Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Trump is Obsolete Thinking the U.S. Out of $12 Trillion Future

With his latest photo opp /Twittering, Pres. Trump thinks he has scored points and kept his promises to coal miners by trashing the U.S. Clean Power Plan.

The other day he said, “Perhaps no single regulation threatens our miners, energy workers and companies more than this crushing attack on American industry,” He continued, “We’re ending the theft of American prosperity and rebuilding our beloved country.”

“Trump’s order also directs the Department of the Interior to lift a temporary ban, put in place last year, on coal leasing on federal lands. In addition, it eliminates federal guidance instructing agencies to factor climate change into policy making and disbands a team tasked with calculating the ‘social cost of carbon.’” *

Could we please just consider one itty-bitty thing?
The world’s top global corporations have been and are supporting and working toward sustainable solutions in energy, food and multiple other areas. They are doing so because it makes good business sense.

Contrary to the Trumpists, for instance, they see renewable energy as the future and investment in fossil fuels, coal, etc. as dead ends, i.e. not profitable.

In fact, members of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) ( ) some of the best known corporations in the world, see “$12 trillion of market opportunities in the four economic systems”… food and agriculture, cities, energy and materials, and health and well-being.

The WBCSD has determined that doing the life-affirming things to support humans, other animals, the environment and the world in general makes the best “business” sense.

As I am not a supporter of the existing American-style Predatory Capitalistic “System”, I must admit that these guys have arrived at life-affirming solutions that, if applied, might invigorate all of us with real economic progress. They might even “save capitalism” from the trash pile. (Please see this WBCSD Executive Summary.)

Pres. Trump and the congressional R people are missing the boat. They are so blinded by their delusional ideology that they can’t even see the dock, the port or the ocean, let alone world’s lifeboat loaded with golden opportunities.

* Donald Trump’s Disastrous Plan To Derail U.S. Climate Action, Alissa Scheller, Alexander C. Kaufman, Huffington Post, 28 Mar 2017.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

In Trump World the Price of Failure Is High

Not that I am a fan of Rep. Paul Ryan, but Pres. Trump seems to be suggesting that Ryan take the total rap for the Trump administration's failure to deliver the "final solution" to the Affordable Care Act.

Seem familiar?
Well it should. After all, it’s just another page out of the Nazi playbook Mr. Trump seems to be following.

Please go here for the rest of the story:

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Thought We Knew Everything? Surprise, We Didn’t

 Here are two breakthroughs you might like to know about.

Surprising New Role for Lungs: Making Blood, University of California San Francisco, Nicholas Weiler, 22 Mar 2017.

“Using video microscopy in the living mouse lung, UC San Francisco scientists have revealed that the lungs play a previously unrecognized role in blood production. As reported online March 22, 2017, in Nature, the researchers found that the lungs produced more than half of the platelets – blood components required for the clotting that stanches bleeding – in the mouse circulation.”

“In another surprise finding, the scientists also identified a previously unknown pool of blood stem cells capable of restoring blood production when the stem cells of the bone marrow, previously thought to be the principal site of blood production, are depleted.”

“’This finding definitely suggests a more sophisticated view of the lungs – that they’re not just for respiration but also a key partner in formation of crucial aspects of the blood,’” said pulmonologist Mark R. Looney, MD, a professor of medicine and of laboratory medicine at UCSF and the new paper’s senior author. “’What we’ve observed here in mice strongly suggests the lung may play a key role in blood formation in humans as well.’” Please go here for the whole story.

Breakthrough discovery may make blood test feasible for detecting cancer, Purdue University, 7 Mar 2017.

“Doctors may soon be able to detect and monitor a patient’s cancer with a simple blood test, reducing or eliminating the need for more invasive procedures, according to Purdue University research.”

“W. Andy Tao, a professor of biochemistry and member of the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research and colleagues identified a series of proteins in blood plasma that, when elevated, signify that the patient has cancer. Their findings were published in the early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.”

“Tao’s work was done with samples from breast cancer patients, but it is possible the method could work for any type of cancer and other types of diseases. The work relies on analysis of microvesicles and exosomes in blood plasma.” Please go here for the whole story.

