Moore Tornado

  • Monday 20th May 2013 at 15:01 was the time of touchdown of the Moore Tornado. It remained grounded for 45 minutes
  • At least 24 confirmed dead
  • The worst effected area was to the south of the city of Moore, Oklahoma, which was hit with wind speeds over 200km/h
  • About 120 people had to be hospitalised
  • President Obama ordered federal authorities to join the search for survivors in the wreckage
  • On the 21st, 24 victims had been identified and returned to their families, although 40 other deaths had occurred, and the bodies had not yet been identified. 20 of the dead were children
  • Several children were hit when Plaza Towers Elementary school took a direct hit. The school’s roof was torn off and the walls knocked down, and 7 children died there
  • Briarwood Elementary school was also damaged
  • The tornado was about a mile wide, and at some points reached about 2 miles’ wide
  • Moore had been prepared for tornadoes, but not of that magnitude. There was a warning in place, but the tornado veered on an unexpected route. It was hard to keep out of the way of it
  • More than 200 Oklahoma National Guardsmen were called in to help search and rescue
  • The path of destruction was a line heading roughly east through the city
  • Many residents did not have anywhere to shelter, due to not having secure basements. There were also insufficient public shelters
  • Scored a 4 on the Enhanced Fujita scale (enhanced Fujita being made to account for events that the Fujita scale can’t accurately showcase)
  • The storm system stretched from Texas to Minnesota
  • A lack of funds and fatalism among residents has meant that response to prevent future events has been minimal
  • Several hundred people were injured
  • Education funding was limited, so schools could not afford proper measures
  • People had been wrongly informed that tornadoes could only hit in the late afternoon and evening
  • Normal behaviour in Oklahoma, due to the presence of so many storms, is to be constantly checking the weather out
  • Many storm chasers follow similar events so that their paths and impacts can be better predicted in the future; and some follow them just to see what they look like. Average people will sell the footage they get from tornadoes to actual TV stations
  • Doppler radar improvements mean that dangerous storms, and storm systems likely to create tornadoes can be more easily identified. Supercell storms which create tornadoes have distinctive patterns of movement within them, which Doppler radar can detect.
  • The loss of recognised places and landmarks can be over-whelming for citizens, especially those who come back to check on friends and relatives, or those who work in journalism, and therefore didn’t see the event itself
  • Frequent weather warnings can create complacency- Oklahoma can receive 80 warnings in a single month
  • Some people say that if they don’t live in tornado-prone areas, their taxes shouldn’t be used to help fund tornado shelters and warnings
  • Citizens of Moore are trying to raise money to add shelters and safe rooms to all the schools in the area, to not only protect children but the whole community

Dambisa Moyo- “Dead Aid”

Dambisa Moyo is a Zimbabwean economist, who wrote a book called “dead aid”. She doesn’t argue against the use of short term aid, but she does argue that aid is not getting to the poorest, and that only about 20¢ for every dollar that enters Zimbabwe get’s past Mugabe’s government. She claims that aid doesn’t encourage growth, self sufficiency or efficient enterprise.

Rather than relying on hand outs she says countries need to borrow on markets based on credit ratings. G8 countries have often discussed the state of poorer countries with no representatives for them present, even if they frequently have Western pop stars.

She argues that aid has not really done any overall good as US$1 trillion over 60 years has made no real impact on the incidence of poverty or on economic growth. Moyo claims that aid causes corruption, undermines accountability and chokes trade. This  is a huge fallacy as correlation does not mean causation. Lots of money does travel to relatively corrupt countries, but that’s often because some big disaster has occurred there, such as in Nepal, Ethiopia and many others, because they simply don’t have the money or infrastructure to support everyone even without the corruption, or, like in Swaziland, the presence of corruption is so great that it’s almost the sole cause of poverty.

Moyo suggests that instead of using aid money should be raised within the economy itself, by attracting foreign direct investment, reducing trade restrictions and promoting financial services to the poor. She seems to be unaware of the fact that countries don’t generally gain FDI unless they already have a decent enough economy or infrastructure to attract foreign companies. Far better methods would be to promote stability, tackle issues like climate change which are making it harder for poor countries to develop, reducing world wide corruption, changing immigration policies and promoting peace.

Views like hers may become very dangerous in the near future, as President Trump is likely to take any excuse he can to completely stop aid in the future. She does not propose viable alternatives to aid; the most viable alternatives are all things which Trump would be likely to diminish and suppress, and the US’s current role in aid would be hard to overstate.

Make America Hate Again 2/209

Hello, welcome to Make America Hate Again, the documentary of the hate Trump has made again. The number on the top represents the week of Trump’s term and the number beneath shows how many weeks there are in total of his term. If you want to find a specific week, either change the URL in the top bar^ or search for “part [week number]” into the search bar

For part 0, the last part, the next part and the latest part.

If in doubt, any quotes come from here.

I would also like to clarify: I don’t think all conservatives are idiots. I disagree with many conservative views, but most conservatives’ points can at least be understood. Trump cannot.

I also have to say at this point, I have a real appreciation for all the websites doing a similar day-by-day system. I feel like many of them will only cover the first 100 days though, and I plan on covering the whole thing. The level of detail will of course fall after 100 days though.

January 28th

  • Previously, the travel ban had been said to stop all travel from the 7 black list states. Now, according to the same administration official who made the first announcement, if someone from a black list state moves into another state they can now get a waiver on the rule. I’m not complaining about this change in theory, but in practice this is going to worsen the stream of refugees into European states, where they will stay indefinitely until they can move across. European states will grow even more needlessly embittered about saving people’s lives and stop, sentencing thousands, maybe even millions, of extra people to death.
  • I know we found out about this on the 6th/Feb, but Donald Trump is too inept to find the light switch in the chamber room, so meetings have been held entirely in the dark. Apparently no one had the brains to go find a torch either.

