Building a wall along the southern border? Rallying the police to arrest undocumented immigrants? Threatening the deportation of “aliens”? Is this what will define our country–“the land of the free and the home of the brave,” as we Americans like to think of ourselves–in the years to come? What about that warm welcome to the “poor and huddled masses” that our old schoolbooks use to proudly proclaim?
This photo posted on my Facebook needs a little explanation. So let me explain. I was in Washington for two days in response to a request to help find a way to bring together Pacific Island representatives in Washington to engage in a discussion of issues that are important to them. After all, Micronesia has three ambassadors in DC (FSM, Palau and the Marshalls) not to mention the other Pacific Island embassies within the Beltway. But there are also three members of US Congress from the islands–Guam, CNMI and American Samoa. Why not try to get them together to meet occasionally on Pacific matters?
Excuse me for weighing in on a matter that concerns Chuukese, not foreigners like me. Although I lived in Chuuk happily for 25 years, I am under no illusion that my skin color has changed and my passport has been mysteriously transformed from US to FSM-issued.
Yet, over the past several weeks a number of Chuukese friends have asked for my opinion on an issue that seems to be commanding the attention of the whole FSM. So let me carry on my long tradition of wading into the fray and saying something about the issue. Always, of course, in the hope that what I say will help clarify issues and so enable those with a vote on the issue to resolve this matter for themselves. Read More
First, you find out what the term means. Unfortunately, the Fund for Peace, an NGO that each year publishes the Index of Failed States, doesn’t seem to offer much help. It offers a list of symptoms–civil strife, hunger, poor economic performance despite sometimes rich resources, breakdown in government services, widespread corruption, and a steady flow of refugees heading for the border. But at bottom all these are just consequences of the core problem: a national government that is too weak and ineffective to rule. Read More