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ID: 154036
Uid: 31615
Author: 19
Category: 0
Title: Keeping the Blacks Far Away
Source:
Body: <p><i>Steve Hochstadt is a writer, a gardener and a professor of history at Illinois College.&nbsp;</i></p><p><img src=" /sites/default/files/154036-154036-Keeping Blacks Far Away.png "></p><p>I grew up in Carle Place, a new suburban town on Long Island, outside of New York City. Young families lived in inexpensive but well-constructed houses in quiet residential neighborhoods with good schools. When I get together with my classmates at reunions, we all agree that our little town offered a wonderful place to grow up.</p> <p>I never thought about black kids, because I never saw one in my neighborhood or at my schools, right up through high school. I knew black people lived in other towns, and sometimes we faced black kids in athletic contests. I never wondered why they didn’t live near me.</p> <p>Now I know. I’ve been reading a book titled “<a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/20/books/review/richard-rothstein-color-of-law-forgotten-history.html">The Color Of Law</a>” by Richard Rothstein, who explains how residential segregation happened in America and in my home town.</p> <p>In response to the government-created Jim Crow discrimination in the South, millions of African Americans moved north in the <a href="http://www.blackpast.org/aah/great-migration-1915-1960">Great Migration</a> after World War I. At the same time, the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographic_history_of_the_United_States">nation’s population doubled</a> from 1900 to 1950.</p> <p>Facing growing population, American cities used zoning laws to direct new construction and to control where people lived. Across the country, zoning was designed to keep black and white apart, to protect white neighborhoods against black people. For example, in St. Louis zoning guided liquor stores, polluting industries, bars, and rooming houses into African American neighborhoods, preserving real estate values in white neighborhoods and creating black slums.</p> <p>Private business supported segregation. The National Association of Real Estate Brokers adopted a code of ethics in 1924 warning its members that “a realtor should never be instrumental in introducing into a neighborhood members of any race or nationality whose presence would clearly be detrimental to property values.”</p> <p>In the midst of the Depression, the federal government used its enormous resources to promote home ownership. In 1934, the Federal Housing Administration, part of the New Deal, created affordable mortgages and made loans to encourage home ownership based on color-coded maps of every city, where black neighborhoods were colored red, meaning no help for residents. After World War II, the newly created Veterans Administration offered mortgages to returning servicemen with no down payments and low interest rates, but only for whites.</p> <p>Collaborating with private developers, banks, and realtors, the federal government helped create the new suburbs which mushroomed around America’s cities. I lived in a suburb built by William Levitt, whose name has become synonymous with suburbanization. His signature project was <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Levittown">Levittown</a>, a development with 17,500 mass-produced two-bedroom homes a few miles from where I lived. He repeated this success in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Maryland. Behind him stood the FHA and the VA, which financed Levittown on the condition that it be all white. In 1953, the 70,000 residents of Levittown represented <a href="http://ushistoryscene.com/article/levittown/">the largest all-white American community</a>.</p> <p>Carle Place was a microcosm of postwar America. Young white men and women could begin their long climb into affluence, security, and respectability through the American dream of home-ownership. Realtors would guide families into the mushrooming modern neighborhoods. Banks offered more favorable terms than ever before. And everybody depended on governments to allocate local spaces for new construction, advise the new projects, and guarantee the loans that bought the houses.</p> <p>For white people. Not for black people.</p> <p>So I grew up with no relationships with black Americans, whom I first met in college during the tumultuous years of the civil rights movement. By that time, for me and my suburban baby-boomer peers, getting to know African Americans was awkward and uncertain. We were all, black and white, deprived of the natural development of friendships across lines of race.</p> <p>Blacks were deprived of much more than that. As I was growing up, Carle Place and much of Long Island embodied a futuristic landscape of tens of thousands of identical houses in geometric patterns on plowed over, treeless ground. Today shady streets, mature landscaping, and countless home expansions and improvements have transformed the aesthetics. The houses that cost about $10,000 to buy now sell for <a href="https://www.zillow.com/carle-place-ny/">$400,000 to $700,000</a>. Accounting for inflation, the white families like mine, that bought in the late 1940s and early 1950s, tripled or quadrupled their wealth through home ownership.</p> <p>Instead, black families were forced to live in urban neighborhoods, where discriminatory zoning rules kept home values down. At least into the 1990s, <a href="http://ns.umich.edu/new/releases/23414-targeting-minority-low-income-neighborhoods-for-hazardous-waste-sites">toxic waste facilities</a> continued to be built in minority neighborhoods. <a href="https://thinkprogress.org/top-infrastructure-official-explains-how-america-used-highways-to-destroy-black-neighborhoods-96c1460d1962/">Urban highways</a> were typically built through minority neighborhoods. It is still common in American cities to use zoning laws to place businesses that deal with alcohol, firearms, pornography, and now marijuana into <a href="http://kdvr.com/2014/08/19/study-zoning-laws-force-pot-shops-into-low-income-and-minority-neighborhoods/">low-income neighborhoods</a>, preventing minorities there from building up equity as fast as in residential white neighborhoods.</p> <p>The end of slavery in 1865 represented the beginning of other forms of government-enforced discrimination for another century. By helping white families to build up wealth through home ownership and preventing black families from doing the same, federal, state and local governments have contributed to today’s racial disparities in wealth.</p> <p>As <a href="https://www.amazon.com/Color-Law-Forgotten-Government-Segregated/dp/1631492853">Richard Rothstein</a> wrote, “Government and private industry came together to create a system of residential segregation.” All Americans have suffered from this history of racism.</p>