January 29th

  • “It really is a massive success story in terms of implementation on every single level” claims an Unnamed white house official , about the travel ban. I am unsure if he’s just been censored from learning about the protests. He spoke only on the condition of anonymity, which either means he was being sarcastic and was worried about being fired, or knows he’s talking nonsense and didn’t want anyone trying to get him to justify it.
  • The state visit of Trump to the UK was announced to be going ahead, despite calls from MPs for him to not be allowed into Parliament, general disapproval of his visit, and a well-backed petition with 1.25 million signatures on Change.org (where normally 100,000 are needed) for him to not be allowed in as a form of retaliation against him not letting refugees in (and against many other things, too).
  • The US embassy of the UK insisted that they would not be allowing VISAs into the US from the seven banned states (I think I’ll refer to them as the 7BS from now on, which serves both to represent the name and what most people think of it), even to people with US citizenship or dual nationality.
  • Yemen’s minister of foreign affairs spoke out against the travel ban from the 7BS, saying it was going to feed into conflict and extremism within Yemen. Yemen has had a civil war raging for years now, so anything that could increase their conflict is hard to imagine, and really should not be encouraged.
  • Indonesia said the ban would not help against the fight against terror
  • Asian financial markets were still plummeting due to uncertainties caused by the ban.

January 30th

  • Steve Miller, a Trumpian advisor claimed on the morning show that the protests about the refugee bans are a good thing: “If nobody’s disagreeing with what you’re doing, um, then you’re probably not doing anything that really matters.” It honestly sounded like he was asking a question. This means one (or both) of two things. 1) They don’t seem to realise that that proverb really only counts for if you’re not the one in charge; if you persuaded people to let you be in charge, then you shouldn’t have anyone disagreeing with you on things that really matter; 2) Even Trump’s advisors can’t think up good reasons for the things he’s doing.
  • Steve Bannon, the man I said the following about: “I’ve known Steve Bannon a long time. If I thought he was a racist, or alt-right, or any of the things that we can, you know, the terms we can use, I wouldn’t even think about hiring him.” You saying you were concerned about him being racist or alt-right basically confirms he is, especially with you again admitting it by wavering around the point for three separate clauses.”  before, is now on the Security Council. This is a big deal. He essentially has the power to force any country to do what he wants, by right of the veto power of the USA. He has the right to force any country to act in racist ways, and there is nothing anyone can do about it, currently, legally. Bush didn’t even do this. The White House justified this by saying he was “in the Navy“.  This is made even worse because Bannon described Trump’s voters as the “working-class hobbits.” He can’t even respect his own citizens and he’s now technically one of the most powerful people on the planet, arguably more powerful than Trump himself. This is a Bad Thing.
  • Steve Bannon told the media to “Keep its mouth shut.” First step of a dictatorship (at least, of the brutal ones which manage to be iconically disgusting) is government officials not allowing journalists to say what they want.
  • People trying to enter the US, even US citizens, from the 7 black list states, now need to be handcuffed, and be patted down, including groping of the chest area (which if anyone can store anything dangerous in, I would be very impressed), as described by this woman.
  • Justice Secretary, Sally Yates, from the Obama Administration, ordered the department not to follow Trump’s Executive Order to ban Middle Eastern entry from the US. She was staying until there was a confirmed replacement for her role. They were initially expected to defend the policy, although lawyers tasked with defending it seemed baffled and perplexed about how- how to make it seem legal and how to justify it. The department then said they would not defend the policy as long as Yates was their attorney general. Jeff Sessions is expected to reverse this.

January 31st

  • Acting Attorney General was Sally Yates was fired, at 1:00 in the morning GMT, or 8:00 PM East Coast Time, on the 30th. Sessions was expected to be put into the role anyway today, pushing her out of the acting position. She was not allowed to even do her job as head of Justice; defining whether certain actions are legal and whether people are guilty or not.
  • Neil Gorsuch is now in the supreme court for life.
  • Trump delayed signing an order centred on improving cyber security.
  • Trump has not  repealed Obama’s act stopping discrimination against LGBT+ workers working with federal agencies or contractors. He has said that they have to be “at the direction of” Trump though, which, to me, sounds a lot like “you can still discriminate when I tell you you can.”
  • Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director was named as Thomas Honan.

February 1st

  • Many republican members of the senate have announced that they will not be supporting Trump’s decision to make Betsy Devos head of the Department of Education.
  • Trump urges a move that a simple majority can push through a candidate for office. I don’t think this will allow Betzy Devos through anyway, most republicans have to have brain cells to get where they are (the main exceptions being the people Trump picks, and himself).
  • Committees approve Jeff Sessions, the man too racist to be a judge to become attorney general, and Rex Tillerson for secretary of state, despite his ties to Russia. But, I guess, if Trump got in, we shouldn’t expect that to be an issue.
  • Evangelical christian leader Jerry Falwell Jr  is now in charge of an education reform task force, and he intends to remove protections against sexual assault from University and College campuses. I never understood this mentality in fundamentalist Christians, the thinking that abortion is absolutely wrong, but contraception is too, and they don’t even think about protecting women from rapists. Surely if you don’t want unwanted babies to be aborted you should actively encourage contraception? The unwanted babies have to be stopped somewhere (unless people really like parents not valuing their children) and it makes a lot more sense to me to focus on before anyone can start trying to argue they’re alive yet.
  • The USA puts Iran “on notice” for testing missiles. What “on notice” means is a mystery.
  • A counter-terrorism task force was renamed to be specifically targetting radical islam. The vast majority of American terrorists are not Muslim. This is new heights of stupid. Or it would be, if this weren’t Trump.
  • Trump pays his respects to the Navy Seal who died because he couldn’t be bothered to read the mission briefing properly.
  • Trump claims that most reporters who cover him are a disgrace
  • “Iran is rapidly taking over more and more of Iraq even after the U.S. has squandered three trillion dollars there. Obvious long ago!” Trump doesn’t seem to realise this was never a thing. There was an Iraqi invasion of Iran in the 1980’s, but never an Iranian invasion of Iraq, as far as I can work out.
  • Trump annulls the deal Obama made with Australia to essentially swap refugees.
  • It’s hard to miss the irony of him being “proud to honor the start of black history month… with @VP Mike Pence,” given how racist they both are.