Back When I Knew Everything - Aaron Tippin

Friday, March 17, 2017

Obliteration is Not an Acceptable Answer

Life-Affirming Cognitive Tribalism

Most of my Trump-supporter friends no longer speak with me.

But, just for a second, suppose we would share a few moments again. What would we say to each other? And, more importantly, how would we talk with each other and not “at” one another?

History shows that people who hold differing views seldom talk about them while together. In my mind, our current national predicament clearly shows that supporters of Pres. Trump and Sec. Clinton are reluctant to be seen with each other let alone talk about the issues we must solve in order to move our nation forward… or backward, depending upon your perspective.

A few articles and books have been offered that actually deal with the question: How do I change my brother, sister friend’s mind? I am right and she/he must be able to see my rightness and accept it themselves. Unfortunately, people, of any persuasion, do not believe based upon “facts”. Our affliction has been labeled “cognitive tribalism”*. The term reflects our world-wide problem: what we hold as our most cherished beliefs, that is, how we see ourselves as a person - politically, religiously, etc. - is our identity as a human. By trying to change someone’s mind away from supporting Pres Trump – and even worse away from our national drift toward fascism, which began a long time before Trump became president – is the real challenge of our lifetime.

For the sake of our children and grandchildren**, we must learn how to connect with one another, recognizing that we all suffer from our natural tendency to define ourselves in the ancient cognitive tribalism way. Perhaps, like alcoholics, we need to invent a Ten Step System in order to shed our addiction to our cognitive tribalism disease so that we can advance toward becoming life-affirming people and hopefully a life-affirming nation. Or, perhaps we can create a new cognitive tribalism disease so that we all can become addicted to a life-affirming world.

* This Article Won't Change Your Mind, JulieBeck, 13 Mar 2017 The Atlantic.
** Please visit:

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Metro Detroit Humans with Souls Put Aside Fears to Offer Sanctuary

Over the past months I’ve wondered if the psychopaths have taken over the nation and normal humans, the ones who at times exhibit empathy for other living things, have become extinct.

Now, I know my fears should be put aside because right here in metro Detroit some humans have made themselves known to the world.

YES!!! People who care about others are here, alive, and now openly working to ensure the Golden Rule, in the form of the Sanctuary Movement, also lives in the big D.

Here is the whole story:
50 metro Detroit faith leaders are inspired by the sanctuary movement, Nirai Warikoo, Detroit Free Press, 13 Mar 2017.

“At Central United Methodist, a historic Protestant church in downtown Detroit, the pastor is considering using its large gym to house undocumented immigrants fearing deportation.”

“At First United Methodist Church in Ferndale, members are looking at ways to install showers for immigrants who might live there.”

“And at the Birmingham Temple, a Jewish synagogue in Farmington Hills, the board voted unanimously last month to be a sanctuary congregation, calling the move "a flag of resistance to bigotry."

“Inspired by faith, diverse congregations across metro Detroit are looking for ways to become sanctuaries for undocumented immigrants who fear deportation as the U.S. ramps up immigration enforcement under President Donald Trump.” More

"And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
Matthew 25:40

About the Homeless Christ statue now located in front of St. Peter and St. Paul Catholic Church ... "The bronze sculpture, designed by Ontario-based artist Timothy Schmalz and cast in China, (is located) outside the city's oldest church building; it fronts East Jefferson Avenue across from the Renaissance Center." More

I Come to the Garden Alone- Mahalia Jackson

Monday, March 13, 2017

Discovering Hope & Whimsy

When I’m down about our mad rush toward a Fascist America, I find peace and hope in our outstanding science and research advancements. Here are six… plus a tiny video that comes with a smile.

Polymer Additive Could Revolutionize Plastics Recycling,
Tom Fleischman, Cornell Chronicle, Cornell University
13 Mar 2017
“Geoffrey Coates, the Tisch University Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, discusses an exciting new multiblock polymer that, when added to polyethylene and polypropylene in small measure, creates a new, stronger material out of two otherwise incompatible plastics.”

“When Geoffrey Coates, the Tisch University Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, gives a talk about plastics and recycling, he usually opens with this question: What percentage of the 78 million tons of plastic used annually for packaging – for example, a 2-liter bottle or a take-out food container – actually gets recycled and reused in a similar way?”