ID: 154037
Uid: 4699
Author: 4
Category: 0
Title: How America’s First Black Ambassador Became a Popular Hero
Source: The Daily Beast
Body: <p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 17px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;">The first American diplomat to defy his boss—the secretary of state—to give sanctuary to a dissident, and who endured the siege of his home as thanks for championing human rights, was born to care about freedom intensely: he was America’s first African-American ambassador, too.&nbsp;</p><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 17px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;">Ebenezer Don Carlos Bassett had not been a slave. He never fought in the Civil War. He was bookish not macho. But he was tough.</p><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 17px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;">The defining episode of his diplomatic career occurred in 1875 as he represented the United States to Haiti (the term ambassador came into use in 1893). Haiti, the first black republic and the Americas’ second free republic, was in chaos. While assuring Bassett he was a “<a href="https://aax-us-east.amazon-adsystem.com/x/c/QoL_-1jnmNIFFaLPNvoFos8AAAFgY_FJJQEAAAFKAUPWGes/https://www.amazon.com/Hero-Hispaniola-Americas-Diplomat-Ebenezer/dp/0313351953/ref=as_at?creativeASIN=0313351953&amp;linkCode=w50&amp;tag=thedailybeast-autotag-20&amp;imprToken=FTsw0bkWvs4EJq2RwuwkKg&amp;slotNum=0" data-amzn-asin="0313351953" style="color: inherit; transition: color 0.15s ease;">lover of justice</a>,” the country’s new leader Michel Domingue was hunting down opponents...</p><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 17px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;"><a href="https://www.thedailybeast.com/how-americas-first-black-ambassador-became-a-popular-hero">Read whole article on The Daily Beast.</a></p>
ID: 154038
Uid: 4699
Author: 4
Category: 0
Title: How a Shy Jewish Boy’s Nose Issues Gave America Rudolf for Christmas
Source: The Daily Beast
Body: <p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 17px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;">Rudolph the Red-Nose reindeer’s creator didn’t have a very shiny nose, but he was a Jewish guy with a very, ahem, prominent beak.</p><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 17px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;">Some of the West’s ugliest, most foundational, stereotypes haunted Robert Lewis May’s life. Yet his saga tells a lovely Yuletide tale about a best-selling Christmas song romanticizing a rescued underdog, that actually rescued a hopelessly romantic underdog – May himself.</p><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 17px; font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;"><span style="color: rgb(2, 20, 31);">‘Twas the month after Christmas, 1938, and the great retailers at Montgomery Ward department stores were already preparing for Christmas… 1939. Robert May was an advertising editor for the company famous for coining the phrase "</span><a href="http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/779.html" style="color: inherit; transition: color 0.15s ease;">satisfaction guaranteed or your money back</a>" in 1875...</p><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 17px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;"><a href="https://www.thedailybeast.com/how-a-shy-jewish-boys-nose-issues-gave-america-rudolf-for-christmas?ref=author">Read whole article on The Daily Beast.</a>&nbsp;</p>
ID: 154039
Uid: 14552
Author: 13
Category: 0
Title: Life During Wartime
Source:
Body: <img src="http://www.joshbrownnyc.com/images/ldw477.jpg">
ID: 154040
Uid: 78797
Author: 48
Category: 0
Title: The GOP's Latest Scam Was to Convince the Base the Tax Law Is a Middle Class Tax Cut
Source:
Body: <p><br></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/sites/default/files/154040-image1.png"></p><p style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: smaller;">Image of hand with Christmas gifts (<a href="http://maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com/Present-Hand-Gift-Keep-Give-Christmas-Dollar-2951662">Max Pixel</a>)</span></p><p><i><a href="http://glebtsipursky.com/about/">Dr. Gleb Tsipursky</a> is the author of<a href="https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078429WCF/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&amp;camp=1789&amp;creative=9325&amp;creativeASIN=B078429WCF&amp;linkCode=as2&amp;tag=intentinsigh-20&amp;linkId=6d0105548fcc9f38a235207516f6ed82"> The Truth-Seeker’s Handbook: A Science-Based Guide</a>. He is an<a href="https://decisionsciences.osu.edu/people/tsipursky.1"> Assistant Professor</a> at The Ohio State University, President of the nonprofit<a href="http://intentionalinsights.org/"> Intentional Insights</a>, and co-founder of the<a href="https://www.protruthpledge.org/"> Pro-Truth Pledge</a>.</i></p><p>President Donald Trump <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/president-trump-tax-bill-incredible-christmas-gift-hard/story?id=51870650">called</a> the recently-passed tax bill “an incredible Christmas gift” for middle-class Americans. In reality, the tax bill takes money from the pockets of middle-class Americans and gives it to corporations. Anyone who claims the tax bill primarily benefits the middle class is spreading falsehoods.