February 2nd

  • The white house said that Trump was “very upset” about the refugee deal with Australia, but that he would honour it, which sounds like how most parents would describe a child’s temper tantrum after it had ended, really.
  • Trump’s treasury department adjusted their sanctions against Russia’s intelligence services in light of their activities during the election period.
  • Trump says he wants to either renegotiate or replace the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement. He’s going to do a lot of replacing perfectly good things with a slightly worse copy of them in the next four years, isn’t he?

February 3rd

  • Donald Trump has both managed to completely disregard the importance of the decisions he has to make and made many of his staff completely opposed to him. If his staff had any  respect for him, they would not be leaking details, as opposed to officially releasing  them. An interviewee also explains how others also feel they need to do this to get him to pay attention to him. Far more important than this are the horrendously misinformed decisions he is making. The video linked here is a good summary by MSNBC of some of the awful decisions he has made. Around 8:30 they summarise how misinformed he is around a single one of his decisions.
  • 227,000 new jobs were generated over January. Whether this was before Trump came to power or not, I don’t know. I also don’t know how many of these were because of having to enforce stupid new rules. Can you imagine how much more work security guards and lawyers got from the travel ban?
  • Trump called for reviews of the banking regulations put in after the 2008 recession.
  • Tens of thousands of VISAs have been revoked under the travel ban
  • US immigration officials have postponed meeting refugees in Australia, suggesting that the White House is pushing against the resettlement program fairly forcefully now.
  • Republicans in Congress have called to repeal various acts to regulate emissions and environmental damage from business. This is oddly similar to how, in a documentary called Death by China by the US trade secretary, there’s one interviewee who says [paraphrasing] “China got rich by polluting all their waste in their rivers. Can you imagine how much richer we could be if we removed our regulations and dumped all our waste in the Ohio river?” He specifically mentioned the Ohio river, and it genuinely sounded like he wanted to dump waste in it. They are dangerously close to that man’s opinions.

Japan vs UK equality

Of the top 25 richest nations on Earth, Japan is the most equal. The top 5% of earners take 4.5 times the income of the lowest earners in Japan; in contract, the top 10% in the UK earn 20 times the income of the poorest 10%. There are more people earning more than £1,000,000 in the Barclays Tower in Canary Wharf than in the whole of Japan.

Japan achieved their equality after the dropping of the atomic bombs during WWII. After the War, the USofA started rebuilding the state, took all of the land, and divided it equally between the Japanese people.

The average life expectancy is 83 years in Japan.

The United Kingdom is more divided by economics than countries like Israel are by ethnic conflict. London is the most expensive city in the world to live in. There are no significant equality changes under political party changes. Apart from in NYC, no other city pays financiers like in London; and the UK pays bankers, proportionally to the Gross National Product, earn far more. On current projections, the UK is set to become the most unequal society in the world.

In the UK, the average clothing item is worn 5 times before being thrown away; it’s worth noting that this is probably highly skewed by the richest in society who can afford to wear something just once. 2% of the GDP is made up of advertising, while 1% of the rest of Europe’s GDP was.

 

 

Maya Lands and Oil Dispute

In Belize, people who buy land only buy the surface (and the right to dig down to build surface-based projects, such as house foundations and planting fence posts).

This is because, in Belize, due to the predominant rock type being limestone, there are many branching cave networks carved out by underground rivers throughout the country. The blue hole, a popular diving site, was formed by one of these cave networks collapsing, and the sea water pouring in to fill the space left behind. On the main land, many of these caves were used by the Maya people before the European colonisation of Meso-America. The Maya believed that there were steps up to heaven and down to hell, and that the cave networks were linked into these steps. Thus, caves were very spiritually important to the Maya people. Many burial sites were made within the cave networks. They were also used for sacred rituals, including human sacrifices, on occasion.

When North American buyers came in to buy land, the government was concerned that, should they find a Maya cave, they would use it as a tourist attraction, disrespecting the original culture, possibly damaging it, and the money produced from this would be leaked out and not even help the local economy to thrive. To stop this happening, the Belizean government decided that land rights were only applicable to the surface of the land, and that should a greater depth be needed for something, the government had to be consulted.

The Maya in the South of the country, in Toledo district, claim right to the lands in their district, which was, largely, respected. However, the government decided to allow oil companies from outside to look for oil resources in the south of the country.

This has raised issues with Maya people, not just because of the lack of farmland. Maya generally practice a subsistence lifestyle, so that they only produce so much food as they need to survive, and they farm in the forest using slash-and-burn methods. Their practice has worked for hundreds, if not thousands, of years in the forests without any noticeable negative impacts to the overall environment. However, this is threatened by oil companies. Oil wells can often leave exposed, or more exposed, oil at the surface of the land. Oil, for obvious reasons, does not mix well with slash-and-burn farming. Oil wells mean large sections of Maya land cannot be used, threatening their livelihoods.

Other concerns are that the Maya will gain little financial benefit, as very few of them will actually be employed by the oil companies. The few who are employed are likely to only be so for the short term, and to have low wages while they are. Some say that no Belizean should be happy with the current format for exploiting oil, with the company taking 95% of the total profit, and nationals only gaining 5%. It could also impact organic cocoa farming, which is a substantial portion of the Belizean economy.

This is what lead to a campaign by the Toledo Alcade’s Association and the Maya Leader’s Alliance to declare the Mayan people’s stance on oil exploitation in 2012. One MLA spokesperson said that they could not begin to discuss oil exploration without a proper acknowledgement of the Maya land rights, as, in law, their “free, prior and informed consent” is needed, as they are the owners of the land that US oil companies intend to extract from.

Make America Hate Again- 1/209

Hello, welcome to Make America Hate Again, the documentary of the hate Trump has made again. The number on the top represents the week of Trump’s term and the number beneath shows how many weeks there are in total of his term. If you want to find a specific week, either change the URL in the top bar^ or search for “part [week number]” into the search bar

For part 0, the next part, and the latest part.

If in doubt, any quotes come from here.

I would also like to clarify: I don’t think all conservatives are idiots. I disagree with many conservative views, but most conservatives’ points can at least be understood. Trump cannot.

