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.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

3/26/17 Week in Review

Well, what an exciting week it was for those of us who weren't fans of the proposed healthcare plan. It was cool to watch it all happen in real time as the vote failed to even happen twice before the bill was pulled entirely. Oddly enough, you will only find one article about that in this week's post. Why? Most of the ones I read this week were out of date by the end of the week, and I didn't come across a good one I really liked that summed it all up. I also figure that most of us were paying pretty close attention to this one and you probably don't need it summed up for you. Here are some articles I read about other things that happened this week. Happy reading!

Rules and Laws

In other, overlooked news this week, the Supreme Court made an interesting ruling that will affect special education students.

Not everything was a spectacular fail this week; the Senate passed this disturbing rule that allows internet privacy to be less private than it used to be.

Russia Issues

A good break down of what Comey said about wiretapping and Russia on Monday.

Nunes claimed he had information that the Trump team had indeed been monitored by people, but now he's saying that's not actually the case. I'm reminded of that random man Trump dug up who claimed to have all the information we needed to prove there had been millions of illegal votes for Hillary Clinton, only to have it come out that he himself was registered in several states to vote. That man disappeared once again into obscurity very soon afterwards...

Gorsuch Confirmation Hearings

Here is an article discussing why they think the Democrats should filibuster Neil Gorsuch's confirmation to the Supreme Court.

And here is another explaining why a filibuster might not be the best option for the Democrats. *Personal opinion: Let this confirmation go without a filibuster. If the Dems fight this, the Reps will most likely revoke the filibuster option and that's something that can't be undone. Like the article says, this is the long game. This isn't about Gorsuch's confirmation, it's about the next one and the one after that. This isn't going to tip the balance, but the next ones will. Keep our power for when we really need to fight it tooth and nail. I know it *feels* wrong not to fight this, but as we've seen this week in other areas, we can still successfully fight things, regardless of who is on the Supreme Court.


Another incident of somebody being detained at an airport based on their name and ethnic background. This man just happened to be a former police officer...

The oldest Rockefeller has passed away. He was 101 years old. Read about his life here.

A science and medical breakthrough that would make Popeye proud. They say veggies are good for your health, but who knew that could be so literal?

The latest round of blaming for the failed healthcare bill. I don't think this is over and I'm pretty sure we'll see somebody lose their job for this. It's just a matter of who and when.

Civics 101:

"In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends."

We are nearing the end of the Declaration of Independence. As you can see in this section, the writers are expressing how they have exhausted all of their legal means to appeal to the king and country for their needs and still aren't getting the respect or help they deserve. They are left with not many other options...

Question of the Week:

This article from the Atlantic magazine's March issue has opened my eyes to the rise of Putin and his many supporters around the world, including the United States. As you read it, you see that it isn't really about him, or Russia, it's about what he claims to stand for. We are seeing racism, Islamaphobia, and homophobia coming out of the woodwork right now in this country and people are no longer trying to disguise it. They are proudly sharing it with the world. Those of use who don't share those views are hoping that this is the last gasp of a dying movement, but do we have it completely wrong? Is it not the last gasp of a dying movement, but the first cry of a newly born and growing movement? I suspect we will see more of this as climate change continues to affect the world, and overpopulation continues to use up more resources than we can support.

Conflict in this world has always been a battle between the haves and the have nots. Perhaps this conflict is about people who have open minds versus people who have not open minds. People who are open to change versus people who are scared of change. The problem with people who rely on fear to guide their lives, is that they tend to act on it. Can we keep this contained? Can we work with these people to assuage their fears? When we approach them with the attitude that these people are worthless because of their viewpoint, and cut them out of the discussion like children who can't behave properly, is that really resolving the issue? Or is it just driving them closer to fighting back with violence against the perceived threat, which in this case, is us?

While it doesn't feel right to "reward" this fear- and hate-based attitude by giving it a voice or a seat at the table, maybe we have to do that anyway. I don't know about you, but when I'm upset or scared of something, being able to talk about it to somebody really helps me diffuse those negative emotions. It helps me to see it in a different perspective. When people who fear and hate others have no chance to talk those fears and hates out with others who might be able to help them overcome it, it festers inside them and all they're allowed to do is talk about it with people who share those thoughts and feelings, which fuels them. I suspect that while we have a good reason to try to shame people and cut them out of the conversation as a way of forcing them to conform to our world view, it's not actually changing any hearts and minds. It's just concentrating the hates and fears. It might actually backfire on us and have a horrible outcome.

