Welcome to Silver and Shadow

"Look at that sea, girls--all silver and shadow and vision of things not seen. We couldn't enjoy its loveliness any more if we had millions of dollars and ropes of diamonds." -L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

This is a blog I will be using for topics other than food. Politics, religion, spirituality, humor, green living, anything that I want to talk about that doesn't fall under the food/cooking category.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Extra, Extra, Read All About It!

So, I just ran across a news story from last week that I hadn't been aware of when I was working on yesterday's blog post, and it'll be too late to include it in this week's blog post. I have decided to post it as a special edition news post, because I think it's an important-enough incident to know about sooner rather than later, or never find out because it gets swept under the rug.

First, a video of the incident:

This all seems rather harmless on first viewing, nothing out of the ordinary for Fox News. Fear mongering in the name of telling the news. The only problem? There is no such person as Nils Bildt, and he most certainly doesn't work for the Swedish government.

Here are a few articles to read more about Bildt and Fox News's decision to put him on the air:

Washington Post



This is an English translation of a Swedish newspaper

In this day and age of hurling accusations of fake news around at real, legitimate news sources, it is imperative that incidents like this don't go unnoticed. We may never know the truth behind this. Did Bill O'Reilly and Fox make this man up and put him on the show to fit their story? Did he troll them in the most epic way possible? Was it simply a mix up, a human error? Regardless of which one is the truth, the truth is not what was told to the listeners on Fox News that day. While I don't think that is a legitimate source for information anyway, it doesn't make it all right for them to dupe their viewers like that. Fox News viewers, in their endeavor to steer clear of fake news, should be outraged and demand better of their news source. We should all demand better of it.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

02/26/17 Week in Review

Here we are, another Sunday for perusing the week's news. I think I have more than ever before, so good luck getting through it all! Happy reading!

Immigration, Deportation, and the Ban Issues

More information about the new guidelines about immigration and deportation.

I try to avoid articles based on speculation, but this had some good ideas on gauging the deportation situation.

Fall out from last week's Day Without Immigrants protests around the country.

Trump is reworking the travel ban. Time will tell of its Constitutionality.

The DHS has released information about the immigration rule changes. What ICE can and cannot do, etc.

Conspiracy theory of the week. The Justice Department will now use private prisons again. This will open up many large facilities across the nation to put prisoners. ICE will begin rounding up and placing people here, most likely without trials, to be forgotten about. Who needs Gitmo when you have this? Further conspiracy: You hear chatter occasionally about people wanting to use prison labor to replace undocumented workers. Why not replace them with them? Now you have unfree prisoners who were undocumented workers, who you can pay even less than before to do the same amount of work, if not more. It's the perfect solution to people who want to get as close to the return to slavery as possible without actually breaking the law. (This is purely my speculation.)

Actual facts and figures are presented in this opinion piece on the alleged immigration crisis in this country.

People are pledging their homes to help hide others in danger of being deported. I never thought we'd need another Underground Railroad again, but here we are...

Confirmation that religious profiling has begun at US airports.

Money Issues

Last week's bid by Kraft Heinz seems to be off the table after all.

But it might not be completely done and over with. Keep your eyes and ears out for this one, folks.


There's an election coming up. The DNC needs a new leader and several people have thrown their hats into the race. Read about all of them here!

The DNC has elected a new leader.

LGBT Issues

In the surprising plot twist nobody saw coming, apparently Betsy DeVos was actually in favor of keeping the transgender student protections because she felt students need to feel safe at school. My personal opinion: This is actually really important to keep in mind. This is clearly what Trump wants to use his nominees for positions for, to further do his bidding. At least in this situation, DeVos is supposed to just sit and look pretty and do what Trump wants, or he'll find somebody else to do it. I don't know if we'll see things like this coming from positions that have been filled by men, or if it's just the positions filled by women, which aren't that many so far. Keep an eye on this behavior to see if a pattern builds.

Here is the official statement released by Betsy DeVos regarding rescinding nationwide protection for transgender students.

This isn't an article as much as it is a list of things we can do to help transgender students and adults during this tough time.

Local Issues

Seattle Mayor Murray is prepared to sue the president over sanctuary cities.

Here's some good information on a local tent city that's trying to raise money to build tiny houses for their people.

A church in Washington state is suing the president because the immigration ban violates their religion and their right to practice it.


The vice president has taken a stand against the attack at a Jewish cemetery earlier this week.

Ivanka Trump speaks out against the recent rash of bomb threats made against Jewish Community Centers.

Muslims around the country have raised money to help pay to fix the defaced headstones at the cemetery.


