Trump- Niger and Connecting the Dots – by Thomas Friedman – NYT

“Barbut, as I reported, reinforced her point by showing me three maps of Africa with dots concentrated in the middle of the continent. Map No. 1: the most vulnerable regions of desertification in 2008. Map No. 2: conflicts and food riots in 2007 and 2008. Map No. 3: terrorist attacks in 2012. All the dots of all three maps cluster around Niger and its neighbors. Hello?And what is Trump’s response to this reality? It’s to focus solely on using the U.S. military to kill terrorists in Africa while offering a budget that eliminates U.S. support for global contraception programs; appointing climate-change deniers to all key environmental posts; pushing coal over clean energy; and curbing U.S. government climate research.In short, he’s sending soldiers to fight a problem that is clearly being exacerbated by climate and population trends, while eliminating all our tools to mitigate these trends.”

Yes. Deeply disturbing, unfortunately true.

Here are the two top comments”


is a trusted commenter Downtown Verona NJ 15 hours ago

“There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that ‘my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”
― Isaac Asimov

TRUMP 2017

Bruce Rozenblit

is a trusted commenter Kansas City, MO 17 hours ago

Dear Mr Friedman,
Since you are a world traveler, do you know where I can get a bottle of anti-anxiety medication? After reading your essay, that will be my only option short of having a nervous breakdown.

I’m an engineer, OK. I think logically. I’ve spent my entire life trying the solve problems and create things that people can use and enjoy. Trump is the exact opposite. He is trying to create problems. He thinks that by creating those problems, he can make the world a better place for all.

My life’s work demonstrates otherwise. Not only that, experience has shown me that when you want to create something new, it’s always a good idea to see what others have attempted in order to find out what works and what doesn’t.

Trump doesn’t do that. He already knows everything so he doesn’t have to learn anything. Since he already knows everything, you can’t tell him anything. His ego is so big that reason is not a component of his thinking. He just reacts with whatever feels good at the time. Oh by the way, he occupies the most powerful office in the world.

About that anti-anxiety medication.

Fleeing Boko Haram- Thousands Cling to a Road to Nowhere – The New York Times

“More than 130,000 people have amassed along this desert highway outside Diffa, Niger — National Route 1. They now call its barren, sandy shoulders home.All of them have been chased from their villages by Boko Haram, the Islamist militant group that kidnaps and kills indiscriminately in a campaign of violence that has lasted eight years. The New York Times spent weeks documenting the stories of people living along this road, interviewing more than 100 residents — including 15 in the following image — clinging to its edges to survive.”

” “We can sleep now,” said Fati Fougou, a 40-year-old mother of seven who was chased from three different villages by fighters before settling along the road with her children, “because no one is shooting.”

A handful of aid groups help. Unicef trucks in water. The International Rescue Committee hands out bags of rice, sardine tins and powdered milk. Doctors Without Borders runs small clinics. But formal camps don’t exist. All of the displaced here are squatters.”

Thank you  DIONNE SEARCEY and  ADAM FERGUSON and the NYT. Also, the three organizations mentioned above:


International Rescue Committee

Doctors Without Borders,  Medecins Sans Frontiers

I plan to support all three.