General summary:

(source)

  • Appoint judges “who will uphold the Constitution” and “defend the Second Amendment” (the right to bear arms)
  • Construct a wall on the southern U.S. border and limit immigration “to give unemployed Americans an opportunity to fill good-paying jobs”
  • Re-assess trade agreements with other nations and “crack down” on companies that send jobs overseas
  • Repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (commonly called the Affordable Care Act or Obamacare)
  • Remove federal restrictions on energy production
  • Push for an amendment to the United States Constitution imposing term limits on Congress[5][6]
  • Eliminate gun-free zones[7]
  • Formulate a rule on regulations “that for every one new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated”[8]
  • Instruct the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to “develop a comprehensive plan to protect America’s vital infrastructure from cyberattacks, and all other form of attacks.”[8]
  • Label China a “currency manipulator”

January 20th

  • “…against radical Islamic terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the earth.” There’s only two ways to remove an ideology. The first, is the Nazi-esque route of killing everyone who has it, and killing everyone who looks like they might have it, and to kill all their relatives so the genes that allow that to be passed on are not passed on. This is not recommended. The second is to not try to eradicate it. When you meet someone from one of those fragile groups, you go out of your way to show them they’re a valuable person. People who believe they’re valuable don’t become suicide bombers. You show them they can function perfectly well in your society. People who fit within a society don’t abandon it to deliberately try bringing it down. One of these methods is far cheaper, and easier, literally anyone can contribute to it, and most importantly of all- it doesn’t need genocide.
  • “I heard when people of sound mind come out of those meetings [briefings about their role as president], they’re either crying, or thrown away by it. The amazing power to destroy this planet that’s in a finger of the president of the United States, the second he takes office is too awesome for a normal human being to imagine.” says Chris Matthews, a member of the Carter administration, as a speechwriter. He said this after describing how the relayed message for the nuclear launch is sent. It sounded a lot like he was about to add “and this is how I know he isn’t of sound mind.” He then referencedan interview: “I asked” What, what should happen to a woman that chooses to have an abortion? Either you’re-” “Well,” he said, “There has to be some punishment for her.” And then he said- he also said- … we… he “wouldn’t rule out nuclear weapons in Europe.” Europe’s small! If you blow up somebody, everybody get’s blown up! And he said “Why did we make ’em if we’re not going to use ’em?”” I think the nuclear comment speaks for itself (in an intense level of moronic), but I can’t comprehend how the idea that a woman should be punished even in situations where she’s aborting to save her life, or when the baby would never survive, or when she was raped, manages to keep entering politics.
  • Chris Matthews also says that Donald Trump sent a christmas card back to him, autographed. “This is a beautiful family, Donald Trump.” Which completely puts him out of touch with the entire population; greetings cards being sent back is a huge insult in the UK, and I assume it is in the US.
  • The secretary of Education, Betsy Devos, wants there to be fire arms in schools to help fight off bears. It’s oddly ironic how stupid that justification is. I’m sure the first stop most bears take when approaching towns (which they do very often) is to directly approach schools, enter them, and start attacking pupils, because obviously, the 30% of the diet that is meat in grizzly bears is best satisfied by yelling, screaming kids who would definitely not scare a bear off just by sheer number of them, and the noise volume. Besides, most animals judge size by the front face, and bear shoulders honestly reach roughly up to many people’s stomachs and no further. She also militantly calls for school privitisation; her entire job will probably be cutting education money and campaigning for private schools. Poor children won’t even be able to afford schooling in Trump’s USA. As I said before, I would not be willing to keep my children in public schooling if I were a parent in the USA at the moment, and this further confirms that.
  • Riots started on Friday in response to the inaugoration.

January 21st

  • “I looked out, the field was, looked like million, million and a half people. They showed a field where there was practically nobody standing there. And they said, “Donald Trump did not draw well.”” Apparently we’re dealing with someone who doesn’t realise that a field which looks about 5% full isn’t a good turn out.
  • Half a million women worldwide stage protest marches against Trump, completely overshadowing his first day as president, in the largest protest in the USA since the Vietnam war. Good work.

January 22nd

January 23rd

  • The White House outright refused to release Trump’s tax returns.
  • The USA has officially backed out of the TPP.
  • Trump again claimed that there were millions of illegal votes against him, making this the official government position.
  • The official replacement for Obamacare has been proposed. States that like Obamacare can keep it, but all others have to adopt whatever else Trump comes up with. I think very few states will opt out of Obamacare.
  • Donald Trump claims that his inauguration day should be an annual day of celebration- the National Day of Patriotic Declaration. This should be concerning to everyone. He didn’t say that inauguration day should be- just his inauguration day. Which rather suggests it’s the last inauguration he thinks they’ll be. It also mirrors comments from the DPRK very closely. It is now official US legislation. It seems to be a tradition for US presidents to rename inauguration day something else for their term, but Patriotic Declaration comes far from Bush’s Prayer and Thanksgiving or Obama’s Renewal and Reconciliation.
  • Sean Spicer said “We can disagree on facts”.

January 24th

  • Four journalists reporting about the protests were arrested. If charged, and all other people arrested already for this in Trump’s term are charged too, then 6 people are facing 10 years in jail and a US$25,000 fine. None of their reports actually featured any valid legal charges, while real crimes were occurring in the rioting on Friday and being entirely ignored. I think this would make them classifiable as political prisoners.

January 25th

  • “”They would all be for the other side,” he said, possibly forgetting that one of the few arrests for voting fraud in 2016 was of an Iowa woman who tried to vote for him twice.” I think we all know about Trump’s constant allegations that millions of people voted “illegally” for Clinton. I’ve also stated before that I suspect he means PoCs, women or Muslims. Here is to highlight his complete disgregard for actual facts. If he cared about facts, he would have checked this out and found this case which he completely opposes with his “informed” conclusion. “”Look forward to seeing final results of VoteStand, Gregg Phillips and crew say at least 3,000,000 votes were illegal. We must do better!”” This sounds like he’s trying to make higher claims of illegal votes just to boost his reputation. He then calls for harsher voting restrictions and checks, which would not have much of an effect nationally, and then for the removal of early voting procedures, which would hinder voting groups who mostly favour democrat (the poor, PoCs, disabled individuals), who cannot physically reach a polling station on voting day, either because their bodies are not able to or because they cannot take time off work. I would say that if only 3 people were found to have commited fraud of 314 million, the rules are already harsh enough. 1 in 100 million is not exactly much.

