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 Most of the ones I read this week were out of date by the end of the week, and I didn't come across a good one I really liked that summed it all up.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.
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.
"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!