An African-American president urged action on climate change and signed the U.S. onto the 2015 international Paris climate agreement. The result? “A significant number of white Americans deciding that they were done believing in climate change.”
That’s according to Salil Benegal, a political-science professor at DePauw University. Benegal did a study that found American climate-change deniers tend to be older and white, have racist attitudes and – surprise – identify as Republican.
The current occupant of the White House has an infatuation with presidential pardons. Sheriff Joe, Scooter, and possibly any number of other felons connected to his campaign. Concurrently, he relishes frothing up crowds with the chant, “Lock her up!” referencing the woman who received three million more votes than he in the last election.
Which brings us to former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman and Karl Rove and the depths to which Republicans will sink to gain power and subvert the electoral process.
In the mid-1800s, slums in New York and other eastern cities were bursting with immigrants who had come to the U.S. seeking relief from poor harvests, famines, political unrest and revolutions in their homelands. Advertising by railroad and steamship companies extolled America as “Land of the second chance” and where “free land” was available. The reality for most was quite different. Packed into slums where lack of sanitation resulted in rampant disease and working at low-wage jobs where safety was not a consideration during an era of no worker protection, neither against injury or death, nor resultant financial loss. The streets of New York became infested with 30,000 permanently separated children.
Do you have a gnawing feeling that Amazon does not have enough of your personal information? That you are sometimes in a dead zone where Amazon – or Google or Facebook – is not tracking you? Not to worry: the on-line behemoth is moving toward their goal of recording everything you say or do. The latest step: “Alexa for Hospitality.” Now they can monitor you not only in your home, but also while you’re in a hotel room with the door locked and bolted.
Of course, Amazon’s monitoring device is asleep until you awaken it with “Alexa.” The cynical among us ask how Alexa knows you want it if it’s not listening. Amazon assures us that it is not keeping any information that you don’t want it to have. And if you can’t trust Amazon…
Last year, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the National Security Archive sued the Trump administration for violations of the Presidential Records Act. Their claim is that White House staff has been using encrypted messaging applications – that automatically delete messages – for internal correspondence. The Records Act requires that all White House communications be captured for posterity.
Our president uses a more rudimentary method of expunging written documents: he rips up the pages, sometimes with a single tear down the middle, sometimes shredding the paper into confetti-sized pieces, sometimes tossed into the trash, other times scattered on the floor.