Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is no stranger to criticism. Since her nomination, many have questioned the capabilities of the political hobbyist and the public good of her apparent public policy agenda. The Secretary’s continued push to cut funding to the Special Olympics was, however, a red line for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. Comprising 10% of the organization’s budget and used to fund programs in public school, the $17.6 million cut to the Special Olympics was overruled by President Donald Trump himself after the proposal sparked bipartisan outrage. While DeVos would like to frame her proposed cut as a budgetary necessity to a private organization that should, and can, raise private capital, it is actually an example of a dysfunctional political mindset, which seeks government that caters to the influential.
Israel has chosen to finalize the annexation of the Golan Heights under the leadership of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The United States, in turn, has chosen to recognize the annexation of the Golan Heights under the leadership of President Donald Trump. Seized in 1967 from Syria during the Six-Day War, Israel’s prolonged occupation of the territory has meant a de facto annexation, but the move solidifies Israel’s intention to seize the territory of another country under the guise of security concerns. Quite frankly, the official annexation of the Golan Heights, coupled with US support, is an attempt to legitimize the theft of a population’s territory. Despite the reality that Syria is a failed state lacking true sovereignty, Netanyahu’s decision is akin to Russia’s 2014 seizure and annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea with far-reaching implications for the US, Israel, and the International Community.
Parkland Shooting Suicides Showcase Need To Better Understand Suicide And Trauma-Induced Mental Health Issues
The 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School mass shooting in Parkland, Florida has claimed the lives of two additional victims. Two survivors of the massacre Valentine's Day have apparently committed suicide within a day of each other. Although the motives of the two are unknown, the suicides likely have something to do with the traumatic experiences these individuals shared. The fact that the Parkland murders preempted these latest events has certainly drawn the attention of the national media. It has also pushed public officials to pressure parents, community leaders, and mental health professional to confront the issues faced by Parkland survivors. Mobilizing a military-style campaign against the issues faced by trauma victims will not, however, be enough. The fact that parents are advised to bluntly ask their children about suicidal thoughts shows a failure to understand the mindset of the suicidal and traumatized, which makes it impossible to address their issues.
Where US-Chinese relations were defined by conflicts like the South China Sea Crisis under the Obama Administration, a trade war defines them under the Trump Administration. China is a rising global power capable of rivaling the US as the world’s only hegemonic superpower, so it is not surprising friction exists between the US and China. What truly matters, however, is how these two powerful revivals can and will manage their inherent conflicts. Diplomatic relations between world powers cannot be understood solely through the lens of bilateral relations. To comprehend the true relationships shared by state actors, observers must examine their interactions with third-party states. By looking at US interactions with the likes of North Korea and Taiwan, the Trump Administration’s treatment of China can be better understood.
Donald Trump started a global trade war in order to fundamentally transform the way America conducted commerce with the world and the way the global economy works. Instead of a transformative economic revolution, however, he has made a series of minor concessions to trade partners in order to focus on the renegotiation of NAFTA and trade relations with China. For its part, the Trump Administration’s update to NAFTA basically tweaked provisions of NAFTA 1.0 in an attempt to rebalance the US trade deficit. Trump has confronted China with a series of significant tariffs, but a Chinese trade deal is expected to simply focus on issues like forced-technology transfers and Beijing’s pledges to buy more US goods. While intellectual property rights are a key component to improved trade relations, the very framework of modern trade must be transformed.
Read old posts