</p><p>With the new bill, the tax rate for corporations <a href="http://fortune.com/2017/12/15/final-republican-tax-bill-slashes-corporate-rate/">is reduced</a> from 35 percent to 21 percent. That makes a total reduction of 40 percent from what they were paying earlier. Other <a href="https://www.npr.org/2017/12/15/571257526/final-version-of-gop-tax-bill-cuts-corporate-tax-rate-to-21-percent">benefits for corporations</a> include doing away with the alternative minimum tax, along with <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/trump-to-sign-tax-bill-before-leaving-for-holiday/">many provisions</a> that will reduce the taxes they do pay. </p><p>What about <a href="https://www.npr.org/2017/12/19/571754894/charts-see-how-much-of-gop-tax-cuts-will-go-to-the-middle-class">tax cuts for individuals</a>? Consider a household making $50,000 to $75,000: the average tax cut for them is 1.6 percent, or $870. The wealthiest would get the biggest tax breaks, as a household earning over a million would see an average cut of $69,660, or 3.3 percent increase. </p><p>Unfortunately for individuals, the tax cuts they get <a href="http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/article/2017/dec/18/whats-final-version-tax-bill/">are limited</a> to 8 years, and expire after 2025. So without any changes, the <a href="https://www.npr.org/2017/12/19/571754894/charts-see-how-much-of-gop-tax-cuts-will-go-to-the-middle-class">same household</a> making $50,000 to $75,000 would actually be paying $30 more in taxes after 2025. The wealthy would be much better off, with the average household making over a million getting a cut of more than $23,000 after 2025, along with a host of <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/wealthy-game-tax-bill-pass-through-deduction-break-for-small-business/">other benefits</a>. Overall, after that date, households making over a million &nbsp;– &nbsp;approximately .6 percent of all taxpayers &nbsp;– &nbsp;would get 81.8 percent of the total benefit of this bill. By contrast, the corporate tax rate cuts are permanent, and will not expire.</p><p>This extremely disproportionate tax cut comes with a hefty price tag. The nonpartisan and authoritative congressional scorekeeper Joint Committee on Taxation found that the tax bill <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2017/12/15/gop-tax-bill-would-raise-deficits-by-nearly-1-point-5-trillion-jct-report.html">would cost</a> approximately $1.4 trillion, which would be added to the existing <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/29/yellen-20-trillion-national-debt-should-keep-people-awake-at-night.html">$20 trillion national debt</a>.</p><p>Who will now be responsible for paying the taxes to address this debt? Due to the extreme tax cut for corporations, individual American taxpayers will have a much bigger proportional tax burden in paying for the debt. Since the most wealthy had <a href="https://www.denverpost.com/2017/12/12/gop-tax-plan-lowers-taxes-for-wealthy/">especially large</a> tax breaks, and they tend to be the large shareholders in corporations that benefit from this law, middle-class Americans will be increasingly stuck with the tab for the debt. This is especially the case after 2025, when the tax breaks for individuals expire.</p><p>The Republican politicians <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2017/12/20/sen-mitch-mcconnell-tax-bill-tells-middle-class-americans-heard.html">who support</a> the tax bill say it will pay for itself by creating jobs and improving the business climate, and thus in the end benefit the middle class. However, they are not experts at economics. The Joint Committee on Taxation, which is acknowledged as nonpartisan and expert by Democrats and Republicans alike, <a href="http://thehill.com/policy/finance/364343-congressional-scorekeeper-house-passed-tax-bill-wouldnt-pay-for-itself">found that</a> over 10 years the tax bill would produce $400 billion in revenue, leaving unpaid an additional $1 trillion. Likewise, <a href="http://www.igmchicago.org/surveys/tax-reform-2">a survey</a> of top economists indicated that the vast majority believed the tax bill would not substantially improve the US economy, would substantially increase the debt burden, and would redistribute wealth from the middle class to corporations and the wealthy. </p><p>Deferring to expert analysis is a <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/nov/17/were-in-a-post-truth-world-with-eroding-trust-and-accountability-it-cant-end-well">critical component of truthfulness</a>. Any time we see someone &nbsp;– &nbsp;especially a politician &nbsp;– &nbsp;reject expert analysis, we should be very suspicious, and see whether they have hidden motivations to mislead us. After all, while politicians are not experts at economics, they are experts at getting elected. They have strong incentives to do what would get them elected and mislead the public if needed.</p><p>In the case of this tax bill, the <a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2017/11/gop-tax-bill-unpopular/546668/">hidden motives are quite obvious</a>. For example, Representative Chris Collins, a New York Republican, <a href="http://thehill.com/homenews/house/359110-gop-lawmaker-donors-are-pushing-me-to-get-tax-reform-done">told a reporter</a> that “my donors are basically saying, ‘Get it done or don’t ever call me again’” regarding the tax bill. <a href="https://twitter.com/frankthorp/status/928649996311900160?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&amp;ref_url=http%3A%2F%2Fthehill.com%2Fpolicy%2Ffinance%2F359606-graham-financial-contributions-will-stop-if-gop-doesnt-pass-tax-reform">According to</a> Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from South Carolina, if the tax bill is not passed, the “financial contributions will stop." </p><p>In order to ensure they get elected, Republicans had to pass the tax bill in order to keep getting donations from the wealthy and corporations, who really pay attention to and know what is going on. Now, President Donald Trump <a href="https://www.cnbc.com/video/2017/12/22/trump-this-tax-bill-will-sell-itself.html">is calling</a> on his Republican colleagues to sell the tax bill to everyday voters, who pay much less attention to the details of tax policies. </p><p>Republicans have been <a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/12/20/trump-just-admitted-the-gops-tax-cuts-were-deceptively-sold/?utm_term=.1ecbf2125157">misrepresenting the essence</a> of the tax bill all along. They presented it as all about tax cuts to the middle class, even though the biggest cut has been for corporations. Repeating this falsehood invokes the <a href="https://intentionalinsights.org/how-our-thinking-errors-cause-us-to-misinterpret-politics/">illusory truth effect</a>, a psychological phenomenon where a false statement repeated often enough becomes seen as true. Indeed, most of the Republican base <a href="http://maristpoll.marist.edu/wp-content/misc/usapolls/us171204_KoC/Marist%20Poll%20National%20Nature%20of%20the%20Sample%20and%20Tables_December%202017.pdf#page=3">bought these falsehoods</a>, with around 60 percent thinking the bill primarily favors the middle class.