“The answer, according to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, is just 2 percent. Sadly, nearly a third is leaked into the environment, around 14 percent is used in incineration and/or energy recovery, and a whopping 40 percent winds up in landfills.”

“One of the problems: Polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), which account for two-thirds of the world’s plastics, have different chemical structures and thus cannot be repurposed together. Or, at least, an efficient technology to meld these two materials into one hasn’t been available in the 60 years they’ve both been on the market.”

“That could change with a discovery out of Coates’ lab. He and his group have collaborated with a group from the University of Minnesota to develop a multiblock polymer that, when added in small measure to a mix of the two otherwise incompatible materials, create a new and mechanically tough polymer.” More

Bone-Derived Hormone Suppresses Appetite in Mice
Scientists discover new mechanism that regulates food intake and blood sugarColumbia University Medical Centre
8 Mar 2017
NEW YORK, NY “A hormone secreted by bone cells can suppress appetite, according to mouse studies conducted by Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) researchers. The hormone—called lipocalin 2—turns on neurons in the brain that have been previously linked to appetite suppression. The findings reveal a previously unknown mechanism for regulating the body’s energy balance and could lead to new targeted therapies for the treatment of obesity, type 2 diabetes, and other metabolic disorders.” More

IBM Researchers Store Data on World’s Smallest Magnet -- a Single Atom
8 Mar 2017
ARMONK, N.Y. “IBM today announced it has created the world’s smallest magnet using a single atom – and stored one bit of data on it. Currently, hard disk drives use about 100,000 atoms to store a single bit. The ability to read and write one bit on one atom creates new possibilities for developing significantly smaller and denser storage devices, that could someday, for example, enable storing the entire iTunes library of 35 million songs on a device the size of a credit card.” More

Light Beam Replaces Blood Test During Heart Surgery
Mark Schlueb
University of Central Florida
20 Feb 2017
“A University of Central Florida professor has invented a way to use light to continuously monitor a surgical patient’s blood, for the first time providing a real-time status during life-and-death operations.”

“The technology developed by UCF scientist Aristide Dogariu uses an optical fiber to beam light through a patient’s blood and interpret the signals that bounce back. Researchers believe that in some situations it could replace the need for doctors to wait while blood is drawn from a patient and tested.” More

Harvard Creates a Renewable Battery that can Last for 10 Years
Erika Rawes, Digital Trends,
10 Feb 2017

“Imagine if your house ran on a giant, low-maintenance rechargeable battery. Researchers from the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) developed a new flow battery capable of lasting more than 10 years. Along with its 10-year lifespan, the researchers also successfully designed the battery to remain inexpensive, non-corrosive, and non-toxic. Led by professors Michael Aziz and Roy Gordon, the groundbreaking research boasts the potential of changing the way people utilize power all over the globe. Aziz and Gordon devised a way to take advantage of the benefits of a flow battery without the energy degradation that occurs while maintaining a traditional flow battery.”

“A flow battery uses liquid electrolytes to store charges. Two chemical components dissolved in liquids are typically separated from each other in external tanks, with bigger tanks storing more energy than a smaller tank. Generally with flow batteries, all that’s required to recharge them is replacing the liquid electrolytes — the chemical compound that allows for an electrical charge when dissolved. Each time someone replaces the electrolyte liquid, however, the battery grows weaker, making it one of the major drawbacks of flow batteries. They also tend to be expensive to develop and maintain, due in part to the fact the tanks and membranes have to withstand toxic or corrosive liquids.” More

Scientists Identify Aggressive Pancreatic Cancer Cells and Their Vulnerability, MedicalXpress.
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
9 Feb 2017
“Researchers have identified a gatekeeper protein that prevents pancreatic cancer cells from transitioning into a particularly aggressive cell type and also found therapies capable of thwarting those cells when the gatekeeper is depleted.”

“A team from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center describes this week in the journal Nature a series of preclinical experiments using patient-derived tumor xenografts (PDXs) and mouse models that point to potential treatments for patients with a rapidly-progressing and resistant subgroup of tumor cells.”

