These fears and frustrations [President Trump’s failure to build a wall], heightened by U.S. Census Bureau projections that white people will no longer be a majority by 2044, helped propel hate to a new high last year. The total number of hate groups rose to 1,020 in 2018, up about 7 percent from 2017. White nationalist groups alone surged by nearly 50 percent last year, growing from 100 chapters in 2017 to 148 in 2018. But at the same time, Trump has energized black nationalist hate groups — typically antisemitic and anti-LGBT organizations — with an increase to 264 from 233 in 2017. Overall, though, the great majority of hate groups are those that despise racial, ethnic or religious minorities and they, unlike black nationalist groups, have a firm foothold in the mainstream.
“Thanks to President Trump’s
leadership, the United States is pursuing trade policies that are more
favorable to American workers,” said Ambassador Lighthizer. “In just two years,
we have significantly re-written major trade deals with Korea, Mexico, and
Canada. We have undertaken dramatic new enforcement efforts to stop unfair
trading practices by China and other countries.”
President Trump has kept his promise made during his electoral campaign to renegotiate NAFTA. On November 30, 2018, the three trade partners signed theUnited States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), which will replace NAFTA. It’s now up to Congress to approve or reject the terms of agreement.
In her article, “The Battle Over
NAFTA 2.0 Has Just Begun,” Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s
Global Trade Watch, warns that “if progressives don’t engage strategically to
improve the pact, the consequences could be devastating [for both workers and
To date, our Dealer-in-Chief’s
strategies to reduce our trade deficit has not shown results. Based on the U.S.
Census Bureau foreign trade statistics released on March 6, 2019, here’s a
look at U.S. trade (goods only) in 2018 for our top three trade partners—China,
Canada, and Mexico—that account for 44.9 percent of America’s total trade,
valued at $1.9 trillion.
America’s trade war with China is not over.
Our success or failure matters. China is our Number One trading partner with 15.7
percent of total trade (imports & exports), valued at $659.8 billion. Trade
teams from the USA and China are now in their eight round of negotiations. Judging
from the import figures for 2018, our ten percent tariff on select Chinese
imports have not yet had any effect, when compared to the previous year. U.S. export
values tell a different story. Our farmers and ranchers continue to bear the
burden of China’s retaliatory tariffs on American produce.
China Imports increased $34.0 billion to $539.5 billion Exports decreased$10.1 billion from $130.4 billion US-China Trade Deficit increased $44.0 billion to $419.2 billion —representing 47.7 percent of total trade deficit for all countries
After China (15.7%), Canada (14.7%) and
Mexico (14.5%) rank in second and third place, with total trade valued at
$617.2 billion and $611.5 billion, respectively. In 2018, trade deficits increased
for both Canada and Mexico, when compared with figures for 2017.
Canada Imports increased $18.5 billion to $318.5 billion Exports increased $16.3 billion to $298.7 billion US-Canada Trade Deficit increased $2.2 billion to $19.8 billion
Mexico Imports increased $32.5 billion to $346.5 billion Exports increased $22.0 billion to $265.0 billion US-Mexico Trade Deficit increased $10.5 billion to $81.5 billion
After decades of trade policies that have favored multinational and transnational corporations and gutted American manufacturing jobs, we cannot ignore the terms of our trade agreements that would impact our industries and livelihood. We can no longer expect more and pay less. This comes with a high price tag.
By Robert A. Vella. It may seem paradoxical to laypeople that we would have severe cold weather spells in wintertime given that the world is rapidly warming up due to manmade climate change; and, climate change deniers are quick to exploit this paradox for political reasons. But, it is true. Global warming is increasing the incidence of extreme weather events of every kind from prolonged droughts and powerful storms to deadly heat waves and brutal cold snaps. The following details the basic science behind the phenomenon popularly, though inaccurately, known as the “polar vortex.” The real polar vortex is something else altogether…
Sunrise Movement protesters outside then Rep. Nancy Pelosi’s Office – December 10, 2018
Photo Credit: Sunrise Movement
While our president is fixated on building a wall along our southern border to keep us safe from the invasion of “bad hombres,” he refuses to acknowledge our greatest existential threat: climate change disruption. Young climate change activists, clamoring for bold action, have found a champion in the newly elected Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-New York). At twenty-nine years, she is the youngest member of the US House of Representatives.