</p><p>In reality, the tax bill falls into the classic category of <a href="http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/trickle-economics-flood-drip/">trickle-down economics</a>. This policy approach involves taking money from the middle class and giving it to corporations via such tax cuts. Republicans justify trickle-down economics by saying that <a href="https://www.thebalance.com/trickle-down-economics-theory-effect-does-it-work-3305572">corporations will use</a> such money better than middle-class Americans, despite experts disagreeing with them about the growth resulting from the tax bill.</p><p>Historically, trickle-down economics has been most strongly associated with Ronald Reagan. Unfortunately, Reagan’s economic policies had <a href="https://www.thebalance.com/reaganomics-did-it-work-would-it-today-3305569">bad economic consequences</a>. More recently, thorough analyses of trickle-down economics by <a href="https://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/sdn/2015/sdn1513.pdf">such reputable organizations</a> as the International Monetary Fund suggest that this approach does not stimulate economic growth. Instead giving money to the lowest income earners stimulates growth much more. However, that’s not what the tax bill does.</p><p>We may debate about the effectiveness of trickle-down economics. However, the more salient point is that the <a href="https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-11-30/the-best-way-to-spur-growth-help-the-poor-not-the-rich">large majority</a> of Republicans have not been courageous enough to say openly that this tax bill is an example of trickle-down economics. While we may disagree on whether trickle-down economics works, we should all agree that spreading falsehoods about the reality of the tax bill <a href="https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/how-to-address-the-epidemic-of-lies-in-politics/">erodes our democracy</a>. </p><p>Will the misrepresentations of the tax bill succeed or will the American people recognize the truth about this tax bill as taking money from the pockets of middle-class Americans and giving it to corporations? You can make a difference by calling out any politicians and journalists who misrepresent the tax bill and calling on them <a href="https://www.protruthpledge.org/">to commit</a> publicly to truthful behavior, as well as committing to truthful behaviors yourself by taking the Pro-Truth Pledge at <a href="https://www.protruthpledge.org/">ProTruthPledge.org</a>.</p><br>
ID: 154041
Uid: 31615
Author: 19
Category: 0
Title: Arcing Toward Equality in 2017
Source:
Body: <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Conservatives might celebrate 2017 as a year of triumph. I’m not sure, because I don’t understand the current American conservative mind. Having a man represent you as President who is a constant liar, an abuser of women, and an incompetent manager of people might outweigh the few conservative pieces of legislation he has signed, even if one is a big tax cut for rich people. But most conservatives rallied around an apparent pedophile in Alabama, so ideology seems to be more important than character on the right wing.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">What I do know is that American liberals have been thrown into despair by the new nastiness of American politics, as Republicans have given up the principles they defended for so many years in order to force a few political gains over the objections of the majority of voters. The daily news about Trump’s latest tweet, about the real nature of the tax cut, about the desertion of science in the federal bureaucracy, about the attempts to blind the public to the necessity of an informed media, all make each day’s headlines another affront to liberal values. Even worse, truth seems to have been redefined as a liberal value.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">But behind the headlines, our country has been evolving in directions that liberals could find encouraging.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Public disdain for homosexuality and discriminatory behavior against homosexuals have a long history. Opinion surveys show an unchanging and strong majority believing that homosexual sex was “<a href="https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/POP-natl-trends-nov-2014.pdf">always wrong</a>” until about 1990. Over the past 20 years that disapproval, expressed as opposition to same-sex marriage, has been gradually declining, from about 68% in 1997 to 53% in 2007, until approval finally won out over disapproval in 2012. That trend continued in 2017, as support for gay marriage was expressed by nearly <a href="http://news.gallup.com/poll/210566/support-gay-marriage-edges-new-high.aspx">two-thirds of Americans</a>.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">There are significant differences among sub-groups, with white evangelical Protestants and older Americans showing the least support. But all groups show <a href="http://www.pewforum.org/fact-sheet/changing-attitudes-on-gay-marriage/">increasing acceptance</a> of the right of gay people to fully enjoy their lives, and the jump in 2017 from 27% to 35% among white evangelicals and from 18% to 41% among conservatives (these groups overlap considerably) means that 2018 might continue this trend.