South Sudan is experiencing a famine. Millions of lives are at stake.

South Sudan's president has vowed to let his people have access to food and other aid when it arrives.

An informative article about famines, and why they still exist in 2017.

Opinion Pieces

Here is a good article written by a Muslim woman who used to work in the White House.


This is a great example of how perception is more important than reality. Trump's supporters see nothing but success and amazing changes, because that's what they want to see. A coworker of mine once said something very wise to me. He said that people are "feeling" creatures, not "thinking" creatures, and articles like this show just how true that is.

A Maryland court has upheld a ban on assault weapons in their state. Could this spread to other states too?

Actor David Cassidy has revealed that he's battling dementia.

Things to keep an eye on regarding Trump's policies.

The importance of comparing apples to apples when studying polls and comparing them to one another.

As of Thursday, where DAPL and Standing Rock stand.

The national arts funding looks like it will be cut out of the budget.

The Russian investigation is taking some interesting twists and turns, so far...

I never thought I'd miss John Boehner, but here we are...Speculation on where the Affordable Care Act will end up.

And on a happy note, here's some good things that happened this week! Thanks, Natasha, for finding this for me!

Civics 101:

In this week's continuation of the Declaration of Independence...Remember, in this and the next several passages, the "he" refers to the King of England. We're entering into the laundry list of the many wrongs he's committed to the colonies. I don't know about you, but as we will continue on with the list of wrongs, I am seeing more and more connections between the current administration in the White House and this King of England, from whom we sought independence. The comparison, as you will see, is rather uncanny...

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

Question of the Week and also Video of the Week:
What is "single payer insurance"? I don't know about you, but I have been hearing this term thrown around a lot lately in the discussion of what to do about the Affordable Care Act and what could be done to improve the health insurance system. If you're like me, you actually don't automatically know what this means, and might need to look it up. Well, that's exactly what I did last night. And it turns out, that the answer to "what is single payer insurance?" is super dry and boring and I have no desire to write about it. But, I also realized that there is a perfect musical answer to the question that basically represents what single payer insurance is. So, I present that to you here, as both the answer to the question, and my video of the week. Enjoy! And just google it if you want to find out what single payer insurance is, it's actually pretty simplistic. And also super not interesting to write about...

Do One Thing:
Last week's do one thing was a continuation of the week before because I didn't feel like I achieved it. I think I did a little better at it this week. I didn't have any sort of long, meaningful interactions with strangers, but I did have some interactions with people on the bus, so I'm going to count it. So, for this week's do one thing, I'm going to say...Tackle my phone issues. I am not a big cell phone person. I'm not a big phone person in general. But, I need to master texting, and I need to definitively find out how long distance works on my cell phone, because I don't have it on my landline. These might not seem important for a blog about politics or news, but long distance calls are needed to contact my representatives by phone. This is the first step in that. I am generally phone-phobic, so the thought of calling my reps on the phone terrifies me, but I am determined to overcome it. Baby steps, one at a time...

Sunday, February 19, 2017

2/19/17 Week in Review

 A lot of articles to choose from today. Pace yourself if you plan on reading all of them!

The President's Actions

Information about the publicly discussed matter regarding North Korea last weekend in Florida.

I must admit to being horribly ignorant to the goings on in Central and South America, but this seems like something worth keeping an eye on...

LGBTQ rights are bound to be attacked under this administration. It appears the first step in that has been taken.

What life in the White House is like. Approach with caution, as most of this is information submitted by anonymous sources.

How much money Trump's weekend trips to Florida are costing the American taxpayer so far.

Trump's words matter. They also echo words used by past tyrants.

Washington State

Senator Patty Murray is apparently doing a pretty good job in the Senate right now.

The well-known local case of the florist who discriminated against a gay couple wishing to have flowers prepared for their wedding has been heard by the state supreme court. Here is the verdict.

Kshama Sawant's response to Daniel Ramirez Medina's continued detention.


Where do the GOP House members stand on Trump's executive orders? Read to find out!

Here is a video interview with Paul Ryan from earlier this month. Make special note of certain words he uses, like logic. I think people would do better to come at him from an angle of philosophical debate, rather than feelings. That is, if you want him to hear you and have him take you seriously.

Apparently, all is not well in the world of the GOP trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

The GOP has repealed a regulation that previously blocked mentally ill people from buying guns. I have to admit, though, their argument for it is ingenious. Well played, GOP, well played...

Flynn Drama

Out like Flynn...We hardly knew ye...

What Pence knew, and when.

Apparently it's not just Flynn who was in cahoots with the Russians...

