Why It’s Important to Question Clinton and Trump’s Response to the Brexit

A friend of mine were out last night and might have found ourselves in a political discussion with two men at the bar. One was arguing pro Trump, the other was arguing pro Clinton. The pro Clinton person was telling the Pro Trump guy to give any example of her lying. So, my friend, being informed as he is, listed examples. The pro Trump guy began telling us that’s why we needed a businessman in the White House rather than a politician.

I asked was his (Trump’s) response to the Brexit was going to be, how he intended on handling that.

“That was the best thing that Britain could have done for their country,” said Trump guy.

“I disagree.”

“They needed their country back and so they took it back.”

Oh this poor guy had no idea what he was in for.

“Actually,” I began. “At a glimpse, that is absolutely as it seems. However, the problem was much more than that. What’s more, their reaction has a huge implication for the rest of the world that we all need to be aware of so that we can learn from it.”

I went on to say my spiel, which is what I bestow onto now, dear reader.

Brexit Background

In 2009, the UK fell into a recession, which brought the US as well as various other countries into a recession. While most of the other countries figured out ways to recover, the UK didn’t, in full. While it’s better than it was, the unemployment rate is still below what is comfortable. What’s more, as a result of trying to compensate for unemployment programs, as well as greedy insurance companies, their universal healthcare system, the NHS, is being threatened.

Now, the whole time I was living there, from 2005-2009, people were complaining about Polish people coming over to work, much like many Americans complain about Mexicans coming and “taking jobs”. It’s the same deal: it’s a scapegoat which diverts from the real issue. Though, I suppose before I get into that, I should give some background as to what it means to be a part of the EU (for the UK).

The European Union was created just after the Cold War in an effort to bring up Europe’s countries’ economies. The UK annually spends about £5 billion after their various discounts (though the amount initially starts at £13 billion). What this means for the UK and those in the EU is the ability to freely trade with other countries in the EU. This is called the Common Wealth. Canada, Australia, and New Zealand are also a part of the Common Wealth since they’re also under the British queen’s rule as well. Countries that are a part of this also allow their citizens to be able to live and work anywhere else in the Common Wealth. So, in my case, because I’m a dual citizen and hold a British passport, I can live and work in Canada, France, Germany, Australia, etc.

There were just as many people from the UK taking advantage of what the UK’s membership to the EU entailed as were EU citizens. There were just as many people leaving the UK to live and work and do business in other European countries as were people coming into the UK.

When the Brexit was first suggested, many people wanted it because of what the Trump supporter was saying, to take their country back. However, as I mentioned before, there was another aspect about it: the loss of healthcare. And those who voted to leave who were educated and not voting out of racism and hate, were voting out of fear of losing universal health care—which is a legitimate concern. A much smaller percentage, those who were doing business between various countries, were concerned about the regulations on trade that the EU had, stating that they were ridiculous and just didn’t want to deal with them (I won’t lie, I know little on that end).

There were two leaders that were rallying the leave of the EU: Nigel Farage and Jeremy Corbyn. Corbyn was the loudest about the NHS, even going so far as to place large advertisements on the sides of double-decker buses stating that leaving the EU would save the NHS. As soon as the votes were in, he back-peddled, saying that the amount of money saved by staying out of the EU was not enough to save the NHS, and that it was likely to be privatized anyway.

Many people in the UK saw this as an opportunity to be as racist and spiteful to anyone they thought wasn’t of the United Kingdom, and bullying from strangers has risen.

The Brexit Effect

During the counting of the votes, I watched the worth of the pound drop $0.20 to the pound. This is a huge drop in currency for just one night. Since then, it’s crawled back up another five cents or so, but for the most part, it’s still far lower than it should be.

What does this have to do with the U.S.? What does this have to do with Trump or Clinton, or any other potential president elect?

The UK is heading into a recession as a result. With the drop of their pound, and the severing of trades, basic living costs will go up, such as imported foods that are common staples. Countries who have ties with the UK will also go into a recession due to lack of trade. But more than that, we, in the US, will go into a recession.

I’ve seen various numbers thrown around of how much debt the US is in. The last time I personally looked and didn’t rely on a politician’s quote was $17 billion, though Trump states that we’re coming up to being $21 billion in debt (not sure I should trust that number, but still, both numbers are staggering). We are in debt to many powerful countries as well.