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Similarly, public acceptance of transgender Americans is rising, although there have only been surveys over the past few years. Since 2015, the Human Rights Campaign’s surveys show <a href="https://www.hrc.org/blog/new-hrc-poll-improving-favorability-toward-transgender-people">positive feelings</a> about transgender people rising from 44% to 47%. In 2017, the proportion of Americans who said that transgender people should be able to use the bathroom of their choice jumped by <a href="http://news.gallup.com/poll/210887/americans-split-new-lgbt-protections-restroom-policies.aspx">10 percentage points</a>. The Boy Scouts of America both reflected this growing acceptance and pushed it further by announcing in January that transgender boys would be allowed to join. <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_transgender_people_in_the_United_States">Joe Maldonado</a>, who had been rejected in 2016, became a Boy Scout in February 2017.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">The most notable cultural shift of 2017 was the public outrage over male sexual abuse of women, symbolized in December by TIME Magazine making female “<a href="http://time.com/time-person-of-the-year-2017-silence-breakers/">silence breakers</a>” the Person of the Year. The public naming and shaming of many egregious abusers was the culmination of the gradual shift in public opinion opened by Anita Hill’s testimony against Clarence Thomas in <a href="http://variety.com/2017/biz/news/anita-hill-uta-sexual-harassment-1202634689/">1991</a>, and accelerated by the prosecution of Bill Cosby beginning in <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Cosby#Sexual_assault_allegations">2015</a>. 2017 may become known as the year in which sexual harassment became publicly unacceptable.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Discussion of the continuing racism in American society was heated in 2017, but it is harder to discern how much progress was made in the struggle for racial equality. On the positive side, the <a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lost_Cause_of_the_Confederacy">public glorification</a> of the Confederate defense of slavery, which has been a fundamental feature of the way American history has been told since the late 19<sup>th</sup> century, may be coming to an end. <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/us/2017/12/24/which-confederate-statues-were-removed-running-list.html">Controversy over statues</a> was the most conspicuous flashpoint of violence, but the reconsideration of the content of <a href="http://www.dailytexanonline.com/2017/06/18/texas-textbooks-dangerously-misrepresent-causes-of-civil-war">history textbooks</a> and the naming of buildings at <a href="http://www.dailyprincetonian.com/article/2017/11/slavery-symposium">prominent universities</a> point to a more lasting shift in the place of our painful racial history in <a href="http://historynewsnetwork.org/article/167485">American self-consciousness</a>.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">The public protests by black athletes at the beginning of the NFL season caused a significant backlash, as such protests did at the <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/25/sports/national-anthem-protests-black-athletes.html">Olympics in 1968 and 1972</a>, and in many <a href="https://www.salon.com/2017/08/26/the-6-most-iconic-times-american-athletes-protested-racism-before-colin-kaepernick/">less notable moments</a> since then. In most cases, the athletes were severely disciplined, and Colin Kapernick’s 2016 protest was probably the reason for his continued unemployment as a professional football player. But in 2017, the protesters were not punished, perhaps a signal that public protests of racism, while not acceptable to many Americans, are now seen as within everybody’s democratic rights.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">All of these long-term transformations in American culture and public opinion were condemned by conservatives, with Donald Trump in the lead. Backlash against the movement toward racial and sexual equality may have helped him win election, but even the power of the presidency has not been sufficient to stop it. 2017 was a difficult year for Americans committed to equality for all, but the long arc of the moral universe still bent toward justice.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">May that continue in 2018.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Steve Hochstadt</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Boston, MA</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Published in the Jacksonville Journal-Courier, January 2, 2017</span></p> <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:PunctuationKerning/> 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ID: 154042
Uid: 4699
Author: 4
Category: 0
Title: The Labor Journalist Blinded by Union Thugs
Source: The Daily Beast
Body: <p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 17px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;">While fighting to keep the labor movement pure, Victor Riesel became a walking, wounded symbol of unions’ corruption, when a thug blinded him with acid.</p><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 17px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;">It was April, 1956 and post-war, pre-Sixties-crime-wave New York City felt like the center of the universe. Cars still had fins. Men still sported fedoras. Ladies and New York cops still wore gloves. But America was starting to “Rock around the clock.” &nbsp;</p><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 17px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;">The Guys and Dolls who ate cheesecake and gossiped at Lindy’s around-the-clock felt they were at the epicenter of the center of the world. Night after night, they spied the television comedian Milton Berle there, and evoked the spirit of Damon Runyon, whose savvy, New Yorky stories immortalizing Lindy’s inspired the 1950 Broadway hit and 1955 Hollywood blockbuster “Guys and Dolls"...</p><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 17px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;"><a href="https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-labor-journalist-blinded-by-union-thugs?ref=author">Read whole article on The Daily Beast.</a></p>
ID: 154043
Uid: 341
Author: 40
Category: 0
Title: 7 Days in May or Treason?
