❝ Saturday night, President Donald Trump held a rally in Melbourne, Florida, where he attempted to defend his controversial “Muslim ban” executive order by pointing to the consequences of migration in Europe. He focused on an unspecified event that took place “last night in Sweden:”
“When you look at what’s happening in Germany, when you look at what’s happening last night in Sweden — Sweden! Who would believe this? Sweden! They took in large numbers, they’re having problems like they never thought possible.”
❝ The only problem is that nothing happened the prior night in Sweden. The Swedish daily Aftonbladet quickly compiled a list of of noteworthy things that happened on Friday; they included a drunken-driving arrest and “some technical problems” during 87-year-old crooner Owe Thörnqvist’s rehearsal prior to the Melodifestivalen song competition.
❝ …Trump, in the grand tradition of the Bowling Green Massacre, simply invented a terrorist attack allegedly committed by immigrants out of whole cloth.
❝ …Former Swedish Prime Minister Carl Bildt tweeted “Sweden? Terror attack? What has he been smoking?” Ikea and Abba jokes flew fast and furious using the hashtag #SwedenIncident
❝ Jokes aside, though, there’s a very real question going on here: What on Earth was the president of the United States talking about? What does he think is going on in Sweden?…
If you spend any time in the conservative media, particularly alt-right or anti-Islam sites, there’s a clear narrative about Sweden: Muslim migrants are raping Swedish women at unprecedented numbers.
❝ Breitbart…Virginia Dare, an alt-right site focusing on immigration…Pamela Geller, a widely-read anti-Muslim blogger who once published a piece alleging that Barack Obama was the love child of Malcolm X, wrote a piece titled “Sweden Crumbling: Demands for military intervention as thugs turn Malmo into ‘no-go zone.’”…
❝ …The odds are, given the consistency of the narrative about Sweden in the right-wing mediasphere, that Trump heard…claims about a Swedish refugee rape epidemic somewhere — and appropriated them to justify his travel ban.
The problem, though, is that this “rape epidemic” is as fake as the Bowling Green Massacre.
It all fits within the filthy state of mind that is characteristic of American racism. Anyone less white than a bar of Ivory soap must be slavering over our white wives and daughters. If they’re furriners – all the more reason to suspect them of planning mass rape. And if you accept lies as racial characteristics, well, then, they must be happening. Only the mainstream ain’t reporting it.
The paranoia that afflicts a populace that can’t decide which lifestyle it prefers – ignorance or stupidity – will continue to accept both as gospel.
Ethics? What ethics?
❝ After charges that the Trump transition team was trying to scare employees at the Department of Energy — by sending a request for an inventory of all agency employees or contractors who attended meetings or conferences on climate change — some civil servants who felt they needed to protect the long-term interests of their agency and nation took to covert methods of communication. And although…White House staffers are using an app called Confide, which deletes messages once they are read, President Donald Trump and his Republican allies in Congress are now going after federal workers who use similar tools of communication.
❝ …Career employees at the Environmental Protection Agency downloaded the encryption apps WhatsApp and Signal shortly after Trump was sworn into office to discuss how to handle a potential gutting of the agency. The apps make it harder for hackers to access conversations as encryption scrambles data and lets only a person with the correct passcode have access.
❝ While most civil servants stay in their jobs from one administration to the next, regardless of who’s in power, Trump has signaled with his picks for leading certain agencies that he seeks drastic change that could lead to deep cuts…
Dissenting bureaucrats have created new email addresses in order to discuss how to deal with Trump’s political appointees without drawing the White House’s wrath…
❝ Republicans, desperate to shut down embarrassing leaks, have now set their sights on the handful of civil servants who have turned to encrypted messaging apps…Rep. Lamar Smith of Texas and Rep. Darin LaHood of Illinois…Smith and LaHood, who are chairman of the Committee on Science, Space and Technology, and the vice chairman of the subcommittee on oversight on the Science, Space and Tech committee respectively, argued that the use of encrypted messaging circumvents federal record-keeping laws, and asked EPA Inspector General Arthur A. Elkins Jr. to “determine whether it’s appropriate to launch a full-scale review” of EPA workers’ use of encrypted apps.
These two patent leather-politicians aren’t qualified to run a chicken coop much less scientific oversight. It’s obvious their only concern is shutting down any information which might get to the press. Political distortions, lies and fake news chosen to replace fact-based research and development may be acceptable to creation-science nutballs and other Trump chumps. The American public writ large just might resent wasting tax dollars on Republlican mumbo-jumbo.
❝ The number of jobs created to make, sell and install solar panels in the U.S. grew at a record pace last year, and grew much faster than the overall American economy, which is welcome news for the solar industry in the face of policy uncertainty.