It's like what Martin Luther King Jr. said: "Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that." It feels like we are light and love by cutting those people off and not giving them a voice, but I think that might actually be wrong of us to do. There must be a way to balance letting these people express their fears while not condoning what they do and say. This is on us to figure out. What do you all think?

Do One Thing:

So, for weeks now I have forgotten to do my one thing. That thing? Find out if my cell phone can call long distance without having any issues. So, I called my dad and he said there should be no issue, and I googled the website, and all they talked about was international long distance, which isn't what I need anyway. So, I guess it's not an issue and I could go ahead and try it out the next time I am called on to contact my representatives. I'll definitely use my cell phone and not my landline for that!

Ok, so now I need a new thing to do...What to do, what to do...For this week, my thing will be to make sure I do my walking every day. I am trying to get back into it. After spraining my ankle last year and also dealing with some other health issues like my acid reflux, there wasn't much motivation for me to keep walking. But now that those issues are better, there aren't many excuses left for me to not get out there and exercise. My body is definitely out of shape again, but I sleep better at night, and my mind always feels so much better after getting more exercise, so it's time to get back into it. That starts now!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

03/19/17 Week in Review

Healthcare plans, budget cuts, and wiretap story denials, oh my! What a busy week for the current administration as they try to foist irresponsible cuts to the federal government on us, start nuclear wars, and insult other world leaders in the never-ending quest to prove that one is right. Here is the best of the best of what I read. Happy reading!


Trump's epic response to the outpouring of anger against the GOP's healthcare plan. While his response is brilliant, read between the lines at what he isn't saying. I might be reading too much into this, but I think this is his fallback plan.

Trumpcare will most likely be front and center in the midterm elections in 2018. Read here to find out what the Democrats plan to do with it.

I know this generally breaks my rule about speculative articles, but it's just such a glorious read, I can't help but share it here. Trumpcare/Ryancare could be what takes out the GOP...If only...


Kofi Annan has some big energy plans for the continent of Africa. Can he make them come to pass? Let us hope so!

An update on the statue found in Egypt last week. It turns out it's not Ramses II, but it was still an important person in Egyptian history.


Monday brought with it the passing of another executive order, calling for the researching of federal government departments and their necessity. Money-saving is the stated motive behind this. According to this article, however, it will take the help of Congress to get any of this to work, however. Keep an eye out for this one, but I would advise not panicking just yet.

Here is the actual executive order passed on Monday.

A sad, insightful, and interesting look into the minds of some Trump supporters. This is worth a read, if only to see where they're coming from.

Trump definitely seems unwilling to admit he was wrong or that he lied when it comes to his wiretapping claims, and I think we should continue to act as though he is completely serious in all of this.

Trump's tax return explained. While I don't think the taxes are that important overall, for those who like reading about taxes, this is a good article about it.


There is a push for Scotland to hold another referendum to break away from England. It didn't work last time they tried, but with Brexit looming over their heads, and the fact that Scotland doesn't want to exit the EU, it might stick this time. Keep your eye out for this one, folks.

The city of Seattle is considering privatizing some of its community centers and pools.

American citizens, at least those who are Muslims or are of Middle Eastern descent, are having their cellphones searched upon return to the United States.

 This blog post about non-GMO foods might make you rethink the foods you eat, and the foods you don't eat. It's definitely made me rethink my stance on the topic.

A disturbing, though not surprising piece about Monsanto and it's quest to get rid of a study showing the cancer risk of one of their top-selling chemicals.

Civics 101:
In this week's section of the Declaration of Independence, we finish out the long, very long list of wrongs that King George is being accused of:

"For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions."

Ahhh, those sad and disturbing times before we stopped thinking of Native Americans as "savages"...If I was to rewrite the Declaration of Independence, that part would definitely get some heavy editing!

Question of the Week:
This came to me after two separate things I read this week. The first was the list of budget cuts in Trump's budget proposal. So many things, including the funding for the National Endowment for the Arts(NEA). The other thing I read was an article in the Seattle Times regarding the famine in four African and Middle Eastern nations right now. The article also mentioned the fact that we currently have 20 million school-age children in the United States who rely on school lunches to guarantee that they get at least one meal a day. This also made me think of Flint, Michigan, which has been without potable water for years, with very little, if no, intervention from the federal government. All of these ideas whirled around my head, and I became very angry at all of it. The question that I thought of, might be shocking or controversial, but I feel I have to pose it anyway.