I guess nobody wants Flynn's job...

More information about Flynn's resignation.

Immigration Issues

ICE questions and answers.

A Trump supporter has a taste of being a refugee himself as he is evacuated away from the Oroville Dam spill.

A woman trying to get a restraining order against her abusive partner is arrested by ICE, who are tipped off by said abusive partner. This is the America we're living in now.

People are choosing to be arrested in Canada in hopes of becoming a refugee there. Is this the beginning of a new Underground Railroad?

A man arrested in Seattle is being detained for being an illegal alien, is going to continue being detained, for the time being.


Republican townhalls haven't been going too well of late.

Find a townhall in your area. Show up and have your voice heard!

The Day without Immigrants boycott and it's effects in Texas.

Libraries and librarians are good sources of information and now they are the source of resistance against the current administration!

Fact Checking

You may have seen the story going around social media about Melania Trump's security costing more than the arts budget. Here is a fact-checking piece about that.

Fact or fiction? Parsing out the now-infamous press conference from earlier this week.


What Captain America means in a time like now. (Team Cap now and forever.)

Fear not, garden fans. It appears that Michelle Obama's White House garden will remain intact during the next administration's run.

Norma McCorvey, the Jane Roe of Roe V. Wade, has passed away. Here is a short article about her life and times.

An update on The Gambia now that the new president has safely arrived and is able to begin a new era for the nation.

Another one bites the dust. Another Trump nominee has withdrawn his name for consideration.

Looks like there's a big deal in the works for the Kraft Heinz company.

Opinion Pieces

Trump seems to not be enjoying his dream job...

Civics 101:

In this week's continuation of the Declaration of Independence-

The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

Question of the Week: What is ICE?
With the increase in ICE raids starting late last week, I must admit that I am rather ignorant as to what exactly ICE is. Here are a few resources if you, like me, need to learn just what exactly ICE is, and what their role is.

Here is their actual website. If you look at the main page, you can see that they look like really nice people who give out milk cartons to people in need, and occasionally go scuba diving! But in all seriousness, ICE stands for (U.S.) Immigration and Customs Enforcement. They employ over 20,000 people, are located in 46 countries(not sure how that works), and have offices all over the United States.

Here are a few articles about what ICE is currently doing, how it compares to past administrations, and what direction they seem to be headed in:




Video of the Week:

I'm sure many of you have seen this one already on your social media pages, but I thought it was worthy of being my video of the week. Fox News anchor Shepard Smith apparently had too much of Trump's trashing the media, and decided to take a stand. You know it's getting bad when Fox News takes a stand against the GOP...

Book Recommendation:
I actually have a book to recommend this week!
Why Common Sense, by Thomas Paine? Because of this lyric from the musical Hamilton:

"I’ve been reading Common Sense by Thomas Paine,
So men say that I’m intense or I’m insane.
You want a revolution? I want a revelation,
So listen to my declaration: 'We hold these truths to be self-evident
That all men are created equal' And when I meet Thomas Jefferson, I’m ‘a compel him to include women in the sequel!"

Common Sense is actually an essay published on February 14, 1776, just about five months before the Revolutionary War began. I liked it for several reasons. It showed you what people were thinking about back then. What was important in their lives at that moment in time. They had some major decisions to make, bigger than we've ever been faced with before in our lifetime. What form of government should a new nation have? Should we become a new nation at all? What are the pros and cons of leaving or staying with Britain? Are we prepared for the consequences, because once we leave, there's no going back? These are ideas that we know the outcome of, because we are looking back at it, but just put yourself into the mind of somebody who is facing all of this at once, and has to make that decision. How incredibly daunting a task that must have been.

It also shows how people thought back then. The Bible is still being used as a main pop culture reference, the way Shakespeare used it in his plays some hundred(ish) years prior to this time period. I also like reading the language and seeing how similar it is to today's English. It doesn't read like Shakespeare, it's very much like today's language. I can imagine myself into this time and how I would speak to the people who lived then. And yes, there are passages in here that we would deem terribly racist in today's world, but it gives you an idea of how people thought back then.

And you can see the influence this essay had on the founding fathers and the people who came after. Read carefully and see if you can spot the passage referenced in a speech by Abraham Lincoln nearly a century later!

Here's a link to read online. I read an actual book copy I purchased for my book collection, but you can read it for free online if you like. Here are a couple of my favorite passages, I'll share them here with you.

On speaking about William the Conqueror, the first Norman king of England: "A French bastard landing with an armed banditti, and establishing himself king of England against the consent of the natives, is in plain terms a very paltry rascally original.--It certainly hath no divinity in it." I just love how he uses this example of how bad an outside group of people invading a land not their own and taking ownership of it is, while not even seeing that his adopted home is guilty of the exact same thing. It's just such a white person way to think...Nothing has changed over the years.