❝ The new figures were issued recently courtesy of a new report from The Solar Foundation. The report — the seventh annual edition to come from the nonprofit — found that there were 260,077 solar workers as of November 2016, which represents nearly 25 percent growth from the amount of solar jobs recorded the year prior. In comparison, jobs in the overall U.S. economy grew at a rate of 1.45 percent.
❝ Last year’s solar market performance made 2016 the fourth consecutive year that U.S. solar jobs grew by 20 percent or more, the report found. It also made for some eye-popping figures, like how 1 out of every 50 new jobs, or 2 percent of new jobs, created in the U.S. in 2016 came from the solar industry…
“The solar industry is an American success story,” said Andrea Luecke, executive director of The Solar Foundation, and these numbers “are proof positive” of that. “Despite partisanship and the election, people really do love solar. Every poll says so. Even conservative Republicans favor solar,” added Luecke.
❝ While Trump has said he’s in favor of job creation from any energy sector, he emphasized the fossil fuel industries during his campaign.
Like his peers in all factions in the Republican Party and the US Chamber of Commerce, the fossil fuel barons own his testicles.
❝ Forty-one percent of the current solar jobs in the U.S. are in residential solar installations, and workers get paid on average $26 per hour, the report found. In 2017, residential solar jobs are expected to see the biggest growth in comparison to other solar sectors, which will likely continue for years to come.
Electricity has only come to full use in economies offering providers the same grants and discounts common to oil and gas providers for decades. Our government still provides billion$ in tax dollar to fossil fuel corporate giants – in every administration. Subsidies for electric cars and solar home installations are building on an even playing ground…for the first time.
Well, Trump could bring in General Flynn for advice – if he still worked at the White House. Lasted 24 days.
“Here’s a man I can really trust”
❝ The acting attorney general informed the Trump White House late last month that she believed Michael Flynn had misled senior administration officials about the nature of his communications with the Russian ambassador to the United States, and warned that the national security adviser was potentially vulnerable to Russian blackmail, current and former U.S. officials said.
The message, delivered by Sally Q. Yates and a senior career national security official to the White House counsel, was prompted by concerns that Flynn, when asked about his calls and texts with the Russian diplomat, had told Vice President-elect Mike Pence and others that he had not discussed the Obama administration sanctions on Russia for its interference in the 2016 election, the officials said….
When Yates advised Trump his Muslim Ban was unconstitutional – he fired her. Apparently he then ignored her info on Flynn, as well, since he went ahead with Flynn’s appointment as National Security Advisor.
❝ Flynn resigned Monday night in the wake of revelations about his contacts with the Russian ambassador.
❝ Current and former officials said that although they believed that Pence was misled about the contents of Flynn’s communications with the Russian ambassador, they couldn’t rule out that Flynn was acting with the knowledge of others in the transition.
Are we to believe the Big Boy himself had no idea of Flynn’s flouting of law? Provided no guidance to Flynn’s statements to Putin guaranteeing removal of Obama’s sanctions over Russian electoral hacking?
Wait a minute. I have to put on my Wellies.
(…I’ll get even with those schools that turned me down)
❝ Seventeen elite universities including Harvard, Yale and Stanford have joined forces to fight President Donald Trump’s ban on travel to the U.S. by refugees and citizens of seven mostly Muslim countries.
The schools say in court papers the ban threatens their ability to recruit students, faculty and scholars from abroad and to “meet their goals of educating tomorrow’s leaders from around the world.”
❝ The schools filed papers Monday in Brooklyn federal court seeking a judge’s permission to join a lawsuit fighting the ban. The American Civil Liberties Union and immigrant rights groups’ lawsuit has already led to a national order barring the government from relying on the ban to deport those who arrived on U.S. soil.
The other schools joining in the request are Brown, Carnegie Mellon, University of Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Duke, Emory, Johns Hopkins, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Northwestern, University of Pennsylvania, Princeton and Vanderbilt.
❝ …In Brooklyn, the schools say it’s their mission to attract the world’s best scholars, faculty and students as they strive to foster a rich educational environment and draw from all over the world. During the 2015-2016 academic year, more than 1 million international students studied at U.S. universities, according to the schools.
The sort of vulgar education generally favored by Trump chumps – and the Chump-in-Chief – kept in place sufficiently long will drag down the overall level of education in the United States from mediocre to pitiful. If Republican neo-cons and their Teapublican cohort continue to get their way in Congress.
Give ’em enough time. The traffic will reverse and they’ll not only lose one of their chief worries about furriners — those smartass kids who actually study science, the arts, fact-based history and economics will be leaving, too. Only student who obey will enter Mudville U.
A matter of scale or priorities — or both?
There are now headlines floating around Canada like “Sarah Palin could bring her carnival show here as ambassador” and “Sarah Palin touted as US ambassador to Canada? You betcha!”
My Canadian kin will probably ask about moving down here.