"'Pancreatic cancer cells are characterized by remarkable plasticity, cellular changes that make this malignancy so difficult to treat,' said first author Giannicola Genovese, M.D., instructor in Genomic Medicine." More

Whimsy - As Promised
It's Only an Old Salty Swedish Sea Dog

Friday, March 10, 2017

5,000+ Grassroot Organizations Fighting American Fascism

The other day I posted a discussion centering on article by Anis Shivani, This Is a Fight Against Fascism—Our Resistance Tactics Have to Change*, in which he advocated “disengagement” as a solution to protesting the full-blown American Fascist Movement currently fronted by the Trump/Republican Party. Citing the Italian and German Fascist parties (1920-1945), the author argued that if protesters do not confront the Trump American Fascists they deny them a continuous array of boogeyman-enemies to trot out in order to distract and enrage their naïve supporters, so that they can continue to institute their fascist regime and maintain control.

Today, I offer for your consideration a glimpse of what is actually happening throughout the United States in opposition to the Trump/Republican Party and elements of the Democratic Party, which together comprise the modern American Fascists Movement.

Shivani believes that our plunge into fascism began with House Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich’s shutdown of the federal government in 1995** during the Clinton presidency, and in earnest, under Bush II, following 9/11*** (and continued under Obama). While I agree, I see that era as a continuation of our Fascist past. The American Fascist Movement can be traced to the Robber Barons era (late 1800s – early 1900s), followed by the industrialists and banker elite attempted c coup d'état of Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933#) and later the brothers, Allen and John Foster Dulles, domination of the OSS, the U.S. State Department and CIA pre and post WWII as the founders of American Fascism (1930s-1960s##).

With this background in mind it’s worth considering that (thanks to Pres. Trump and the current R-people controlled federal government) millions of Americans are now realizing that something bad has happened to our “representative / constitutional democracy”. It is just not working as one might hope, i.e. our federal government is not representing the will of the majority of voters. It is instead at the beck and call of the moneyed elite, no matter the political persuasion.

People are finally allowing themselves to see that it simply does not matter who is setting in the White House or the halls of Congress. The results are the same: loss of our cherished, constitutionally guaranteed rights.

As a result of this mass awakening thousands of grassroots organizations are spring up across the nation. According to a recent article in The Nation, there are more than 5,000 to date. Please go here for an accounting, story and interview:

My guess is that Americans are not disengaging. Rather, we are just starting to engage. We are finally saying to the R and D politicians: Stop Messin' with My Lifestyle!!

Thinking about starting your own group or joining one? Please consider one I helped start: The Movement, Legacy Grandkids.

“We live at a time in which totalitarian forms are with us again. Hopefully, rage and anger will move beyond condemnation and demonstrations and develop into a movement whose power will be on the side of justice not injustice, bridges not walls, dignity not disrespect and compassion not hate. Let’s hope it develops into a worldwide movement capable of dispelling Orwell’s nightmarish vision of the future in our own time. The dark shadow of authoritarianism may be spreading, but it can be stopped. And that prospect raises serious questions about what educators, artists, youth, intellectuals and others are going to do today to make sure that they do not succumb to the authoritarian forces circling American society and other parts of the globe, waiting for the resistance to stop and for the lights to go out. My friend, the late Howard Zinn rightly insisted that hope is the willingness “to hold out, even in times of pessimism, the possibility of surprise.” To add to this eloquent plea, I would say, collective opposition is no longer an option, it is a necessity.” - Dr. Henry Giroux, PhD, Professor of English and Cultural Studies and Global TV Network Chair in Communications, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Quote discovered here: Trump’s Authoritarianism: Rethinking Orwell’s ‘1984’ and Strategizing the Resistance, Henry Giroux, retrieved 8 Mar 2017, Bill Moyers & Co.

** The United States federal government shutdowns of 1995 and 1995–96 were the result of conflicts between Democratic President Bill Clinton and the Republican Congress over funding for Medicare, education, the environment, and public health in the 1996 federal budget. The government shut down after Clinton vetoed the spending bill the Republican Party-controlled Congress sent him. The federal government of the United States put government workers on furlough and suspended non-essential services from November 14 through November 19, 1995, and from December 16, 1995, to January 6, 1996, for a total of 27 days. The major players were President Clinton and Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich.”
United States federal government shutdowns of 1995–1996, retrieved from Wikipedia, 9 Mar 2017.
# Business Plot (Attempted coup d'état of FDR) retrieved from Wikipedia, 9 Mar 2017.
## Please see,

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Can We "Disengage" from American Fascism?