On hereditary inheritance of a throne of power: "Men who look upon themselves born to reign, and others to obey, soon grow insolent; selected from the rest of mankind their minds are early poisoned by importance; and the world they act in differs so materially from the world at large, that they have but little opportunity of knowing its true interests, and when they succeed to the government are frequently the most ignorant and unfit of any throughout the dominions." I can't think of a single person that this applies to in this current world we find ourselves living in now. Not a single, solitary one...!

Do One Thing:
Last week I tasked myself with talking to a stranger or a neighbor. I have to admit to semi failing this one. I talked to several strangers, but in the course of my business. Going to the doctor and talking to receptionists, a new doctor, and the woman who drew my blood all count as strangers, but aren't really keeping in the spirit of what I meant. I did have an opportunity to talk to a neighbor earlier in the week, but it was early in the morning and I didn't feel like it. So, I feel like I can't say I did my one thing, which means, it becomes my one thing for this week. Let's hope I do it this time around!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

2/12/17 Week in Review

Week three of the new administration is wrapping up, and it's been another busy week. I think we're going to have busy weeks like this for the First 100 Days, so we need to pace ourselves! Here are this week's top picks of articles that I read. Happy reading!

Immigration Issues

What life in America is like for Syrian refugees who actually make it into the country.

Refugees in Africa are facing a crisis. The largest refugee camp in the world has been dealing with a threat of shutdown.

The Muslim Ban

An interview with Washington state governor, Jay Inslee, and his take on what's going on in the country right now. My personal opinion: Keep your eye on this man. He's going places...

Going into the latest judgement upholding the ban on the ban, here are questions that were probably considered by the judges.

The outcome of Thursday's court of appeals ruling and Trump's now-infamous response to it.

This could be an incredibly overreaching development, if it is allowed to be enacted. Keep your eye on this one...My personal opinion: I find this very disturbing and hope it's not allowed to see the light of day before it has to be taken to court and struck down.

Executive Orders

Executive orders are largely unregulated. Regardless of who or what party is in charge, is it time to look into making some changes in how they work and what they can and can't do? My personal opinion: Yes, it's time to look into this.

Trump passed three more executive orders this week. These ones haven't been getting much buzz on my social media.

An update on the Great Wall of Mexico and it's true cost on the American taxpayer.


This small town voted overwhelmingly for Donald Trump. The hope is that he'll restore jobs to the impoverished region. Only time will tell, of course, if he'll manage to do that.

LGBT rights are being threatened on a state level in many different states, including Washington.

Net neutrality is once again in the news. The days of net neutrality may be numbered this time...


Town hall meetings didn't go very well for the GOP this week...

Hypocrisy, thy name is GOP...

Hypocrisy, thy name is Donald Trump...

The Betsy DeVos Confirmation

Large, sweeping changes to the education system might be more difficult to enact than we might think.

Betsy DeVos was confirmed, against the best efforts of the Democrats. What will come of this?

The powers of the vice presidency and how they have changed over time.

While the country was focused on the Betsy DeVos confirmation, San Francisco did this...Pay attention to this one, readers, things like this have a way of spreading.

Pipeline Issues

It's official! Seattle has voted to divest its money out of Wells Fargo.

The Army Corps of Engineers has cut the time short for you to communicate with them.

The history of the Army Corps of Engineer's involvement in decisions like the Dakota pipeline.

Military veterans are heading back to Standing Rock.

The Elizabeth Warren Shutdown

What exactly is the rule McConnell used to shut Warren down?

Memes, social media, and feminism. In the aftermath of Elizabeth Warren's shutting down by Mitch McConnell, these are things that need to be considered.

This could all end up blowing up in the GOP's face, or it could be what they wanted all along. There is far more behind-the-scenes strategy than we will never be privy to. Everything we see on tv is for show, or at least it seems like it to me.

The Environment

Here is an idea about taxing carbon emissions and giving the money back to the people of America. By conservatives...I know, right?!

Scientists in Japan are working to create drones that could replicate pollination normally done by honeybees. With honeybees in crisis, this normally ridiculous-sounding idea is now sounding more necessary than ever.

Opinion Pieces

Will the Democrats follow in the GOP's footsteps and become the new Party of No? Is that even the best choice for them to make?

Protest Updates

I couldn't find any specific information about protests in Seattle in the near future, but I did find an interesting site. This looks like a promising website to find up-to-date information on protests around the country.

