Week after dramatic week, it’s becoming increasingly clear that, under President Donald Trump, the Republican Party as Americans came to know it for 40 years is vanishing.
Trump is redefining conservatism in his own erratic image, and most Republican members of Congress are going along with him even though the long-time pillars of their belief system are crumbling.
Trump is not a true conservative. He is taking some pages from the right’s agenda but abandoning others, and GOP stalwarts are in a stew over it. Yet there is no Republican rebellion and precious little pushback.
Source: President Trump Is Driving the End of the GOP | The Report | US News
House GOP leaders are forging ahead with their own hardline immigration bill, as the Senate threw in the towel Thursday on legislation to protect hundreds of thousands of young, undocumented immigrants from deportation.
Source: House GOP pushes hardline immigration plan as Senate deals fail | TheHill
The massacre at a Florida high school is again raising concerns about whether the FBI missed signs that might have stopped a mass shooting.
Last fall, a Mississippi bail bondsman and video blogger noticed a comment on one of his YouTube videos that said, “I’m going to be a professional school shooter.” He immediately reported it to YouTube and the FBI and the next day two agents came to his office to take a printout of the comment and ask him whether he knew anything about the person who posted it.
Source: Did FBI miss a warning before Florida high school shooting?
South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in is trying to find the thin line between conciliating the North and satisfying America. Neither is easy; doing both is well-nigh impossible. But the key to success lies in following up on a pledge made by President Moon late last year.
In speaking to the Republic of Korea’s (ROK) National Assembly, he advocated that Seoul “retain overwhelming military superiority” against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, in order to respond “to provocations by North Korea.”
Source: For South Korea’s military to thrive, it needs to get off the US dole | TheHill
While China, Russia and India have been increasing their defense spends, spends by the US and UK have seen a decline. Despite that the US continues to be an undisputed military giant. Its defense expenditure in 2015 was a massive $1.68 trillion, about 36 per cent of the total global military spending that year.
Source: A new military order? Defence spends by China, Russia, India on the rise – Times of India
I think the structure of the plan is what we expected to see. It is only $200 billion in federal funding, as opposed to the headline claims of either $1.5 trillion or $1 trillion that the administration had been claiming.
Of that, $100 billion goes to this sort of grant program that kicks the funding decisions to states and localities. They are required to come up with 80 percent of the funding and the federal government only provides 20 percent.
There is $50 billion for rural projects. All of it comes back to what appears to be their belief that state and local governments need to spend even more on funding our infrastructure.
Then, there are quite a lot of boilerplate claims about leveraging the private sector.
Source: Trump’s Infrastructure Plan Will Lead to More Harm: We Need Broad-Based Public Investment
The road to better insights, which many of us are still actively traveling on, is often marked by people who take the time to help us learn and grow, and who don’t belittle others simply because they’re not as informed.
During difficult times like these we’re living in, there will always be people who are prone to behave in desperate ways. Some are ready, willing and able to quickly betray themselves and/or others for anything that even just slightly appears to resemble relief or security.
They may be capable of committing themselves to the same political missteps that helped lead us all to this despicable moment we’re in.
Actual progress and change can die and do die at the hands of an overzealous optimism that relies on the same to give us anything new.
Source: For the Love of Liberation: Let’s Stop Belittling Others and Start Organizing
.. digitization is actively being looked upon as a solution to numerous challenges. However, it is often forgotten that digitization is merely a mode for delivery of solutions and not the solution itself.
While digitization of a process may help in enhancing the outreach, its design process must establish clear objectives and an inclusive and good planning.
.. The agricultural lard records available online are not free of errors; also these cannot be used for legal purposes (as the website itself claims). In short, the government assumes no responsibility for the land records, they have facilitated on their websites.
In fact, the entire process has become even more cumbersome than before, thanks to the entry of another layer of authentication, the tehsildar.
Source: The perils of going digital with an imperfect design
The case is of particular interest to street art lovers everywhere because it involves the famed “United Nations of graffiti” in Queens, New York called 5Pointz.
The mecca for the world’s most prominent street artists has been demolished and turned to luxury condos. This is the first time that graffiti writers—once considered a scourge upon cities, but now increasingly lauded as artists—won a lawsuit based on the Visual Artists Rights Act of 1990 (VARA), which bestows artists certain rights to their work regardless of who owns it or where it’s installed.
Source: 5Pointz graffiti artists were awarded millions after developer Jerry Wolkoff painted over their pieces — Quartzy
Germany will launch a pilot project offering free public transport in five cities to address environmental concerns, local media reported on Tuesday.
Among the cities considering the municipalization of transport services are the former West German capital, Bonn, and Essen, Reytlingen, Mannheim, and Herrenberg.
Source: Germany considers free public transport to address air quality crisis