How do you feel about giving up? Maybe even hiding or leaving the U.S.?

You know... let the 46% of the voters who supported Pres. Trump have their way and go live somewhere safe, far from the nasty tentacles of steamroller Fascist America.

The idea is that things have gone way too far from the America we believed in as children and there is literally nothing one can do to stem the tide unleashed since the 9/11 cold case murders of more than 3,000 innocents.  

Further, the rationale goes, resistance of any kind actually helps the American Fascists by creating a boogeyman-enemy for them to toss to their zealots. Like throwing the immigrants and the media before... now it will be anyone opposed to the American Fascists... and the true believers will once again eat it up in one gulp... like a piece of meat tossed to a starving dog.

While my mind says that there really is no place in the world safe from a U.S. drone, cruise missile or smart bomb, at least one author believe that “disengagement” is our only salvation against American Fascism. Here's his article:

This Is a Fight Against Fascism—Our Resistance Tactics Have to Change,
By Anis Shivani, AlterNet, 5 Mar 2017*

“There are a lot of killers. What, you think our country’s so innocent?” — Donald J. Trump, Feb. 6, 2017

There continues to be a gross underestimation, even amongst politically aware liberals, of what we are really up against, and how to counter it. Increasingly, our fellow citizens are resorting to the concepts of fascism to describe the current situation, but this is not necessarily followed by any cogent reflection on what the political subject under fascism needs to do. Ordinary liberal prescriptions have no chance of success under a regime that has moved into an overt fascist mode; moreover, the unacknowledged continuities from the recent neoliberal past, which led to the fascist overture in the first place, mar any consistency of thought amongst intellectuals, activists, and ordinary citizens.

The time has come to explore modes of existence that only make sense under a fascist regime, or rather, they are the only modes that make sense under fascist conditions. Above all, the question of moral disengagement from any existing political practice must be taken seriously, and this includes so-called “resistance.” Are there things that pass under the activist rubric today that are actually strengthening rather than weakening fascism? If that is the case, then those activities must undergo severe scrutiny, because it may well be that what seems like activism is actually passivism, and vice versa.

I started writing about a “soft” American totalitarianism for the first time in 1998, in the wake of the Monica Lewinsky scandal. American civic institutions seemed to me to have stopped functioning for the first time in 1994, after the Gingrich takeover, which made me take a step back, only to reemerge, awakened, when the Lewinsky scandal happened. I was not interested in the content of the scandal, which was a mere pretext to engineer reaction in a form we had never seen before without the instrument of twenty-four-hour cable news, but the way in which perceptions were being manipulated seemed to me to be mortally dangerous for democracy.

After 9/11, I resorted to the vocabulary of fascism for that whole decade, often comparing and contrasting Bush’s early years to the Hitlerian model, since this was what I knew best then. However, once I started studying Italian fascism seriously about seven years ago, it has seemed to me that the original Mussolinian model is more apt, because of some important missing elements in the way fascism has been developing in this country. During the 2016 election campaign, I identified points of similarity between Trump and Mussolini, and considered whether he was better seen as a fascist or a populist authoritarian. Clearly, in the month since he took over he has entered an overtly fascist stage, with elements of both Mussolini and Hitler in play.

But I think that instead of these admittedly helpful historical comparisons it might be more clarifying now to conceptualize a new form of fascism: the third important variant, if you will, following the original Mussolini model and the later Hitlerian model, which was a development of and departure from the original in many respects.

Please go here for the entire article. 

Unless we find a way to stop American Fascism this could happen again - this time to anyone who rankles the Trumpian regime:

 Animiran filmt Yamashita WWII Japanese American Internment Camps

Monday, March 6, 2017

Why are Republicans Afraid of a Dead Man?

Matt Damon reading from Howard Zinn's speech: The Problem is Civil Obedience

To understand an itty-bitty bit why the R people would fear Dr. Howard Zinn*, please listen to Matt Damon read a portion of one of his speeches (above).