Civics 101:
In this week's installment of the Declaration of Independence-

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.

Video of the Week:
This comes courtesy of my friend Mika, who passed this along my way. It was too funny to pass up. Make sure to watch all of them, if you have the time!

Question of the Week: What is the nature of humankind, both conservative and liberal?

This comes out of a brief discussion I had with a coworker this week when he saw the book I am currently reading. I haven't finished reading it yet, but hopefully by next week I will be able to use it for my first book recommendation on this blog!

Anyway, the basic question posed by this book is: Is man inherently good or inherently evil? My coworker reacted in a way that made it clear he thought it was ridiculous that humans are inherently evil. It reminded me of something I have thought for a while, in terms of liberals and conservatives. This is deeper than Democrat and Republican. Liberals are often accused of being optimists, which means you would assume that they were people who think humans are inherently good, right? I am about to blow your mind: I pose this hypothesis-Conservatives are the optimists, people who think humans are inherently good, and Liberals are the pessimists, who think humans are inherently evil. Think about it; conservatives, generally speaking, want less rules, less regulations, more freedom. Why? Because they think people don't need a higher government power to keep them in line. They feel that people will do the right thing on their own, without being commanded to. Liberals, on the other hand, generally want more government regulation and control. Why? Because in their eyes, they know people will not do the right thing, if given the chance. People will always take advantage of each other, perhaps because they have been the victims of this too many times to believe otherwise.

There is not necessarily a right or wrong to this. It's just what makes the most sense to you as a person. Who knew that politics included so much philosophy? Spoiler alert, politics is philosophy.

Do One Thing:
Did I do last week's one thing? Yes I did! On Saturday, I went for a walk out at Northgate to find my new doctor's office. I had come from the food court at the mall and walked while eating a coconut ice cream cone. It was delicious and I didn't think about politics and all the garbage in the world right now. It wasn't raining and I was able to find the building and discovered it's really close to my new workplace, when we end up moving there!

So, for this week's one thing, let's see...Talk to a neighbor or a stranger. What about? Anything. The idea is to connect with somebody, anybody, even if just for a moment.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

2/5/17 Week in Review

Well, it's been another full week of executive orders, resistance from said orders, and a plethora of news articles to read! Here they are, the best of the best, of all the articles I read this week.

Sorting out the Facts

Earlier this week, a rumor floated around social media that Trump had already filed for reelection and the reason being because if he did, non-profit organizations would be unable to legally speak out against him without losing their non-profit status. Snopes, as always, helps tell us exactly what he can and cannot do.

Here is a good list of Trump's latest alternative facts, and the real facts, so you can better tell which is which.

Liberals can be the victims and perpetuators of fake news too. We all need to be aware of fake news.

The Immigration Ban

Where it all stands right now. From bans to stays to firings.

More information on the firing of Acting AG Sally Yates.

The now infamous "Bowling Green Massacre" incident and how we need to be careful with anything this administration tells us.

The damage done already is far greater than first anticipated.

As of Wednesday, the legal actions taken against the immigration ban, and where they stand.

A good article about the halting of the immigration ban on Friday. This is definitely far from over...but it's a good start to ending it!

Supreme Court

A good article about Neil Gorsuch, explaining his positions on several issues, as well as his education and qualifications.

This is a difficult choice to make. To filibuster or not to filibuster, that is the question. Filibuster now, and the GOP will most likely take that right away. That means not using it the next time a Supreme Court justice needs to be chosen. Don't use it now and we can't fight this nomination. And the GOP could still take away the filibuster just because they can, so we lost our one chance at it. I don't envy the Dems in their strategizing for this. It's a gamble either way.


Information on the phone call last Saturday between Trump and Putin.

The GOP has changed the rules in order to move their platform forward. This will make it more difficult for Democrats to use resistance to keep nominees from being confirmed.

A reminder from last week's post, there is still time to comment on the pipeline issue. We have until February 20th. Now is the time to flood their in-boxes and phones with messages supporting Standing Rock.

A slight victory? At least until all the religious protections Trump apparently wants to set up take effect, of course...

Following up From Last Week's Question about Executive Orders

More information about Trump's executive orders and how likely they are to come to fruition.

More information on how executive orders work.

A bare bones explanation of the Wall Street-related executive orders signed on Friday.

A straight-forward explanation of the gun control repeal from this week.

Good News

A bill proposing the private sale of public lands in Utah has been withdrawn. This is a good example of speaking up and contacting your representatives having a very real affect.

South Dakota has withdrawn its transgender locker room bill. Hopefully this is a sign of more to come from other states.

