Thursday, January 26, 2017

"Light" Reading

I'm in a holding pattern at work until I get some answers, so I was filling my time by educating myself.  After seeing the first few days worth of executive orders (EOs) from President (barf) Trump, I knew I needed to get over being disappointed that Trump is actually our president and that I was a lazy ass and didn't go to the Women's March.  I needed to start educating myself.

I'm horrified at all the things I found.

Most importantly, did you know there is a site where all legislation can be viewed?  It is true, it exists.  It will also show you the present state of said (proposed) law.

This specific link will take you to all legislation for the 115th Congress Session (2017-2018).  You can filter your results how you'd like.  Be aware there are plenty of items of interest from the 114th Congressional Session that are still up for review.  Also, some of them are simple (a proposal to change the name of a federal building), some of them are creepy (a proposal for porn not to be allowed on federal IT processing machines), some of them are stupid and should be considered common sense (a proposal to apply disciplinary action to certain federal employees for misconduct or breaking rules), but some of them are also horrifying ("To prohibit United States contributions to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the Green Climate Fund."). 

I like living under a rock, but I think the time for that has passed (sadly) and I'm very afraid of what is going to happen in the next few years.  I was willing to give Trump a shot, but we haven't even made it through the first week and I'm disgruntled (more so than normal).

These are my new mottoes for the foreseeable future:

"Stop thinking about losers and winners, and using the tired argument that the ‘losers’ should stop debating, and instead start looking at the wider possible implications of what you just voted for."  -Tobias Stone

I found these three OPINION articles very interesting.  FYI, they are long articles, so if you plan on reading them, cut out some time.  Skimming isn't effective.

History is cyclical and we should pay attention.

Follow up to the first article by the author.
This article discusses Brexit and Trump and how history can potentially be used to predict what will happen.  Humans are, after all, just animals.  This isn't to say things WILL happen, but they very well could.  Stone uses the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand as the pivotal point behind 17 million people dying (the Holocaust/war and leading up to it).  Some of it sounds kinda conspiracy theory-ish, nonetheless, there is still truth to what he is saying.  Stone also warns about echo chambers (which I am totally guilty of) and not getting trapped in them... say like how confident some of us were about Clinton getting elected president.  We were hearing the cries of those people like us, not our opposition.

I agree with Stone.  I do believe in the cyclical nature of history.  I also agree that there is possibly very little we can do about it.  While I hope we can mitigate the fall out and maybe push back the inevitability of whatever is going to happen, happening, I believe that history will repeat itself.. and that really, really sucks.  I believe that unless some significant changes are made (changes that I'm not even sure what they are), we're headed for disaster because while a dumpster fire is contained, a train wreck is NOT.. and we're more of a train wreck than a dumpster fire, imo.

***SUPER long***
Circumstances that led to Donald Trump becoming president.
This article written in May 2016 speaks to the fact that Trump rallied the disgruntled and won an election and it was calling for people to be aware of what was happening and the dangers of electing Trump as president.  It strongly leans on Plato's writings, so another "based on history" type of opinion.  Please see that I've repeated: OPINION.  Everyone is entitled to one, which we'll get back to.

This article shows that with Trump as president, the Supreme Court will be locked 4-4 (which I have opinions on the fact that the GOP refused to accept any of Obama's nominations, which is an absolute failure of our system of government) and gave examples of how Trump chooses to ignore current laws in favor of bullying as a means of getting things done.

And if you don't believe Trump is a textbook bully, prove me wrong

And this piece of drivel, OMG so much rage.
Comparison of women's rights march from the early 20th century vs 2017's women's march.
Let me repeat, everyone is entitled to their opinion, but when your opinion is based on obviously slanted articles used to incite rage, your opinion is less valuable.  It's impossible to accurately compare a march from the early 20th century to the march in 2017. 

Things aren't even CLOSE to the same now as they were then.  Let me just start out with the most obvious fact: We don't dress like that anymore.  I don't hear many women complaining about that.  I hear lots of women complaining about the trashiness of other women, but those are, yet again, opinions.  What I wear, be it a hat or vagina costume, shouldn't make a damn difference to you.  I'm in no way harming you, other than your delicate sensitivity, but you're also (potentially) the same person who is bitching about all the "special snowflakes" and "fuck political correctness, I'm just going to be honest."  Well guess what, we're allowed to have differences of opinion and you don't have to like what I'm wearing, just like I don't have to like what you're wearing.  But what you're wearing has zero effect on me, so I choose to move on to more important issues.

Another YUGE difference:  In 2017 we have the internet.  Yes, they had news papers during the time of the first women's marches, but if try to tell me that the internet doesn't hold way more power than the newspaper, I'm going to call you an idiot, #notsorry.  I am able to speak to people in a moment

A signal goes through some wires and more wires and maybe even to space and through some more wires and through a few signals and arrives in the hands (possibly literally if they are on their cell phone) in a matter of nanoseconds.  THIS is the power of technology.  Millions of women were able to march around the world because they were aware of other marches. 

If I had a friend in Germany or South Africa or India or any other non-North American country in the world, and I wanted to tell them about the march, I would have had to send a letter in the early 1900s.  A letter.  When was the last time you wrote a letter, a physical letter, on paper?  I can tell you it was in December when I mailed something to Australia.  I didn't write a letter, I wrote a short note, on a notepad, I didn't even opt for a huge piece of paper.  Because I can speak to this person on the internet in a matter of seconds.  I don't need to write her a letter.