January 26th

  • President Enrique Peña Nieto and Donald Trump “jointly” cancelled their meeting due to “disagreements on who should build the Mexico-USA border wall”. Trump said that Mexico is not treating the USA “fairly”.

January 27th

  • Banning all immigration and visitors from Somalia, Libya, Sudan, Syria, Iran, Iraq and Yemen, all Muslim majority, while allowing any and all Christian migrants, which is against the US constitution’s statement (in the First Ammendment) on not being a Christian country (or rather, guaranteeing a complete right to religious freedom), but instead being intentionally secular. “If the ban were announced with a one week notice, the “bad” would rush into our country during that week. A lot of bad “dudes” out there!” It takes a lot longer than a week to prepare your documents and walk or smuggle yourself to an airport in a war torn country. One family took 2 years preparing their documents and travel, and arrived in Philadelphia just after receiving their visas, making touch down within moments of the announcement. They were arrested and deported back to Iraq, having spent less than a day in the country they had come to to escape war. This is one example of many I have found very, very easily.
  • These people are not allowed to enter the USA for 90 days, with refugee admissions suspended for 120 days with “case by case” exceptions, with Syrian refugees suspended indefinitely. Only 50,000 refugees are allowed to enter the USA in 2017. He says this will “Keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the US“, even though the 7 banned states are not the states the 19 9/11 bombers were from, which were Saudi Arabia (15), the UAE (2), Lebanon (1) and Egypt (1). Note that none of these were the states that got travel bans (and it would be pretty awful if that were why they did, as 1 person is definitely not representative of any population, and I highly doubt 15 would be, even in somewhere far less populous than Saudi Arabia.

Make America Hate Again- 0/209

When I said that I would be keeping track on Trump I was not joking. This won’t necessarily be a weekly series, depending on how much free time I have and so on, but it will be occasional. The numbers are the current week of Trump’s term over the total number of weeks. To skip to a certain week just change the first number!

If in doubt, any quotes come from here.

I would also like to clarify: I don’t think all conservatives are idiots. I disagree with many conservative views, but most conservatives’ points can at least be understood. Trump cannot.

The next post can be found here, and the latest post here.

Really worries me policy wise from the debates

  • I don’t have a quote but: The whole thinking Obama was a Kenyan-born Muslim when his book, the Audacity of Hope, makes it clear just in the (British) blurb that he’s Hawaiian and Christian thing. Audacity of Hope was published in 2006 and he started his accusation in 2011, so he displays a complete inability to read about 50 words. This does not bode well for reading official reports and research to help form government positions.
  • “”Look at that face! [of Carly Fiorina] Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!”” He’s reduced his list of desired qualifications to be president into being their face. Frankly, she’s pretty normal looking, but that’s what you expect from political leaders. It’s not- it shouldn’t be- a beauty pageant.
  • “We won with young. We won with old. We won with highly educated. We won with poorly educated. I love the poorly educated.” No politician should be actively admitting that they love it when their people are poorly educated. It bodes poorly for any current students in the Us for the next 4 years. If I were a parent in the US right now, I would be home schooling, and doing it immediately, because I would not trust a man who said that about my childrens’ education. I would rather have to deal with all the stress of that than sentence my children to his education system. And this is because of a single line, not having said it yet.
  • We’re going to build a wall, and we’re going to make Mexico pay for it.” This has been discussed so many times, I don’t think a proper examination is needed, but to drum in: it’s economically unfeasible even before Mexico pays for it, and it won’t stop immigration because planes go over walls.
  • “You know, I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait. When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything… Grab ’em by the pussy. You can do anything.” When you’re honestly concerning people that you are a sexual assaultist at best you should not be running for president. That sounds, to a worrying degree, like what Jimmy Saville would say, if he were still alive, about little girls. Genuinely this comment made me concerned when Prime Minister May was announced to be having a meeting with Mr Trump because I was worried he’d try flirting (which would have horrible political repercussions, I don’t generally take issue with people flirting) with her, or worse.
  • “Don’t worry about that baby. I love babies. I hear that baby crying, I like it. What a baby. What a beautiful baby. Don’t worry, don’t worry. The mom’s running around like—don’t worry about it, you know. It’s young and beautiful and healthy and that’s what we want. […] Actually, I was only kidding, you can get the baby out of here. That’s all right. Don’t worry. I, I think she really believed me that I love having a baby crying while I’m speaking. That’s OK. People don’t understand. That’s OK.” At first when I heard this I was wondering if he was  actually able to feel empathy. Then I heard the second half.