While Trump is  doing a lot of terrible things, there are little moments like these that, while they don't make it all worthwhile, gives me a tiny bit of hope that in this issue, maybe there is relief on the way. Will Trump be able to get drug companies to lower their prices? Only time will tell, of course.

The Boy Scouts of America have at long last changed their policy and will begin to allow transgender boys into their troops. This is a big moment of growth for them as an organization.

Opinion Pieces

Things are bad right now, and they'll get worse, but they won't last forever. Take heart, because, this too shall pass...

Is it time for Democrats to fight fire with fire? We've already seen the GOP changing the rules this week to work around Democrats who don't show up to hearings. Perhaps it would work, perhaps it wouldn't.

Our fighting back has only just begun and it isn't going anywhere, any time soon. This is a new way of life in America...

I know, I know, Howard Stern? I want you to willingly read something he said? Actually, in this instance, yes I do. As a friend of Trump's, he does have some interesting insight into how the man's mind works, and we can use that in our resistance. Knowledge is power, and we need as much of that as we can get.

This is an amazing piece everybody needs to stop and read right now. I'm serious. We have a long fight ahead of us, but perhaps the fight we need to be making isn't a fight at all, but finding connections with each other instead?

The haves and the have nots are increasing in this country, and growing farther apart. This does not bode well for bringing the nation together.

Seattle Divesting From Wells Fargo

Is Seattle just the start of a nationwide movement? How important is this in the fight for what is right?

A local article about the divesting and what happens next.

Question of the Week: Should Washington State Create Its Own State Bank?

After the news that the first step in divesting Seattle's $3billion debt out of Wells Fargo and into another institution began this week, the question a lot of people are having is, where will we put this money? Credit Unions can only take a maximum of $250,000, per state regulations, so it would have to be divided between a lot of credit unions, which might not make it worth the while in the long run. But another idea being floated around, is the idea of a state bank. At first glance, this might seem dubious, but the more you research it, the more you'll see the benefits that can come from this. Currently, North Dakota is the only state in the country that has a state bank, but they have been able to do some amazing things because of it, and even weathered the storm of the Great Recession with little trouble. The time has come for Washington to consider creating its own state bank.

Earlier this week, I emailed my city representative to ask him to vote in favor of divesting from Wells Fargo. The next day, I got a form email back. In it was a paragraph talking about this topic. It included some names, a bill number, and an email address of who to contact. I am going to put it here. If you live in Washington state and would like to have the state consider creating its own bank, I would encourage you to call or email the name listed in the paragraph, I already did!

"Right now, there is a bill being proposed to create a state bank for keeping taxpayer dollars in Washington and away from big banks like Wells Fargo. Senate Bill 5464, led by Senator Bob Hasegawa, is not yet scheduled for a public hearing in the Senate Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee. You can help right now. Tell the chair of the committee, Senator Jan Angel, that you want this bill to be heard. Her number is (360) 786-7650 and you can email her at Jan.Angel@leg.wa.gov."-Exerpt from a form email sent from Mike O'Brien, Seattle city councilman.

Here's a great article on what North Dakota does with their state bank and how it works.

Here is more information on exactly what a public bank is.

This article from 2012 talks about how the interest in state-owened banks has increased, particularly after the economic crash a few years ago.

Protest Updates
One of my friends requested that I try to include information on protests. I will do my best to keep track of at least the Seattle-based protests and if any big national-level ones come up, I'll try to include them as well.

Here is information about a proposed nation-wide general strike on February 17th and what exactly a general strike is. Keep your eyes and ears out for this one, and plan on joining in if you can!

For people interested in the protest schedule around the Puget Sound this weekend.

Civics 101
In this week's installment of the Declaration of Independence, right after we left off last Sunday:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Video of the Week
This video comes courtesy of my cousin Joanna, thanks Jo!

Because it isn't a You-Tube video, or one of my own videos, I can't insert it here. The link will take you to the page and then you can click on the video there.

I thought this was amazing that it was from 1947, yet sounds not only incredibly liberal, but also so relevant today. Too bad it's 70 years later and we still need to be taught this lesson...

Do One Thing
Did I do last week's one thing? Yes! Times two, actually. I got food from the Mongolian grill place in my apartment complex last Sunday and on Saturday I had lunch with my mom at a Chinese food place out on Aurora. Both were delicious!