Here’s what one R person wants to see happen in Arkansas:

“Republican state Rep. Kim Hendren brought forth HB1834, a one-page bill that would halt the use of any book or other material authored by Zinn between the years of 1959 and 2010 in public schools and open-enrollment public charter schools. With these parameters, Zinn’s bestselling 1980 book, A People’s History of the United States, would be banned. The collection is a groundbreaking and controversial work that analyzed American history from the perspective of the poor and marginalized, or as Zinn put it, ‘the people who have been overlooked in the traditional history books.’”**

“’Democracy is in dissent,’ Zinn said in 2009. ‘Democracy is in resistance. Democracy doesn’t come from the top, it comes from the bottom.’”

“The bill targeting Zinn’s work is not unprecedented. In 2013, the Associated Press obtained a series of emails sent by former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels (R), in which he attempted to remove the historian’s work from classrooms across the state. Daniels, who was in office from 2005 to 2013, is now the president of Purdue University.”

I fear the people who fear life-affirming words like those written by WWII Vet, Dr. Howard Zinn. Don’t you?

Howard Zinn on History: American Culture, Wealth, Democracy, Hate Crimes and Education (1999)

* Howard Zinn an American historian, playwright, and social activist, was a political science professor at Boston University. He wrote more than twenty books, including his best-selling: A People's History of the United States. Go here for more info.

** Arkansas Lawmaker Introduces Bill Banning Howard Zinn Books, Rebecca Shapiro, Huffington Post, 6 Mar 2017.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

More than 10,000 U.S. Doctors are Immigrants from 7 Banned Countries

The other morning I heard WDET’s Senior News Editor, Quinn Klinefelter, interview Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha MD, Director of Hurley Pediatrics Program.

You’ll remember that she is the doctor who discovered elevated levels of lead in the blood of children in Flint (24 Sept 2015) and worked tirelessly to surface the problem against unremitting opposition by the Governor Snyder and other state officials.

Earlier (8 Sept 2015) Dr. Marc Edwards of Virginia Tech revealed that 40% of Flint had high levels of lead in their City-supplied tap water and recommended that the State of Michigan declare that the water in Flint was not safe for cooking or drinking.

All of this happened - exposing over 100,000 Flint residents, about 16,000 are children, to lead poisoning - due to the botched switch from Detroit Water and Sewerage Department water* to Flint River water (2013) in order to save a few shekels. A decision rendered by Snyder-appointed City of Flint Emergency Manager, Ed Kurtz.**

If Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha had not publicized her findings it is very likely the people of Flint would still be drinking, foul smelling, particulate loaded, poisoned water.

In my estimation Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha is clearly a proven, credible professional as well as a world class hero for taking on the state politicians and battling for the wellbeing of the people of Flint.

By the way, did I mention that she is an Iraqi American… a U.S. citizen… and an Iraqi immigrant? 

While, for me anyway, her place of birth is just not as important as who she is as a person. But for some people in this “Age of Trump” an "immigrant's place of birth" has become a critical issue, despite the fact, as she points out in her article, that… “more than 10,000 doctors in the United States graduated from medical schools in the seven countries listed in the (Pres. Trump’s) recent travel ban.”

So, I thought you’d like to read her recent article which recently appeared in the New York Times.

Will We Lose the Doctor Who Would Stop the Next Flint?**
FLINT, Mich. — Eighteen months ago, as a pediatrician here, I discovered that the untreated tap water corroding the city’s plumbing was poisoning our children with lead. State officials called my science faulty and accused me of creating hysteria. But I was right and persisted, and with brave parents, pastors, journalists and scientists demanded answers until this continuing public health disaster was finally acknowledged. An entire city, with about 10,000 young children, was unnecessarily exposed to lead, a neurotoxin that causes irreversible brain damage. The corrosive water also likely caused the deaths of a dozen people from Legionnaires’ disease. Flint remains traumatized.

These days, along with others in the community, I spend my time trying to make sure that the American dream is still a possibility for this city’s kids. We are hoping to reduce the harm stemming from their exposure to lead with a model public health program of family support, home visits, early education, school health services, nutrition, health care access and more.