‘As President-elect

  • “America will no longer settle for anything less than the best.” I don’t think this is offensive, but it shows a lack of brain power. America is, at best, the joint most powerful country in the world (with the other UN P5 states, or the PRC, or the Russian Federation, depending if you define by international political power, economic power, or the greatest ability to end life on earth). It already has the best, realistically. And they shouldn’t have that. To be the best, in a country where millions of people can’t even afford basic health care, and where long summer breaks lead poor PoC children to show signs of malnutrition, and the Ku Klux Klan still has thousands of members, is not a good thing. It also suggests a complete lack of care for every other country in the world. I know no leader is going to say they’re not looking for their country’s best interest, but this is either a way of saying “we’re going to let everyone else get even poorer, and do it deliberately” or “I have no clue how the world works”. I vote for both.
  • “I think I’m a sober person. I think the press tries to make you into something a little bit different. In my case, a little bit of a wild man, I’m not, I’m actually not. I’m a very sober person.” I assume he has no idea what sober means.
  • “Truly great and talented men and women…” Except the one who’s now in charge of energy. In an interview, Rick Perry said he would remove three departments, but could only remember two of them; commerce, education and… what’s the third one? (Energy).  That’s right, he couldn’t remember the name of the department he is now the head of and he wants to get rid of it. Not even beginning to mention how stupid getting rid of a department of energy and plunging the US into perpetual 4-year-long black outs for anyone who can’t afford their own energy production, this displays some extreme stupidity, hating stuff without even knowing anything about it, and absolutely no talent. And Perry is a good example of his administration.
  • “to develop a list of executive actions we can take on day one to restore our laws”. In all due respect (none), I don’t think any alt-right figure has anything even resembling a way to reduce crime rates. There are two ways to deal with crime, which I will dub the “DPRK route” and the “Iceland route”. DPRK route means being so inconceivably cruel to criminals that absolutely no criminals are left. Iceland is fairly lax, and prisoners get very high freedoms given they are criminals. Seeing as the DPRK achieves its methods through abominations against the mere idea of the sanctity of human dignity, this is not an acceptable route to take, and no conservative politician will ever try to be reasonable about teaching people how to make a living without being a criminal, I think the crime rates will continue to rise. It’s a thing , judging from the PRC, USA, various EU states and Russia, that is very obvious that harsher punishments lead to higher violent crime rates. No conservative is going to reach this conclusion.
  • “These include the following: On trade, I am going to issue our notification of intent to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a potential disaster for our country.” The TPP was meant to be essentially a copy of the EU. It had some really great benefits; connecting people from dozens of cultural backgrounds in a network, where, honestly, almost everyone speaks English. The only real downside I can see is the “loss” of national sovereignty. Any national sovereignty issues should be perfectly easily negotiated out within the trade agreement process. He’s essentially assuming every country in the world would vote for Brexit, when just a few decades ago, we voted Brit-in, and our culture really hasn’t changed much. Besides, there are 5 countries that have no right to complain about a lack of national soveriegnty: The P5 of the UN. The 5 countries that can impose their views on any security issue across the entire world and only the other 4 can complain: the USA, The UK, The PRC, The Russian Federation, and The French Republic. Of these, 3 are the most vocal complainers about their political situation with the argument of national sovereignty; while they continue to throw around their power to suppress the will of the rest of the elected members of the UN security council.
  • “On energy, I will cancel job-killing restrictions on the production of American energy – including shale energy and clean coal – creating many millions of high-paying jobs.” And many millions of cancer patients in the long term, and then many billions of deaths from climate change damage. But it’s the jobs that matter!
  • “On regulation, I will formulate a rule which says that for every one new regulation, two old regulations must be eliminated, it’s so important.” Do we need to get rid of two regulations to pass this one, or can we eliminate this one twice because it’s so stupid we need to physically destroy it, then eradicate it from all memory?
  • “I will ask the Department of Defense and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to develop a comprehensive plan to protect America’s vital infrastructure from cyber-attacks, and all other form of attacks.” Even expert hackers say this is stupid. The best defenses are to take political action against international governmental hacking, or to just have resilient enough systems that you can cope if something is getting attacked, and while doing that, monitor what’s getting hacked so you can streamline your bolstering. It’s how large banks’ anti-hacking methods often work (in conjunction with many other methods). Their sheer size means that even if a hacker brings it down it can be up again quickly. It’s pretty much impossible to defend a network entirely, and the only examples I can think of are when deliberately out dated technology is used (in nuclear missile silos) and the Pentagon.
  • “rebuild our middle class.” In a state  run by a republican, there’s no room for a middle class. You’re struggling to make ends meet, you’re literally starving, or you’re rich enough to afford a gold plated apartment. There’s no real middle in that system. Melt down the gold, use it to pay for schemes that allow people to get decent income, and then you can talk about helping the average person, Mr Trump.
  • “Make America Great Again for everyone.” Except for for the 251,978,615 US citizens Trump has admitted he hates!
  • “God Bless You and God Bless America.” I’m not saying that having any given faith is wrong, I would not say that for any modern day religions, but I believe it’s unconstitutional for a president to wish in the name of a specific god. So “God bless you and god bless America” is fine but “God Bless you and God Bless America” is not.
  • “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally.” Something that should terrify everyone. In the US you need pretty good legal proof of identity before you can vote from what I’ve gathered. Many people who get the right can’t even use it because the polling systems are assigned incorrectly to the individual and they are not told where their real polling stations are. So it’s an impossibility that there’s actually millions voting illegally; there’s probably millions who are illegally being stopped from voting, conversely. The only demographics in my earlier list that could easily be distinguished out and systematically stopped from voting that would constitute millions are: women, PoCs, and Muslims (if you take Trump’s seeming assumption that anyone olive skinned is Muslim). All of these options should be deeply concerning, especially when we bear in mind he does not seem to remorse the loss of MLK’s bust from his office.
  • “We’re trying very hard to get the best people. Not necessarily people that will be the most politically correct people, because that hasn’t been working.” Generally speaking, people are politically correct because they care about the groups who would otherwise be receiving attacks; in turn, bar from occasional slip ups or off tone jokes, which are really not much to worry about on an occasional basis, most people who genuinely care about others are naturally politically correct. I mean, they don’t go around yelling insults at every minority and using slurs when they can easily avoid it and use a more neutral term; it’s really not hard. If they can’t even meet “caring vaguely about the people in their country”, they aren’t the best people.
  • “So we have really experts in the field.” No. No you don’t. Your head of the department of energy had no idea what the department of energy was, you had no idea how much work being president required, and your head of the department of trade made this.
  • “but they’re known within their field as being the best.“I assume that “the best” here means “at being awful at their jobs” or is sarcastic, or their field is racism or some other form of prejudice.
  • “I think the popular vote would have been easier in a true sense because you’d go to a few places. I think that’s the genius of the Electoral College. I was never a fan of the Electoral College until now.” Funny how the illegitimate president of the US likes the system that got him into power. Also funny how the electoral college has been against the popular vote 4 times and each time a republican came into power.
  • ” And I don’t want to hurt the Clintons. I really don’t.” You say. You also say: “..if I win, I am going to instruct my attorney general to get a special prosecutor to look into your [Hilary Clinton’s] situation, because there has never been so many lies, so much deception. There has never been anything like it, and we’re going to have a special prosecutor.” Which to me looks rather like wanting to hurt the Clintons. Also, look who’s the one lying. And: Hillary Clinton: …it’s just awfully good that someone with the temperament of Donald Trump is not in charge of the law in our country.
    Donald Trump: Because you’d be in jail.
  • Clean air is vitally important. Clean water, crystal clean water is vitally important. Safety is vitally important.”  Says the man who thinks Climate Change was made up by the “Chinese” to limit US economic growth.
  • “And I think my voice is listened to, especially by people that don’t believe in it.” Yes. I think by definition it is. In the Brexit vote 77% of remain voters said they thought that leaving the EU would have a major detrimental effect on their lives and on the lives of their children, while 69% of leave voters said that leaving would have no substantial change or only a small change to the well being of themselves and their children. I know it’s a long extrapolation, but I think based on that we can assume: People who take the more inclusive decision think their decision has a greater impact. They are therefore likely to take their decision more seriously and to take stupid justifications as a greater insult. I don’t think Trump voters cared what he had to say, while Clinton voters definitely did.
  • I’ve known Steve Bannon a long time. If I thought he was a racist, or alt-right, or any of the things that we can, you know, the terms we can use, I wouldn’t even think about hiring him.” You saying you were concerned about him being racist or alt-right basically confirms he is, especially with you again admitting it by wavering around the point for three separate clauses.
  • “To me more important is taking care of the people that really have proven to be, to love Donald Trump, as opposed to the political people. And frankly if the political people don’t take care of these people, they’re not going to win and you’re going to end up with maybe a total different kind of government than what you’re looking at right now.” Firstly, only favouring your political supporters reminds me of one African leader known as Mugabe, which has worked out very poorly for Zimbabwe. Secondly, that’s the opposite of what you should do. If you know a demographic will vote for you whatever you do, very few politicians will invest in them; they won’t invest in people they know will never vote for them; they invest in the people who no one knows who they’ll vote for, to try to sway them. It makes sense. The most important of these is not investing in your supporters; your generosity to them will not make more people like you, and will not make fewer people hate you.