This week's do one thing is...Go outside for a walk for at least 15 minutes and don't think about politics. Let your mind wander, take in the beauty of your surroundings, and forget the garbage for a while.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

01/28/17: The Week in Review-Edited Version

So, this first week of the new administration has been a wild, emotional roller coaster. Fourteen executive orders in one week, news updates on an hourly basis, and our social media pages are erupting in hysteria, fear, and anger right now. It's hard to figure out what is what and where to focus our energy right now. I decided this was a good place to try and gather my thoughts, and share those and the information I gather during the week, with my readers. I will be sharing links to news articles that I found to be helpful, rational, and educational to me, so that you can read them too. I will also share a piece of American documents, such as the Constitution, so we can refresh our knowledge on these important works upon which our nation was founded. I will also try to focus on a topic that feels relevant each week, as well as pose some questions I don't know the answers to(yet hopefully). If I ever have book recommendations, I will share those here as well. My goal is to keep this a calm, rational, and hopefully balanced forum. I will do my best to present information and not sensationalize it, if possible. It will, of course, be biased towards my own beliefs, but people can form their own conclusions and opinions on the information. Questions, comments, and suggestions on things to feature or focus on, will always be welcome!

Links by Topic:

The Affordable Care Act

This is a good article to start off with. The GOP has been working on alternatives to the ACA. This article talks about one plan and includes a short video that helps flesh out their game plan. I stumbled across this last week while the nation was focused on other issues, but I think this is important to keep an eye on so that we can continue to speak up about what works and what doesn't.

This is a good follow up article to the previous one. It builds off that first idea and presents a couple other ideas. We might not be focused on this right now because of what feels like more pressing issues, but they are going forward with their planning sessions. We need to stay informed about it.

In trying to track down information on why some people dislike the ACA, outside of the idea that it's connected to Obama, I found this. It's from November of last year, but it's not too old to be outdated, in my opinion. I thought this was a good explanation on why some people have problems with it. Most of it stems from the cost, apparently.

This article is a couple years old, but I thought it was really informative on what the GOP base takes issue with in regards to the ACA. If you are trying to find out what other people think about this topic, I highly recommend this one. Rather than ignore objections to the ACA, or write off the objectors as hateful people, I think it would be beneficial to everybody who supports it, to truly understand why some people don't care for it.

The Oil Pipelines and the Environment

Here is a very  straight forward article regarding the executive order opening the oil pipelines back up for business. It includes information on what steps have to be taken to go from executive order to actually breaking ground.

Looking for a way to express your thoughts on the pipelines but don't know how? This includes instructions, including an email address to the person in charge of deciding the path these lines will take. Normally I wouldn't include a link to a site I've never even heard of and wasn't sure how reputable it was, but I checked it against the official government website, and found the information matched, so I felt safe including this here.

This is the website I used to double check the above link. You can confirm the information as well, if you want.

I was looking for a good article this week that really explained the timeline of what has happened over the last few years in Flint, Michigan, with their water issues. This was exactly what I needed. It covers every step over the years.

It appears that progress is being made in Flint, but proceeding with caution is probably still warranted.

Here is a good first person perspective of what it was like to grow up in Flint, during this water crisis.


This is a very in-depth article that includes links to other articles regarding the shutting down of science-based government organizations this week. This issue is still too early to tell how it's going to play out, but this is an area I suggest we keep a close eye on.

Here's an article talks about the job resignations the came in conjunction with the website shutdowns.

The ACLU wrote a good piece on what rights the employees at these organizations have, and don't have. When, where, and what they're allowed to say, etc. This is quite helpful.

The Wall and Immigration

This presents a thought I hadn't had originally while contemplating the wall. While I think the wall is ultimately a silly idea that will only waste money and likely not even get halfway built, if at all, this is a perspective that does need to be included in how we think about it. Not only people will suffer if an attempt is made to build a wall. This will be devastating to many species of animals, as well.

As terrible as a wall sounds, this could all end up being much ado about nothing. Sanctuary cities, mine included, stand to lose all our federal funding for not doing as we're asked. However, as this shows, there are a lot of problems involved in enforcing any of this. My personal take: The wall is a distraction that will probably end up either not happening or not being completed. Our energy would be better focused on other pressing issues.

A good, straight forward article explaining who and what are affected by the immigration ban.

Here is a list of questions and answers regarding how this refugee crisis even came to be in the first place. Because it's easy to ignore it when you live here, but now it's time for us to get caught up on the particulars.

To my knowledge, there have been no more big developments in the immigration ban since the judge's stay late Saturday evening.

Opinion Pieces

After Saturday's march, stories began to emerge on social media of white people behaving in a less-than-ideal manner towards people of color at the marches. Here is a great, lengthy piece that helps explain how to be a better ally. All white people need to learn to be better allies, and even if you think you already are one, you can still benefit from a refresher course.