Do we, as a society, deserve things like the arts, when we do not take care of the people in our country? If we let 20 million children starve, what right do we have to enjoy art? If we look at this from the perspective of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, the first, largest bottom level is that of our basic needs. The things every human needs to survive, which includes food and water. Art, viewing it and creating it, would fall under the the highest category, Self-Actualization. We like the arts, we enjoy them, we get satisfaction and fulfillment from them, but in the end, they're extras. Things we can partake in and view, when all our other needs have been met. Do we not have a moral and ethical obligation to make sure that at the very least, all our fellow citizens of this country, have met their basic level of needs before we indulge in our highest?

Of course, this is not why Trump is proposing to cut funding to the NEA, nor is he using those funds to help feed the poor in this country. They're getting cuts too, tragically. And I don't suppose this has to be an either/or situation, really. We can fund both. We have funded both. But even when we did fund both, we still had 20 million school age children relying on school lunches for food. So clearly, it wasn't enough, was it?

Do One Thing:
So, I have been forgetting to do my one thing for a few weeks now, and I am happy to say that this week, I actually achieved half of the thing! I figured out how texting works on my cellphone. It turns out it's not as complicated as I expected, so that's good! Now I just need to figure out how long distance works on it to achieve the second half of my do one thing. That'll be for this week, hopefully. Maybe I should write myself a note so I don't forget again!

Sunday, March 12, 2017

03/12/17 Week in Review

Well, it was another busy, ongoing week for the news. There are a lot of issues that are still in the midst of unfolding, but I did find a few good articles for most of the big topics that popped up this week. Have fun catching up!

Local Issues

Some of Seattle's homeless population are about to get housing!

If you've been following this story closely, like I have, you might have had a moment of panic a couple weeks ago when Wells Fargo announced that they would release Seattle from its contract early with no penalties. The only problem? We're not set up yet to put our money anywhere else. If Wells Fargo cancels our contract, we're royally messed up. As much as I would love to take our money away today, this has to be done properly or it'll be an epic disaster for our city. This can't be put off for too long, Seattle needs to find a new bank or work with the state to create a state-run bank to house this money. The problem of course, is big-banking lobbyists who keep shooting down the idea of a state bank. Are you looking for a local issue to get into? This is a good one. Research state banks, research bank lobbyists, and start writing and calling your local representatives!

Travel Ban 2.0

A good article with more information about travel ban 2.0.

Hawaii is the first state to challenge the new and "improved" travel ban.

While this is technically an opinion piece, it also explains really well what the new travel ban will and won't do, assuming it is allowed to be enacted.

Washington state is once again challenging the ban, with an interesting argument. Other states are pledging to join in the fight, as well.

The resistance to this new attempt at a travel ban has begun.


Say it with me people: Trumpcare, Trumpcare, Trumpcare! Other acceptable forms include GOPCare and RepubliCare. (I made those up, but I like them!)

Trump's back-up plan for when Trumpcare inevitably fails.

A good article about the GOP's plan to replace the Affordable Care Act.

A list of the current critics of Trumpcare.

Or maybe we should call it RyanCare?


A really interesting article about when girls start to lose interest in STEM-related topics and what can be done to help combat that.

Here's a good article explaining the latest Wikileaks information "dump" regarding the CIA and what they may or may not be doing with electronics in this country.

The Supreme Court has declined to weigh in on the transgender bathroom rights issue. For now, at least. Keep an eye out on this topic.

I may not agree with Lindsay Graham on many things, but I never tire of seeing him drag Trump through the mud...

A new statue has been unearthed in Egypt. It's thought to be Ramses II.

In 2017, starvation is still very much a thing on this planet.

Now it's Texas's turn to have their gerrymandering and voter laws called into question.

Civics 101:
In this week's continuation of King George's wrongs, as listed in the Declaration of Independence:

"He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies"

Question of the Week:

Is Ben Carson dumb/stupid/an idiot for saying enslaved people who came to America during the Transatlantic Slave Trade era were immigrants who had to work really hard for less?

This opinion piece speaks to his latest gaffe, as well as some done by other people recently.