The Racist and Sexist T-Shirts of an Inauguration

Longreads

The StrangerLongreads has teamed up with The Stranger’s Sydney Brownstone and Heidi Groover, along with photographer Nate Gowdy, to cover the presidential inauguration and protests. Below, the latest dispatch from Brownstone in D.C.

***

Donald Trump has just been sworn in as the 45th president of the United States. I’m sitting at a Bolt Burger in Washington, D.C., watching the inauguration ceremony post-mortem play on several flatscreen TVs. A friend is sitting across from me. Her eyes are wide and wet. We have no words.

Last night I watched Trump signs burn at a protest outside the National Press Club, where leaders of the alt-right, a loose conglomeration of people who seek to make racism, xenophobia, and misogyny cool and current, were attending something called the Deploraball. Several hundred protesters were outside the event waving antifascist signs. One protester, a young white man in a black bandana, elbowed his…

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So Whose President Is Trump?

I just thought I’d get a certain set of things off my chest here. I know this isn’t the first time I’ve touched on this. I have seen plenty of analyses of which demographics voted most for each candidate, but none for which demographics will be most hit by his views.

So, welcome to my Inauguration special, I guess. It’s probably the only thing that’s welcome to most of those of you in the US today, in all honesty. If you want a distraction from the horror that is currently starting to unfold in the white house, you can have this, deliberately scheduled for that purpose. You can also have my complete lack of impartiality for a day, which is a rare thing on here.

Here is a list of people that Trump has been referenced as prejudiced against (and why) along with percentages of the population that are of that group:

  • Women as a whole, 157 million women, 50.8%
  • People of Mexican descent/ Mexican-Americans, 35.8 million people, 11.1%
  • People of African descent/ African-Americans, 13.2% of the population
  • People of Chinese descent/ Chinese-Americans/Asian-Americans, 19.4 million, 6.1%
  • People of Native American descent/Native Americans/ Native Hawaiians/ Native Alaskans. I know I am extrapolating from his actions and attitudes towards democrat senator Elizabeth Warren. I believe this is fair, especially when he mocked the very concept of Native American naming systems. (Not to mention that much of the US white perception is entirely wrong, based on baby naming sites which take random words, assign a random tribe or don’t even bother with that, and pretend they have an entirely different, and altogether just too long meaning.) 1.485% + 0.889% + 0.03% = 2.404%
  • Military veterans, 7.3%
  • Sexual assault victims, 17.7 million, 5.55%
  • LGBT people, Estimates say that there are 1.4 million transgender people in the US and that 25.6 million Americans experience at least some same sex attraction. In eyes of black and white, like Mr Trump’s, that would mean 25.6 million are lesbian or gay. 1.8% actually identify themselves as bisexual and 1.7% as lesbian or gay, so I will use these numbers, even if they are not the view of the US president, in all likelihood. This means 0.439% + 1.8% + 1.7% = 3.94%
  • The Poor. I don’t think I need to cite anything for this. It’s a proven thing that the very rich in the USofA have vested interest in maintaining their extremely unequal levels of wealth. Taxes will lower for the very rich. While there could be programs to maintain schemes such as Obamacare to help the very poorest afford healthcare, instead that money will either not be raised or will be spent building borders with a country which generates a substantial proportion of the USA’s wealth indirectly. The average health care bill for the most severe illnesses in the US is US$116,000, which as an annual earning would put you in the richest 1% of the US population. Only the richest 1% can afford to get sick with conditions like cancer in the USA. I’m not saying Hillary would have helped that, but she would have hurt it less. If we multiply the incidence rates of cancer annually (as a generic expensive healthcare bill) against those too poor to pay it we get against the four years of his term: 454.8 per 100,000 contract cancer annually, which is 0.4548%. Bearing in mind this is people which government policy is essentially massacring, and if any other organisation were doing it, it would be called genocide. 0.4548% x 99% x 4 = 0.018%
  • Illegal Immigrants. According to Trump himself, this is 11 million people. Let’s assume that none of these people are the most common source of illegal immigrants- people who stay a few nights over their papers and then leave. 3.45%
  •  Muslims. It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that governments in the west who drum up terrorism as a serious threat to world security when it’s statistically de minimus to be killed in a terrorist attack (De Minimus is essentially the point where something is such a low chance of occurring even with its severity born in mind that it’s not even worth a slight thought toward), are willing to claim that an entire religion with only a vague connection are responsible. 3.3 million US Muslims, 1.03%
  • Disabled people. In countries with average lifespan over 70, most people can expect to spend 11.5% of their lifespan physically disabled. Meanwhile 26.2% have a mental illness in any given year. About 6% bear most of the weight of mental illness. Let’s take an average for this and let’s take this to assume that the average number of people who are disabled in any given year is 27.6%
  • My personal favourite, by which I mean, the one which sounds stupidest (and they all sound stupid, because they are): the population of Iowa. 0.97%
  • Anyone else that Trump has announced he hates since I scheduled this post.