Here's a goood list of things we can all do to try and be better, more informed and more involved citizens of our communities and nation. We might not be able to do all of them, but there are probably some all of us can adopt.

Some thoughts on stooping to the level of people being rude and cruel to others. It might feel good in the short run, but it might not work out for the best, in the long run. We can be better than this.

One of the things I have tried to do after the election, was a piece of advice I read: Study perspectives other than yours. I have begun to branch out and read things that skew both more liberal and more conservative than me, and I feel I have really benefited from it. This is an opinion piece written by a libertarian about why they should be more concerned over this administration's first week than he was seeing from his friends.


Here is a good, straight-forward week-in-review including potential consequences and future actions. I try to be careful around anything that deals with predicting the future, because oftentimes it ends up being more about scaring the reader into reading more, but this was well-written.

Elizabeth Warren is upsetting a lot of people this week by choosing to vote for Ben Carson. A lot of people have written her off entirely, but I think this piece shows just how difficult it is to make these decisions. There is a lot of, well, politics involved in politics. Instead of writing people off entirely because they aren't perfect enough for us, maybe we need to learn what goes on in the world of politics and remember that we're hiring imperfect people to work in an imperfect system. I'm not necessarily defending her, I just think that if we are going to be judging politicians, we need to really understand how the game is played.

In the midst of yesterday's chaos involving the immigration ban, this happened. Steve Bannon is quickly rising up in power in this nation, and that's not necessarily a good thing. We absolutely need to keep our eyes on this man.

Civics 101:

I am going to put a portion of an historical document each week so we can slowly digest it over the course of the week. I am going to "start at the very beginning," with the Declaration of Independence. Since this is so widely available in multiple forms, I am not going to put a source link.

Declaration of Independence

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

Well, that sounds like a good start for a brand new country! It's a good, strong opening statement. I guess next week, we'll find out what some of those causes are...

Question of the Week: Executive Orders

Executive Orders are coming at us fast and furiously this week and I thought it would be a good idea to focus on just exactly what they are. Executive Orders, and the president's ability to use them, are actually not in the Constitution, did you know that? I sure didn't. They are considered the law of the land, but there are many, many exceptions to that, so much so, that I would say that you'd have to put quotation marks around "law of the land".

Here is a good website that explains all the particulars of executive orders. The who, what, how, etc.

Good ol' Wikipedia has a more thorough explanation, if you want even more details.

I know it seems as though all hope is lost to us. But did you know that President Obama signed an executive order in his first year to close down Guantanamo Bay? It was one of his campaign promises that he was determined to make good on...So, how is that going now? I believe Gitmo is still very much open and running...

As this article explains, it can be way more difficult to actually enact these orders than it is to write them. A president can write up an executive order and then wipe their hands as though they've done a good job, but then Congress has to deal with it, and as we know, Congress can sometimes be where things go to die...Only time will tell for some of these executive orders.

Unanswered Questions to Ponder:
*When/how/can the SCOTUS speak up/out against any of this?
*When/how/can Congress speak up/out against any of this?
-Are they not speaking up because they are "evil"? Or are they not speaking up because they are busy with confirmation hearings and can only focus on so much in one 24 hour day?
*Will the Democrats work with the Republicans on issues that can be compromised on or will they be obstructionists like the GOP of the last 8 years? Does anybody really win when one entire side refuses to do anything?
*Why is compromise considered a four-letter word? Can good things come out of compromising?

Video of the Week:     

This is the only video of the inauguration I plan to watch. If you're unfamiliar with Bad Lip Reading, please do yourself a favor and watch some more of their youtube videos. They do politics, sports, movies, nothing is sacred. And it's all hysterical. I think we could all use a good laugh after this week. We'll need some lighthearted energy to go into the next week...

Do One Thing A Week:

I thought I'd try this out and see how it works. There are a lot of places you can go to find "assignments" for yourself to help out in these troubling times. They're wonderful, and I wanted to contribute to that as well. Mine might be a little different, though. Things not necessarily designed to make a big splash in the world of politics, but things to help refresh and renew yourself so that you can have more energy to do those things. Or things that will impact your local world. Or just anything that strikes my fancy. So, for this first week's thing to do, I will go with...

Eat a meal at a POC/immigrant-owned restaurant.

Well folks, it's been a crazy week, and we're just getting started! I hope this helps you out in your search for reputable news sources and information to help you feel educated and informed of the issues at hand. If you found this to be helpful, feel free to share it with others. I would love to hear back from you if you have an thoughts, comments, or suggestions. Hopefully I can address them in future postings!