On February 7, 2019, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Edward Markey (D-Massachusetts) introduced a nonbinding resolution that sets out the framework for the Green New Deal. The proposal has gathered 64 House and nine Senate Co-Sponsors, including presidential hopefuls Sen. Cory Booker, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Sen. Kamala Harris, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren. In an interview with Politico, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California), not present at the unveiling, referred to the proposal as a mere suggestion.
“It will be one of several or maybe many suggestions that we receive,” Pelosi said. “The green dream or whatever they call it, nobody knows what it is but they’re for it right?”
The Green New Deal Resolution – List of Co-Sponsors
Photo Credit: Sunrise Movement
Year 2018 was filled with disappointments, self-doubt, and loss of direction. After completing my second novel, The Twisted Circle, in September 2017, I failed to grab the attention of literary agents or publishers.
“Not quite the right fit for us,” respondents said.
“You’re not good enough,” my inner critic said.
Drowning in self-doubt, I clung to the recognition that my yet-to-be-published first novel, Under the Tamarind Tree, had received when shortlisted for the 2014 Dundee International Book Prize.
Each attempt to get started on my third novel, to be set in Brazil, fizzled out. The Top Boss in the White House held my afflicted heart in his grip. My mind became a barren landscape of shifting sand dunes. In September, I abandoned my writing project.
With thousands of migrants from Central America currently stranded just south of the US border in Mexico, it’s time to ignore the political rhetoric coming from Washington for a few minutes and focus on the reasons so many choose to leave country, culture and family behind and walk 2,500 miles (4,000 kms) to an unknown […]
This Christmas, I find no reason for celebration. My thoughts are with the desperate mothers and fathers from Guatemala and other Central American countries who seek only a secure life for their children. If we, the world’s largest economy, cannot provide them with refuge, who will?
Aerial view of Paradise off of Clark Road – Camp Fire, Northern California
November 15, 2018
Photo Credit: San Francisco Examiner (Carolyn Cole/Los Angeles Times)
As California burns and super-storms ravage our southern and eastern coastal states, I’ve been thinking a lot about the Reverend Jim Jones and the People’s Temple. Today, November 18th, is the fortieth anniversary of the mass murder-suicide of 916 Americans at the People’s Temple Agricultural Project at Jonestown in the northwest forested region of Guyana.
We want our country back
rile white nationalists
goose-stepping through the streets
waving tiki torches
emboldened and blinded
by their chosen fuhrer
ruling in the White House.
Homo sapiens. Wise man. Where is the wisdom, our superior intelligence, when we know not that we know not? How soon we forget that we live on the ancestral lands of conquered Native Americans: over 500 tribes occupying these lands for more than 15,000 years. How soon we forget that the good life we have enjoyed for generations has come with the sacrifice of non-white bodies to the gods of greed, plunder, and dispossession. Continue reading →
Brett Kavanaugh sworn in to the U.S. Supreme Court – October 6, 2018
Photo Credit: The Press Democrat
Despite sexual assault allegations, on October 6, 2018, Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in to the U.S. Supreme Court. His contentious nomination process before the male-dominated Senate Committee hammered home the gnawing reality: Women have yet to achieve equal footing with men under our legal system.
To achieve what may have been a lifelong ambition, Kavanaugh exposed his “two spirited daughters” to the public bashing of his integrity. Has he used the sexual allegations – which he has denied with tears and anger – as a teaching moment for his ten- and thirteen-year old daughters? Has he considered the possibility that his daughters could one day suffer the same trauma as his accuser, Christine Blasey Ford?
Ford did not tell her parents what had happened that summer day while she was out with trusted friends. Like so many of us born female, she kept the sexual assault a secret. Continue reading →