Source:
Body: <p style="text-align: center; margin: 0px; font-stretch: normal; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; font-family: &quot;Helvetica Neue&quot;; color: rgb(228, 175, 10);"><img src="/sites/default/files/154043-trump.png "></p> <span style="font-size: smaller;"><div style="text-align: center;"><span style="font-size: smaller;">Illustration by historian<a href="http://historynewsnetwork.org/blog/author/13"> Josh Brown</a></span></div></span><p style="text-align: center; margin: 0px; font-stretch: normal; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; font-family: &quot;Helvetica Neue&quot;; color: rgb(228, 175, 10);"></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-stretch: normal; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; font-family: &quot;Helvetica Neue&quot;; color: rgb(228, 175, 10);"><span style="color: #454545"><i><br></i></span></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-stretch: normal; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; font-family: &quot;Helvetica Neue&quot;; color: rgb(228, 175, 10);"><span style="color: #454545"><i><br></i></span></p><p style="margin: 0px; font-stretch: normal; font-size: 12px; line-height: normal; font-family: &quot;Helvetica Neue&quot;; color: rgb(228, 175, 10);"><span style="color: #454545"><i>Murray Polner is the author of </i><a href="https://www.amazon.com/No-victory-parades-Vietnam-veteran/dp/0030860113"><span style="color: rgb(228, 175, 10);"><i>No Victory Parades: The Return of the Vietnam Veteran</i></span></a><i>,</i><a href="https://www.amazon.com/Branch-Rickey-Biography-Murray-Polner/dp/0786426438/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8"><span style="color: rgb(228, 175, 10);"><i> Branch Rickey: A Biography,</i></span></a><i>&nbsp;and co-editor of&nbsp;</i><a href="https://www.amazon.com/We-Who-Dared-Say-War/dp/1568583850"><span style="color: rgb(228, 175, 10);"><i>We Who Dared Say No To War</i></span></a><i>.</i></span></p><p><i>"Nothing, absolutely nothing, is what it seems.&nbsp; Everyone has a second motive, if not a third."--John LeCarre' rule about the Cold War, then and now in "The Pigeon Tunnel."</i></p> <p>So, looking back, what was the 2016 election all about? A private deal between Moscow's Putin and Washington's Trump to defeat Hillary Clinton, which some liberal Trump-hating Democrats called an "act of war." Or was it instead the Deep State's conspiracy to set the stage for impeaching Trump and shaping the direction of foreign policy? </p> <p>When Hillary Clinton and her friends sought an explanation for her unexpected defeat to an utterly inexperienced tweeting pretender they rushed to blame Vladimir Putin, and in a taint that became part of the group-think for our major media outlets, many stressed his role as a former &nbsp;KGB colonel (overlooking that &nbsp;the elder Bush had once run the CIA). It seemed that almost daily, a new scoop broke about a new and alleged Russian effort to derail Clinton's campaign on the front pages of the NY Times and the Washington Post. Few bothered to mention that the U.S. has interfered one way or another in many countries' elections for many decades.</p> <p>"We were attacked by Russia," said one outraged Democratic representative, obviously a Clintonite, an assault "ordered by Vladimir Putin." &nbsp;Another Democrat called the alleged interference "an act of ar."</p> <p>When Sen. Rand Paul, the Kentucky Republican, an advocate for a restrained U.S.&nbsp; Foreign policy, dared criticize Montenegro's membership in NATO, the bellicose anti-Russian Senator John McCain, McCarthy-like, smeared him, saying he "is now working for Vladimir Putin."&nbsp; And when Obama reportedly told Putin to "cut it out" it became easier to accuse the Russians. </p> <p>I picked up a copy of Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes's new book, <i>Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton's Doomed Campaign.</i>&nbsp;In it there are a relatively few mentions of Russian meddling. On October 7, 2016 the "Intelligence Community" stated that Moscow led the hacking to interfere with the U.S. election. The charge&nbsp; was largely&nbsp; ignored by her campaign because of other distractions&nbsp; that day such as Wikileaks's publication of the first group of John Podesta's emails and Trump's "Access Hollywood" tape, both of which dominated the ensuing headlines. Otherwise, the book has tales of staff problems, James Comey, Bernie Sanders, and above all, an inability by Hillary and her speech writers to define why she was running and what her prospective presidency offered voters.</p> <p>Meanwhile, the Senate Intelligence Committee, chaired by a Republican, called on Jill Stein, the Green Party presidential candidate, to show up with relevant documents, presumably because some senators, especially Democrats, may think her minuscule number of votes ruined Hillary's chances.&nbsp; To the best of my knowledge, the <i>Times</i>, a major critic of Trump, has yet to comment editorially or in its Op Ed columns. </p> <p>Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said on the Rachel Maddow program he thought Trump was "being really dumb" after he had belittled the motives of the&nbsp; intelligence community.</p> <p>"Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday of getting back at you," said Schumer.</p> <p>What Schumer meant was rarely if ever questioned by the punditry or political writers, most of whom were apparently content to allow his ominous comment to die quietly, unexplained. </p> <p>Glenn Greenwald, who covered the Snowden affair, and Robert Parry&nbsp; of the highly critical Consortiumnews.com, have noted many media errors, such as the false claims that the Russians penetrated the U.S. by&nbsp; breaking into a Vermont electrical company's computers and that the "intelligence community" that linked Team Trump to Russia consisted of just three of a total of 17 intelligence agencies in Washington and only three hand-picked unnamed agency analysts&nbsp; were involved. </p> <p>I also wondered how we can determine whether some Russian-paid ads on Facebook had influenced enough white working class voters to mark their ballots for the plutocrat Trump. Masha Gessen, the Russian-American journalist, staff writer for the <i>New York Review of Books</i> and a serious and persistent critic of Putin, does not believe Russians affected the race.&nbsp; "Is there any reason, at this point, to think that a tiny drop in the sea of Facebook ads changed any American votes? The answer to all of these questions is: no, not really," and she concluded, "A great many Americans want to prove that the Russians elected Trump, and Americans did not."</p> <p>Writing in the <i>London Review of Books</i>, Jackson Lears, Board of Governors Distinguished Professor of History at Rutgers University, also dissented from the conventional view. </p> <p>Lears pointed to two American academicians, Frances Shen of the University of Minnesota and Douglas Kriner of Boston University, who studied the vote in three states that Clinton lost--Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan--and where, according to Shen and Kriner, once loyal Democratic voters went for Trump supposedly because they found "a significant and meaningful relationship between a community's rate of military sacrifice and its support for Trump." </p> <p>And then this potential if unsubstantiated blockbuster from Lear: "Edward Snowden and others familiar with the NSA say that if long-distance hacking had taken place the agency would have monitored it.... In September, Snowden told <i>Der Speigel</i> that the NSA 'probably knows quite well who the invaders were." But if the German magazine or NSA knows anything they have remained silent.