So after you write said letter, you have to mail it.  It took several weeks for my package to arrive to my friend.  WEEKS.  Let's say it's 1920, I just found out about a sufferage march going on next week.  I told my friend about it in my letter to Australia.  Weeks after sending my letter, my friend would have received it.  It's too late, the march is already over by then.  Yes, she could organize another march, but lets be honest, in 1920, the number of people in Australia who cared about women's rights in America was mostly nonexistent. 

So they had newspapers.  Cool, bro.  Guess who were the printers of the newspapers?  Your "enemy".  So newspapers potentially weren't a reliable source for disseminating information.  Also, those signs from the early marches?  CRAZY!  Those signs were definitely considered rude and possibly vulgar at the time. 

We are now 100 years later in time.  Do you remember how long it took for LOL to take root into our culture?  Let's say a few years.  If you need a bigger picture, how long did it take for you to assimilate to a new form of communication (be that an acronym, social media site (FB, Tweeter, blog, etc), any way of sharing information with other people)?  Probably not too long.  Maybe a week, maybe a month, maybe a few months, maybe even a year, maybe you're still learning (which is perfectly acceptable because that makes you the most adaptable for new things).  Ok, so now imagine all the things that people have become acclimated and accustomed to in the last ONE HUNDRED YEARS

Abbreviated list of a few things that were invented/accomplished in the last 100 years:
-Electronic devices (TV, computer, cell phones, game consoles, pocket calculators)
-Space travel
-sticky notes
-Loud speakers
-alkaline batteries
-Vaccinations (tuberculosis, polio, influenza, rubella, hepatitis B, HIV/AIDS, anthrax), some of which led to WHO claiming that some diseases were completely eradicated (at least in the US).

My point is, our world is bigger, yet smaller at the same time.  We live in a global community.  We don't know our neighbors anymore, but we might be well-acquainted with someone that lives in another country, who we can speak to in an instant.  To compare the women's marches of the early 20th century to the women's march of 2017 is like comparing apples to oranges in some ways.


While I understand that supporting a candidate 100% is very unlikely, if you can tell me that NONE of the executive orders passed by Trump during the first week of his presidency haven't concerned you, I need you to explain why to me.  So, soooo many of these EOs feel like a slap in the face of progress (to me).

-I can't understand why it's so important for there to be laws about abortions.  Why does MY choice matter to YOU so much?  Are you trying to save my soul?  If so, that's great, but you don't need laws to support your argument.  A law about abortion isn't going to bring me closer to God.  Separation of church and state are there for a reason.

-I kind of understand why there are immigration laws.  But I question how effective this ban will be on people seeking asylum from war-torn middle eastern countries (some of which we played a part in, the war-torn part, not the middle eastern part).  As someone who supported drug testing for welfare recipients and seeing what a waste of money it was, I imagine that these immigration laws will have similar results.  Also, as someone who lives with a foreigner, I question how these changes could affect us (yes, I know that Teh German is a white, male, from a non-middle eastern country, but as Trump touts about making America great again, all I can think of is how FDR for so long wanted America to be isolationist and then we were pulled into global events via Pearl Harbor.  I feel like Trump's ideals mimic FDR's isolationist policies very closely and then those articles from above about history repeating itself come into mind).

-Dakota Pipeline Access.  The EO to speed up environmental reviews is a definite slap in the face.  One does not rush Mother Nature.  Science is based on facts and we need to look at them.  Sometimes it takes longer to find the facts than others.  There are so many groups worried about the fallout from this project and none of that is being taken into consideration.  Why do we choose to be so blind?

-ACA.  Do you know how many people the ACA helped?  Yes, you might be afflicted with rising healthcare costs because we have a problem with our insurance companies, but soo, sooo many people who otherwise would not have been able to seek healthcare assistance are now able and that means so much more to me than having to spend more on my own personal insurance.  Yes, I know that some people were affected with significant increases, but I feel that the system is messed up to start with.  If you don't believe health insurance is a racket (as well as most other kinds of insurance), then again, please explain why.  Also, the ACA might have never been perfect, but it was slowly chipped away at by lawmakers in DC until it became what it was when it was passed.  I don't know what all the ACA entailed before it was passed, but I don't believe that the system was created without the best interest of the majority in mind.

-Regulation freeze.  This one is astounding because Trump is essentially blocking legislation that Obama was trying to pass before he left office.  Maybe this is one of those things that happens when the presidency changes hands and I'm just not aware of it, but what a fucking stupid waste of time.

 EOs I don't know much about, but should be mentioned:
-Border wall
-Federal hiring freeze
-Manufacturing regulation/use of American materials

PS.  When I typed in "Trump exec" into Google, the first search result was "Trump executive producer".  Volumes were spoken.

TL;DR: I tried to give Trump a chance and then he passed all the executive orders which absolutely terrify me and people agree with him and people don't.  This post is about critically thinking about the things you read and hear and making your own opinions through educating yourself.  AKA, don't be a sheep.


  1. your feelings about living with a foreigner? that's how i feel. even though i got here legally and all that, and i *shouldn't* be worried... you can't help but be worried.
    i think it's in my nature to stick my head in the sand or be a sheep. but i don't want to be a sheep about things that terrify me. so thank you for sharing.

  2. That website is super interesting. I wish I still taught government so I could make my students play around with it & do some research.

  3. *thumbs up for research & not being a sheep*

  4. I think many of us are reading more and trying to become more informed than ever before. I guess that's a positive of the times (when there seem to be so many negatives focused on.)


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