I have formed an opinion that I have yet to hear anybody else express or agree with when I mention it, but I stand by it. I will present it as my take on this issue. Ben Carson is a neurosurgeon. He went to and graduated from medical school and then worked his way up through the ranks to become a surgeon and then specialized in a very complex type of surgery. That is not the mark of a "stupid" or unintelligent man. But think about it, the medical world, is largely an old (white) boy's club, right? So he had to work his way into this world and find a way to be accepted into it. That probably meant leaving his community and his heritage behind. Have you ever noticed that Ben Carson always looks uncomfortable with everything? Like, painfully so. I think that deep down, Ben Carson hates himself. He hates the color of his skin, his heritage, his community's past, all of it. It reminds him of what he isn't, and what he had to go through to be accepted into the world he loves most. So, he ignores the past, or changes the narrative to be a little less painful. He takes out the victimization element of the history of enslaved people in the United States. It's sad when you really think about it. It's tragic, actually. White people have set up the system in such a way that a person of color has to detach themselves from their past, their heritage, in order to be accepted. It's easier for us that way, we don't have to deal with the messiness of white guilt when the person of color doesn't feel like a victim, right? It's a perfect system...for white people. I think it's an important aspect to remember when you hear him say something like he did this past week.

But what about you? What are your thoughts about this? Maybe I'm reading way too much into it and the man really is just an idiot...

Do One Thing:

Did I do the thing that I hadn't done the week before? Of course not! I had a crazy busy week at work and continued to help my sister after her surgery. I didn't even think about it once. So, once again, it becomes the one thing to do this week instead. Maybe I'll finally do it!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

03/15/17 Week in Review

I feel like I have less articles this week than I have had in past weeks. I read a lot, I just wasn't pleased with the quality of the writing for a lot of it. Also, a lot of the big issues this week are still ongoing, so a lot of the articles feel like they're already out of date, or soon to be. I did manage to find plenty to read, though, so enjoy your Sunday news reading today!

Trump's Nominations

Another Trump nominee has withdrawn his name from consideration.

We have a new Secretary for the Department of the Interior.


Two more Trump advisors are known to have had contact with the Russian envoy.

Where things stand on what the Trump administration's connections to Russia are, and what we still need to find out.

The Tuesday Speech

Information about VOICE, talked about during Trump's speech on Tuesday.

Fact-checking Trump's speech on Tuesday night.

Travel Issues

Information on what customs can and cannot ask you when you are leaving a domestic flight.

Something to keep in mind if you plan on traveling to Europe over the next few years.

Immigration Issues

What Seattle churches are planning to do to support the city's sanctuary status to help immigrants.

I hesitated to add this, because at this point it's more speculation than news, and there isn't a clear source for where this information is coming from, but I felt it was important enough for people to read about sooner, rather than later. I don't know how this particular issue is best combated, contacting your representatives, maybe? But this is definitely not an ok policy to enact, and my personal take is that this should never see the light of day to be retracted at a later date. It should be dead on arrival before it can even take effect.

Voting Issues

Voting rights are under attack, yet again. This time from the Department of Justice...This does not bode well for the people in states that enjoy suppressing voters from using their right to vote.

It looks like the days of gerrymandering districts in the state of Virginia may be numbered...


Former President George W. Bush has some strong opinions on the current administration.

Warren Buffett's opinion on the current and future state of the economy.

Where things currently stand on the ACA repeal and its chances of getting past all the hurdles.

Trump has blamed the US military for the death of a serviceman during a raid in Yemen. This was the morning before his speech that night in which he praised the serviceman's widow for the sacrifice her husband had made to his country.

Due to the mix-up during the Oscars last Sunday, the director of Moonlight never had a chance to give the speech he had planned to give, if they'd won. Read it here!

Four transgender women of color have been killed in one week in this country, bringing the annual total to seven so far in less than three months into 2017. This is not ok.

Terrifyingly, the cartoon, Daria, a very important piece of my 90's youth, has turned 20 this week.

Opinion Pieces

Trump is not a conservative, and apparently, neither is the GOP...

Sexism and its role in the Clinton email controversy. Pence will not likely receive the same vitriol Clinton did.

Civics 101:
I'm going to include a longer section of the Declaration of Independence this week, since the list of articles is a little shorter than it has been so far. Remember, we're in the middle of the long laundry list of things King George is guilty of doing to the Colonies, at least in their opinion.

"He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power."

Question of the Week:
I can't think of anything good this week. I feel like the news stories this week all ended in cliffhangers and I don't really know where to go with them yet. They're still very much ongoing. So, I'll leave it up to the readers. Do you have a question we could explore as a group of readers? Comment on the blog or the post on Facebook and let's see what we come up with!

Do One Thing: 
Did I do my assigned thing from last week? Of course not! I spent the second half of this week taking care of my sister after she had surgery on both legs, so I was a little distracted from all of that. I think I'm out of my routine and a bit out of sorts because of that. I will try to do my assignment next week!