#covfefe

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​Other than my getting in on the meme, we can’t let this joke get too out of hand. This presidency is not a joke, it is frighteningly incompetent.

That said,  I feel like this #covfefe was a collective release of 120+ days of stress and fear, and we really, really needed it.
Let’s get back to withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement and taking away women’s rights to reproductive freedom. 

1. Global warming is so pervasive it is affecting the morning songs of birds as they become more confused by the climate change. 

2. Everyone knows that birth control and comprehensive, accurate sex education is the number one preventor of abortion. Let’s get on the page of truth and education and cut down on unnecessary abortions.

Post-Election Reflection – FBI, DOJ, WH

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​Whatever you think of Rachel Maddow’s opinions and politics, put those aside and find tape of last night’s show (May 9th, 2017). Rachel Maddow makes no apologies for her very strong feelings or her liberal, progressive beliefs. However, she is one of the brilliant minds in politics today. She’s smart, honest, and educates and explains hard to understand politics with details that often get overlooked or ignored by partisan pundits. She is much more than that.

Her educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree in public policy. She attended Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship and earned her doctorate in political science.

To not take her seriously or dismiss her as partisan would be at your own peril.

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March for Science – An Introduction

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​Tomorrow is the March for Science. As these important issues come up, I’m trying not to be political, but what we call political actually affects a number of people’s real lives. From crime to health care, immigration to women’s equality and civil rights for all, these are basic things that many of us deal with on a daily basis. I know people are tired of hearing about privilege, but if you’re not affected by these issues and simply see them as politics as usual, then more than likely you are in a privileged group.

That doesn’t mean that you are rich or have no troubles of your own; it is simply that from your perspective you can’t understand “the big deal”  or why some of us are so vocal. You may or may not take your rights for granted, but for some of us who live the day to day of having our civil rights violated, it has been very frustrating.

Whether or not you believe that our global climate is changing or whether or not you feel that it is a man-made problem, it is eveyrone’s responsibility to maintain adequate living conditions for everyone here now, and everyone to come.

This simply means taking care of our environment.

Conserve water.

Turn off the lights when you leave the room.

Adjust your thermostat.

Pick up litter.

In listing them, these should not be controversial. In fact, many of these should be common sense.

When a new White House Administration comes in, their priorities take precedence. They focus on what they feel is important. Looking back decades, we can see that. Even President George W. Bush, whose policies didn’t believe in climate change still did his part to protect the environment without compromising his capitalist values.

When the Trump Administration came in, on the very first day, they eliminated web pages from the official White House website. Ignoring what we would deem controversial like the justice department, immigration, LGBT+, and ethics policies, they also shuttered anything about climate and environmental protections as well as national parks, and food and drug safety. This included established and agreed upon science.

You can’t change facts.

You can disagree with them; you can have a differing viewpoint in how to address them, but facts are facts.

Our children need to know how to read and analyze data critically, objectively, and sadly, we are all being lied to when less than knowledgeable people are in charge of the various departments.

Tomorrow, as we have been doing since January on a variety of topics, we stand up for science.

We must broaden our minds, and think critically, and problem solve, and communicate with the best minds. We should encourage science education and questioning.

Science. Not silence.

This is the first of a series of posts for the March for Science and science resources. Please add your own suggestions in the comments. Now more than ever, we need to be here for each other and for our planet. We have one chance to get it right.

Stand up and be counted.

Emma’s Book Club

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Continuing the Monday book recommendations that I began a few weeks ago with President Obama, I’ve chosen Emma Watson’s book list for this next grouping of weeks. 

Most people probably know Emma from her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series of movies. She can currently be found on big screens as Belle in the live-action Beauty and the Beast.

She speaks out forcefully on feminism and equality, and whatever other issue comes to mind. She doesn’t hold back. She is the Global Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women as part of HeforShe which advocates for gender equality.

She seems to be a voracious reader, very  much like Hermione, and she shares that with the world through her social media accounts and public activities.

Not only did she have her own book club on Goodreads, she also hid books on the London Underground to encourage reading through an organization called Books on the Underground.

The first of the books on her recommended list is one that I just finished recently and one that fits into the crazy narrative that’s gripped US politics. Paranoia, wiretapping, fake news, and phony polls. When Mr.Trump became President Trump, people said we should re-read 1984. I graduated high school in 1984, and I know I read the book, but I couldn’t really remember it, so I re-read it, finishing it just last week.

The similarities are mind-boggling and frightening. One of the things that I am reminded of in both re-reading this book and watching current events play out is that history must be studied and learned and remembered or it is destined to repeat itself. In too many cases, we can’t let that happen. We must stand up for what we believe and what we see and hear with our own eyes and ears, respectively. I won’t get into specific politics other than to say it’s important to know what’s going on in the world and pay attention to it; to grasp facts and differentiate them from opinions and hyperbole. We still have time.

But first, read 1984 by George Orwell.

Obama Book Club – Doris Kearns Goodwin

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For most of the past Mondays, I’ve shared with you some of President Obama’s book recommendations as outlined and discussed in this Entertainment Weekly Article.

I’ve tried to share books that I am somewhat familiar with. I am currently listening to the audiobook of Team of Rivals by Doris Kearns Goodwin. I am slightly distracted by the voice of the narrator, Richard Thomas, known in my childhood as John-Boy on the the popular show from the 1970s, The Waltons. He is the perfect voice to read anything related to the Civil War or this, a biography of Abraham Lincoln and his Administration, his team of rivals.
I’ve been reading a lot of history and biographies lately. Part of that I believe is to show myself how far we’ve fallen but also to be reminded of how much potential we have as a country. We can come back from anything. After all, we came back from the Civil War.We came back from 9/11. We can come back from the Trump Administration.

President Trump could learn a lot from Lincoln and how he worked with his oppositional party. It’s the only way our country can flourish; by coming together for the betterment of all.

The idea of an Obama Book Club was mentioned with humor in an article I read, probably that one I’ve linked to above, and I thought it was a great idea to recommend books that President Obama reads and recommends.

In the following weeks, I will share other “book clubs”, beginning with Emma Watson in one week’s time.

I hope you’ve enjoyed seeing inside our former president’s mind, a man who reads for work, for context, and for pleasure, all good reasons to read and to emulate.

Election Reflection – Self-Care

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Here are a few links to help you be politically active but also take care of yourself. If you have any links or self care suggestions, please add them in the comments. We are here for each other; now more than ever. 

How to Avoid Being Psychologically Destroyed by Your Newsfeed

How to Call your Reps when you have Social Anxiety

How to Get Out of the Cycle of  Outrage in a Trump World

How to Stay Outraged without Losing Your Mind

Self-Care Ideas for a Trump Presidency

Watching Janelle Monae’s Women’s March Speech is your Self Care Homework for the Day

What to do when you’re so Overwhelmed by the Trump Presidency 

Two of my Own: 

Let’s Make a Coping Skills Toolbox

Make a Self-Care Thing

And this helpful graphic: 

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