I am not (separately) counting groups who get to choose the paths which got them attacked, however, this includes:

  • Many journalists
  • Barak Obama
  • Rosie O’Donnell
  • Marco Rubio
  • Hillary Clinton
  • People who support the use of vaccines (yes, that nonsense about how vaccines give people autism has now reached the presidential level). I am also aware that this should include anyone who has any knowledge of autism OR vaccines OR has ever been to a doctor in their lives, which should be a lot of people.

People Trump likes:

  • Women who don’t call him out on sexual harassment
  • His daughter, if she weren’t his daughter, in a sexual manner
  • Evangelical Christians (and not even many of them as most religious texts are about tolerance in all major religions and he definitely does not fit with that)
  • People whose education reaches no higher than a high school degree
  • People in very rural areas

Now for some maths!

The US population is 318.9 million people. First we need to work out what percentage are not effected by each of Trump’s prejudices. Then times that by the US population. That should be the total number of votes he received, if everyone was vaguely logical (and old enough to vote). I am making the assumption that unrelated groups are evenly spread, which is quite a large assumption  (eg the same proportion of women and men are gay).

Here is the list of percentages which are not part of any of the listed groups:

50.8%-> 49.2%, [11.1%, 13.2%, 6.1%, 2.404%, -> 67.2%] 7.3% -> 94.7%, 5.55%-> 94.45%, 3.94%-> 96.06% , 0.018%-> 99.982% , 3.45% -> 96.5% , 1.03% -> 98.97, 27.6% -> 72.4%, 0.97% -> 99.03%.

If maths makes your brain hurt, you can scroll past this to the arrow.

code: using a ~ means that I am rounding to the nearest person. I don’t think we should be cutting people in half for the sake of maths. “.” means that I am about to round. “;” means I don’t want to type that number again, please imagine I typed it out properly.

318,900,000 (318.9 million) x 0.492 (49.2%)= 156,898,800; x 0.672 = 105,435,993.6.

~105,435,994; x 0.947 = 99,847,886.318.

~99.847,886; x 0.9445 = 94,306,328.327.

~94,306,328; x  0.9606 = 90,590,658.6768.

~90,590,659; x 0.99982 = 90,574,352.358.

~90,574,352; x 0.965 = 87,404,249.68.

~87,404,250; x 0.9897 = 86,503,986.225.

~86,503,986; x 0.724 = 62,628,885.864.

~62,628,886; x 0.9903 = 62,021,385.8058.

62,021,385 people who Trump doesn’t hate.

Only 58% voted who had the right to, and only 75% of the US population is of voting age.

62,021,385 x 0.58 = 35,972,403.3.

~35,972,403; x 0.75 = 26,979,302.475.

-> 26,979,302 people who might have voted would not be actively targeted  by Trump being president. Trump won 61,900,651 votes in the popular vote.

This means that at least 34,921,349 people actively voted against their own interests. That’s more than the number who could have benefited from him being president who voted. 56.4% of all Trump votes make no sense.

The idea of democracy is that everyone votes for their own best interests. If a majority of people are, in a hypothetical society, wheat farmers, and they all vote selfishly for the party that proposes free school meals for the children of wheat farmers, then because of democracy, a majority of the population would benefit. If there’s a racist leader, and that’s clearly his main policy, and a majority of people aren’t racist, then the racist leader should never come into power. In the US, however, 10.95% of the entire population deliberately voted for an individual they knew would hurt 286,878,615 people’s civil freedoms (or they could have done if they opened up google’s calculator function and a search engine of their choice, or, alternatively, if they did not have access to that, which is entirely possible in such an unequal country, could have asked a friend to).

 

I’m not writing this to shame these people. The vast majority of Trump’s voters have poor education standards, and thus wouldn’t necessarily know how to manipulate the figures correctly. And it’s definitely not their fault that they were inevitably lied to along the line. I am writing this as an example of how important demographics are in showing how bad a seemingly democratically voted leader’s representation of a country can be when people in the system don’t exercise their right to vote in a sensible and considered manner, and why it is so important that we inform and educate people correctly.

2016 was a year where the most renowned democratic votes were full of lies and downright nonsense. If we don’t stop this immediately, people will end up voting their lives away to liars who have absolutely no empathy for anyone’s suffering. If we want to avoid another Hitler, another Mussolini, and another Stalin, we all need to seriously inform ourselves of the issues we mean to make people passionate about. Tyrants come into power when the people who have the power to say no don’t realise that they should, and in a democratic society, that is every single one of us. It is all of our duties to tell as many people as we reasonably can about the things about politicians’ views that really worry us, why they worry us, and above all, to make sure that we actually have some clue what we’re talking about. Because, let’s face it, if we all had a clue what we were doing and why, that 10.95% would not have voted Trump, and we would be looking towards the actual First Lady of the USofA today.

 

And my most important point: Good luck to the 90% (Well, technically, the 89.65%, but that’s not nearly so memorable). I’m sorry to say, you’ll need it.

 

“How Populism Goes Bad” -The Weekly Sift

Perversely, sometimes “We the People” are anti-democratic The word populism sounds like it ought to mean something close to democracy. Both are based on ancient words for “the People” (demos and populi), so you might expect them to be just different ways of saying the same thing: rule by the People. The Trump campaign has […]

via How Populism Goes Bad — The Weekly Sift