out how, in the wake of the Assad regime’s 2013 chemical weapons attack on Ghouta, Syria, which claimed approximately 1,429 lives, a Republican-controlled Congress didn’t even put President Obama’s request to authorize military force against Assad to a vote. President Trump, on the other hand, bypassed Congress. 

One of our biggest concerns these days seems to be whether the continent of Africa is part of our world family.  Trump’s “America First” seems pretty callous when one looks at the big picture. 

Only 1% of the U. S. budget presently goes to foreign aid, but in his preliminary budget Trump cuts even that to the bone. It is estimated that it costs 20 cents a day to feed a malnourished child. There are 19 countries facing some degree of food crisis in Africa, and three of them are facing famine conditions (as well as military conflict and terrorist butchery). Families there don’t have the inconvenience facing most of us­—deciding what to have for dinner, then jumping into a car and hurrying off to the grocery store. 

I seem to have gotten carried away a bit . . . but these are serious times.




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