But as a first-generation Iraqi immigrant, and as a doctor whose job is to train other doctors, many of them immigrants themselves, I fear that the American dream is corroding. I worry about the impact of President Trump’s travel ban, for the moment blocked by court order, and how the Republican Congress will handle immigration issues.

Of course, everyone in this country, except for Native Americans, came from somewhere else. Many of us were fleeing something, or were brought here by force in America’s original sin. As an immigrant who holds a medical degree, I’m in good company. The organization that accredits graduate medical training programs says that there are more than 10,000 licensed physicians in the United States who graduated from medical school in the seven countries the president listed in his travel ban.

According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, 25 percent of practicing physicians in this country are foreign-trained, with many of them working in the nation’s most vulnerable areas — places like my city and in rural America. Rural counties overwhelmingly voted for President Trump; with his election, they may now lose their health insurance, and their doctors.

What our country stands to lose by walls and bans, in talent, drive, creativity and entrepreneurship, is staggering, but the personal toll is greater. In 1980, my family arrived here full of hope, trading a future of war, fascism and oppression for one of peace, freedom and opportunity. My parents are secular progressives, dissidents who opposed Saddam Hussein’s increasingly murderous and autocratic regime. A future in Iraq might have included imprisonment or death at the hands of the government. It is through these everyday-grateful immigrant eyes that I first saw our country as a 4-year-old and still see it today.

As a young immigrant, I may have been scared, and my school lunches looked and smelled different (no one knew what hummus or falafel was back then), but I was embraced in the suburban Detroit community where I grew up as one of the few brown kids.

The ban, and other equally ignominious limitations to immigration that may be on their way, ignore the contributions of our immigrants. Perhaps these limitations are an effort to return us to a make-believe “Leave It to Beaver” past. Whatever the motivation, my family and millions just like us are intertwined in the fabric of America. My mom taught English to recent immigrants, while my dad worked for General Motors as an engineer for 31 years, designing custom alloys. Together, they instilled in me and my brother an ethic of social justice and service-oriented work while providing us with a better life. The American dream was our reality.

Today, people still want to come to America, as it remains the epitome of freedom and prosperity, the richest country that ever was, and blessed by tranquillity. Immigrants know that the laws here shelter diversity, protect rights and property, and provide the opportunity for economic prosperity. America is as great as ever. And as immigrants we understand it is our obligation to continue making it great for all of us, no matter where we came from.

Now, though, there are little girls who look just like I did at that age, who see their place in the American dream fading away, which makes me wonder what we all stand to lose. Perhaps we are losing the kid who breaks the code of cancer; or the one who figures out how to make our economy grow better, to lessen inequality and provide more fulfilling jobs; or maybe the kid who starts the next great tech start-up. Six of America’s seven 2016 Nobel Prize winners were immigrants. In a previous generation, immigrant autoworkers became the backbone of the United Auto Workers, which was empowered by the Flint sit-down strike in the winter of 1936-37.

I grew up in an America that embraced, supported and celebrated me and my striving for a better life. I grew up confident and competent and keenly aware as an immigrant from a broken country that there is injustice in the world and understanding the need to always fight for justice. Indeed, this is what has guided and framed my work in Flint, where the children I treat woke to a nightmare of usurped democracy, environmental injustice and criminal government neglect.

For my Flint kids, the immediate daily struggle continues. Even now, more than a year after the city’s water problems were discovered, people here must rely on filtered and bottled water. We are still seeking the long-term government support to make sure kids here succeed. And while I’m glad I was there to help bring the Flint water crisis to light, I can’t help wondering if, with new limits on immigration, we are losing the next pediatrician who will expose a future public health disaster.

The sanctuary our nation provides benefits all of us, but that is not why we do it. It is the right thing to do. It was right yesterday and it is right in this moment, too. The “mother of exiles” has always embraced our children.

Today, there is a little brown girl like me, stuck beyond our border but hoping to come to this country. She is scared and tired. But her fresh eyes are wide, she is strong and hopeful, and she dreams our American dream.

*One of the largest water and sewer systems in the United States, the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department supplies water services to 126 communities and seven S.E. Michigan counties.

Lee Ann Womack - I Hope You Dance- 2000