</p> <p>For a broader perspective I turned to the conservative Christopher Caldwell's <i>Claremont Review of Books </i>essay, "The Prince," about Steven Lee Myers's book <i>The New Tsar: The Rise and Reign of Vladimir Putin.</i>&nbsp;Caldwell writes for the neocon <i>Weekly Standard </i>and occasionally for <i>The Times.</i>&nbsp; In his <i>Claremont</i> review he&nbsp; concluded that, while Russians under Putin "have come to believe that the West is not content to live with a weakened and humbled Russia; it wants Russia broken and humiliated," for which he has paid a substantial price both diplomatically and in sanctions. Says Caldwell: "We will understand nothing about Putin until we realize that, in the eyes of most of his countrymen, he has been right to pay it."</p> <p>Would Putin have dared intrude into &nbsp;the 2016 election and risk even more severe retaliations ? Like everyone else &nbsp;I'll&nbsp; have to await the judgment of special prosecutor Robert Mueller,&nbsp; whose verdict&nbsp; may or may not be accepted in a political city whose culture is too often marked by a lack of integrity, and tarnished by subsidized special interests and think tanks. </p> <p>In any event, what happened during the 2016 race?</p> <p>So I turned to Fiona Hill, a&nbsp; former Brookings Institution scholar of Russian affairs who co-wrote the psychoanalytical study, "Mr. Putin: Operative in the Kremlin," and now works for Trump's National Security Council. About Putin she has written, or rather speculated, "He's not delusional," adding, "but he inhabits a Russia of the past, a version of the past that he has created. His present is defined by it and there is no coherent vision of the future." </p> <p>Like most world leaders, including Americans, yesterday and today.&nbsp;<b></b></p><b></b>
ID: 154044
Uid: 4699
Author: 4
Category: 0
Title: The Colonel Who Plotted the 14 Points of World Peace
Source: The Daily Beast
Body: <p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 17px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;">Once upon a time, American presidential policymaking sought to be systematic, selfless, significant, and successful, like that most un-Trumpian Fourteen Points speech Col. E.M. House helped draft for Woodrow Wilson 100 years ago.</p><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 17px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;">On Jan. 8, 1918, an anti-foreigner presidential temper tantrum would have been justified: Europeans were incorrigible. After overcoming its&nbsp;<a class="LinkWrapper LinkWrapper--external" href="https://aax-us-east.amazon-adsystem.com/x/c/QmjUKDwiSLC8LbPtqn9ESfAAAAFg0jMxaQEAAAFKAXAAM1I/https://www.amazon.com/Washingtons-Farewell-Founding-Fathers-Generations/dp/147674646X/ref=as_at?linkCode=w50&amp;tag=thedailybeast-autotag-20&amp;imprToken=ZzNCJTaZwegxEJZD6fox9w&amp;slotNum=0" style="color: inherit; transition: color 0.15s ease;">George-Washington-inspired isolationist</a>&nbsp;wariness of getting sucked into Europe’s perma-conflicts, America had started burying some of the 116,708 soldiers who would die in this “war to end all wars.” Of course, Europe suffered worse—18 million deaths during&nbsp;<a class="TrackingLink LinkWrapper" href="https://www.thedailybeast.com/beyond-white-men-the-forgotten-heroes-of-wwi" style="color: inherit; transition: color 0.15s ease;">the Great War</a>—later called World War I.&nbsp;Still, the British and French desire for vengeance mocked Americans’ sacrifices—and idealism.&nbsp;</p><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 17px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;">Rather than raving, Wilson followed his “alter ego” House’s advice—and his own best instincts. He was statesmanlike instead...</p><p style="line-height: 29.5px; margin: 0px 0px 15px; font-size: 17px; color: rgb(2, 20, 31); font-family: Georgia, Cambria, 'Times New Roman', Times, serif;"><a href="https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-colonel-who-plotted-the-14-points-of-world-peace?ref=author">Read whole article on The Daily Beast.</a></p>
ID: 154045
Uid: 31615
Author: 19
Category: 0
Title: The Biggest Personality of the Year
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Body: <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">On December 31, the first page of the Berlin newspaper “Tagesspiegel” (Daily Mirror) was covered with drawings of the political personalities of 2017. Most of them were German, but the biggest face in the middle of the page represented Donald Trump. Trump believes he ought to be the center of all attention. He was angry that he was not selected as TIME Magazine’s Person of the Year, and </span><a href="https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/nov/25/donald-trump-time-magazine-incorrect"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">said so</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt">.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">But he won’t be happy about his big picture: he had a duck bill, transformed into the cartoon buffoon Donald Duck, the only face that was so distorted. Inside, the review of the political year said that he twittered “nonsense” and has no scruples. In October, more than half of Germans surveyed said relations with the US were bad or very bad. The public thinks Trump is a </span><a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-germany-survey/germans-see-trump-as-bigger-problem-than-north-korea-or-russia-idUSKBN1DZ0GY"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">bigger foreign policy problem</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt"> than the dictators in North Korea and Russia.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">No wonder, since Trump insulted the whole country, one of our closest allies in Europe. At a European Union summit in Brussels in May, </span><a href="https://www.metro.us/president-trump/trump-vows-end-us-sales-german-cars"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">he said</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt">, “The Germans are bad, very bad. Look at the millions of autos that they sell in the USA. Horrible. We’re gonna stop that.”</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">German auto makers don’t sell “millions” in the US, but they make </span><a href="http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2017/05/cars-german-auto-brands-sell-build-united-states-america/"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">hundreds of thousands of cars</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt"> and employ thousands of workers here. The US can’t just “stop” importing German cars, it’s the whole European Union or nothing. German Chancellor Angela Merkel had already </span><a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/angela-merkel-donald-trump-explain-eu-trade-11-times-germany-chancellor-us-president-a7699591.html"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">explained this to Trump 11 times</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt"> during their meeting last March, but it had no effect.