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When Donnie met Vladdie, again

There’s much outrage on the left and even on the right about President Donald J. “Donnie Two Scoops” Trumpet’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir “Vladdie the Laddie, Rootin’, Tootin’” Putin in Helsinki Monday, in which he threw U.S. intelligence under the bus and sided with his BFF. But really at this point why is any of this surprising? What else was he going to say? …

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True sons and daughters: Immigrants in Trump’s America

Conrad Richter’s 1953 novel “The Light in the Forest” tells the story of John Butler, who is kidnapped by the Lenni Lenape Indians in 18th-century Ohio when he is 4. His Lenape father, Cuyloga, loves him, raises him and renames him True Son – a name that resonates with irony and poignance as the story progresses and True Son confronts nature and nurture amid the realization that when you come from two worlds, you often wind up belonging to neither. Thus marooned, True Son asks, “Who is my father?”

It’s a question that some 2,000 undocumented children may be asking in the future. The Trump Administration has said it will need more time to reunite them with their parents. But already parents of 19 of the 101 detained children who are under the age of 5 have been deported. The parents of 19 others have been released and seemingly vanished – all of this according to The New York Times. …

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Farewell, ‘Mr. Moisturizer’: The fall of Scott Pruitt

Of all the venal, dangerous, incompetent people in President Donald J. Trumpet’s administration, former Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt may have been the worst. At least Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos claims to be interested in schools. I don’t think she knows anything about them and she has no experience with them, but at least she’s interested in education and has a viewpoint, however wrongheaded, about it.

But Pruitt has no interest in the environment, only in dismantling the EPA. He’s fallen short of that goal, thanks to some dogged reporting by The New York Times and other members of the Fourth Estate and to a hubris and sense of entitlement that caused some of his ex-staffers to turn on him…

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Karma is, well, you know

In 1975, James Clavell published “Shōgun,” a blockbuster novel about an English sailor caught up in 17th-century Japan’s feudal, xenophobic power struggles. The novel, which became a hit 1980 miniseries starring Richard Chamberlain, was frank about sex and even franker about violence. But the underlying theme was that of karma and the idea that “karma was always karma.”

We think of karma as fate or destiny. But that is only one aspect of the Eastern principle of cause and effect. What karma says is that what you sow, you shall reap, but not in the eye-for-an-eye way of ancient Judaism. Rather, karma is like physics. I send a pendulum away from me, it comes back with a force equal to that with which I sent it away. …

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