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I Think That You Oughta Know (formerly Eloquent Roundup)

Today, I would like to revive an old idea I had a couple years ago to share out information that I found interesting without the need for longer postings and without the Link List format that causes all sorts of problems in user experience. At the time, I called it the Eloquent Roundup because it came at the beginning or end of each week and summed up all the news I found interesting in the preceding days. With news being what it is recently (overwhelming and often hard to discern legitimacy), I decided to revive that in the form of a trifecta roundup, as often as I can muster to do so. Three topics with multiple backup sources for the information, a small amount of commentary from me and at least one enlightening comment from someone else, likely a perspective from my social media feed. This first time around, I thought it necessary to do something a little longer form, however.

Dear Reader,

I wanted to better educate myself about the Women's March and some (definitely not all) of the underlying issues that led to its formation. I wanted to share a couple of the resources I found helpful in the attempt to assist in your understanding as well. While you may not agree with the approach that some of the marchers took in their stand, especially those that chose to be more vulgar in their verbiage, I hope that you can sympathize on the issues on which the movement is hoping to be heard; see the wonderful speech from a bilingual six year old.

The Women's March on Washington and sister marches in neighboring cities were attempting to speak out against the now-president who has shown little if any respect for women in his words and actions and the recent steps that the Republican-led government have taken to dismantle and undermine institutions that assist all women, but particularly those of low-income or with otherwise limited access to a variety of necessary health services. Those marching may not be directly affected by these moves, but were standing in solidarity with those who are affected.

The Women's March Unity Principles is a list of the issues they were attempting to combat with their peaceful demonstration. The following list is loosely based on those items.

  • The marchers are worried about reproductive health due to the House GOP moves to defund clinics and resources that predominantly assist low-income and low-access individuals with a variety of health services, not strictly linked to abortion; Planned Parenthood, for instance, provides cancer screenings, contraception, breast exams, and general education in addition to other services, so loss of federal funding would remove that resource to those who can't afford them from other practitioners. 
  • They marched for worker's rights because of the proposed budget cuts and hiring freezes to many areas of the government that go to help employ veterans, students, and contract workers; a number of the programs cut in Trump's budget proposal are endowments that go to funding arts and humanities institutions all over the US.
  • They marched for civil rights because of the issues with voting rights and voter ID laws, as well as the president's repeated attacks on and threats toward the media that have hurt free speech, free press, and other legitimate news outlets; most recently, the president ordered a ban on all public communications from the federal science research community which directly affects access to research information for schools, libraries, and the general public (UPDATE: the USDA has since lifted the ban, proving that protests work).
  • They marched to assist all documented and undocumented immigrants and immigrant families that are concerned about deportation and separation; the president is also expected to begin a ban on all incoming refugees from the middle east, those who are attempting to escape from the ravages of war and terrorism and are among the most vetted entrants into our country by the intelligence community.
  • They marched for environmental justice, as the investigation into Flint's lack of stable water conditions abruptly ends, negotiations reopen for two controversial US oil pipelines, and the president's general denial of climate change science bring up questions about the future health of our planet as a whole.

In addition to the above, although not specifically called out by the march, the House has started down a path to dismantle the way ethics oversight commissions work in politics and make it easier to sell off federal lands, such as national parks that would be placed under state control.

Since all that information is out in the open, we can focus on the next protest and the next string of problems caused by this administration. Thanks for reading.