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Trump has rejected long-standing foreign policy agreements that are important to Germans, such as the Paris climate agreement and the nuclear deal with Iran. After meeting with Trump in May, Merkel felt the need to make the </span><a href="https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/05/angela-merkel-donald-trump-germany"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">extraordinary statement</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt"> that Europe must “really take our fate into our own hands. . . . The times in which we could rely fully on others, they are somewhat over. This is what I experienced in the last few days.” The German foreign minister said last month that “relations with the US will </span><a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/germany-us-donald-trump-president-america-angela-merkel-alt-right-israel-europe-sigmar-gabriel-a8094331.html"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">never be the same</span></a><span style="font-size: 12.0pt">.”</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Trump has also severely damaged the bond with our other most important ally, England. After he re-tweeted anti-Muslim videos from a far right British group, and then rebuked Prime Minister Theresa May, British </span><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/30/world/europe/trump-tweets-uk-visit.html"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">leaders from all parties were outraged</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt">. Members of Parliament called him “stupid”, “racist” and “a fascist”. </span><a href="https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2017-11-30/debates/9ED5779E-DAA6-4DF6-A558-8C7E533A469E/OnlineHateSpeech"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Parliament debated</span></a><span style="font-size: 12.0pt"> not allowing him to address them in a future visit, the </span><a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/20/world/europe/britain-trump-state-visit.html"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">second time</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt"> that Parliament talked about whether to deny this American President a state visit. The Speaker of the House of Commons said that Trump would </span><a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/trump-donald-speak-parliament-john-bercow-visit-uk-banned-latest-a8047111.html"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">not be welcome</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt"> to speak in Parliament. </span><a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/trumps-state-visit-poll-uk-people-against-want-scrapped-latest-a8106506.html"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Half of Britons</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt"> surveyed want Trump to be disinvited. The videos have nothing to do with immigration to Britain or the US.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Trump began damaging our relationship with Mexico at the start of his candidacy in 2015, by speaking in demeaning terms about all Mexicans in the US and demanding that Mexico pay for his gigantic Wall. Six days after Trump was inaugurated, Mexican President Peña Nieto canceled a trip to Washington, because of Trump’s insistence about the Wall. In a subsequent </span><a href="https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/politics/australia-mexico-transcripts/?utm_term=.ff83cea269aa"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">phone call</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt">, Trump threatened to impose tariffs on Mexican goods and demanded that Nieto stop saying that Mexico would not pay for the Wall: “if you are going to say that Mexico is not going to pay for the Wall, then I do not want to meet with you guys anymore, because I cannot live with that.”</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Peña Nieto’s attempts to continue cordial relations with the US government sent his approval ratings down </span><a href="https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/05/mexicos-revenge/521451/"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">under 15%.</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt"> A poll in July found that </span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/10/09/mexico-in-the-age-of-trump"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">88% of Mexicans</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt"> viewed Trump unfavorably. With no evidence that Mexico will make any contribution toward the wall, </span><a href="http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/367754-trump-reiterates-mexico-will-pay-for-the-wall-after-18b-request-to"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Trump said again on Saturday</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt"> that Mexico will pay for the Wall, but he asked Congress to appropriate $18 billion for it.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">A new Mexican President will be elected in July, and Mexican officials have told Washington that Trump’s behavior might help whoever is the most anti-American candidate win. </span><a href="https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/10/09/mexico-in-the-age-of-trump"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Duncan Wood</span></a><span style="font-size:12.0pt">, the director of the Wilson Center’s Mexico Institute, part of the Smithsonian Institute, said, “Having worked in international relations for twenty years, I never thought we’d get to the point where one person could come along and blow everything up. But here we are.”</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Trump is blowing up our relationships with all our most important foreign friends. He is not the biggest peacemaker, as we have long hoped our Presidents could be. He is not the biggest promoter of democracy, which we have long claimed is our national interest. He is not the best advertisement for America, not the face we wish to show the world. His work is a world-wide disaster.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">He just gets the most attention, which he demands and will do anything to keep. Too bad he only succeeds at being the biggest personality, not the best President.</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">&nbsp;</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Steve Hochstadt</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Jacksonville, IL</span></p> <p class="MsoNormal"><span style="font-size:12.0pt">Published in the Jacksonville Journal-Courier, January 9, 2018</span></p> <!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF/> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>X-NONE</w:LidThemeAsian> <w:LidThemeComplexScript>X-NONE</w:LidThemeComplexScript> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> 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