To get back on our feet, we might borrow more money. Or, because we’re hitting a recession and have trading ties with so many other countries, those countries might go into a recession as well. And when countries that are lending out money go into a recession, they want their money back. So, when China demands back all the money that we’ve borrowed from them while we’re in a recession, it could sink us into a Depression.

That’s the bottom line of it. We are potentially facing a Depression as a result of the Brexit.

Potential POTUS

So we need to ask these people who are using every trick they can find to getting to be our leader, what it is they intend to do in response to the Brexit. In the outside, without ever hearing Trump speak, without ever knowing a damn thing about him other than he’s rich, he might be considered a good person for this task–after all, he’s got a very successful business and knows how to handle money.

Except for the part where he doesn’t, because he’s had to file for bankruptcy four times. That does not make for a good leader when our economy is facing a potentially huge drop.

So what about Clinton? She will certainly fight it, and I do mean fight. She’s war hungry, and if presidents of the past have taught us anything, there’s money to be found in war.  After all, during the First and Second World Wars, the US did alright for themselves: it created jobs because we needed to manufacture our guns and uniforms and boots and vehicles. It did in fact generate US jobs, therefore, there’s money in war.

Except that there isn’t. That’s what got us into all this insane debt to other countries in the first place. Granted, Bill Clinton worked hard to get us for the most part out of debt, but after that, it was found by the Bush administration that in some logic that I don’t claim to understand, there is money in fighting for oil–or rather, there’s money in oil, and thus we need to fight for it. But somehow it was twisted in a way (and please please please feel free to correct me on this one) that there was money in the war itself, in sending and paying people to die, in buying weapons, in the fuel used for the machinery and so on. We aren’t necessarily creating the things we were create before here in the US. Some of it is manufactured here, but much of it isn’t, and is imported from everywhere including South Korea, Israel, Germany, Switzerland, South Africa, and so on. It’s also raising the question of national security, but I’ll let you follow the link to delve into that one further.

However, it remains clear that the Brexit is not just some cute thing the UK did to get their country back; it’s something which affects the entire world, and that includes us. So we have to ask Clinton and Trump and anyone else running for the job position of POTUS: How do you respond to the Brexit?

Afterthought

After my spiel to this Trump supporter, who very patiently listened to me, he looked at me. He said, “When you and I go home and are getting ready for bed,” (I nearly threw my drink at him because I thought he was being crass, but then realized he wasn’t and I was just on guard), “and we look in the mirror, how do we know that we’re right?”

“Well, I consider my experience and research that I’ve done.”

“But I’m 62 years old, and I have a lot more experience than you. How do you know you’re right?”

“I don’t. I very well could be wrong. I can only go based off my experience.”

“That’s what I thought.”

And that was the end of that conversation. What he took away from that lecture I presented to him, I have no idea. He might have just thought I was some up-myself girl who wanted to prove she could talk with the big boys, and thought it to be cute. He might have just shrugged it off as too big of a picture to take in. Or maybe he’ll consider it, research what I have to say to determine that I’m wrong. I hope I am, but I don’t think that I am. Either way, these are the bigger questions we need to be considering and talking about.

Before I left, I shook his hand, and thanked him for the discussion, to show him I wasn’t attacking him, just trying to share ideas.

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Applying for Writing Gigs…Kind of

I’ve been applying for editing jobs online, trying to figure out a way that I can keep my head in the game, and work toward building my resume for my potential job when I finish college. I’ve heard back from two, both saying that I’m hired. One asked for my wage and availability, which I gave them. They said they’d let me know when they had an opening for me.

The other one got back to me, sent me the tutorial that I had to complete, which was simple enough. It was basically going over the philosophy of the company, what it means to be an editor for them and so on. It’s everything I’ve been doing in the writing center any way, plus being able to edit the mistakes the writer makes, which is fine by me.

I have three sample papers I have to edit. I’ll get to do them after the previous one is reviewed. I just finished my first one. They told me I had nine hours to complete it–no problem. I downloaded it. It was a 12 page paper, a Nursing paper, and it was a Literature Review needed to be done in APA formatting. All of these things are my enemies. I hate nursing papers so much! And I somehow managed to get through all my classes to get my Associate’s degree without taking a class that required APA formatting–don’t ask me how I did that–but I did. However, end result, while I can kind of get through it, it’s really not my strong suit.

The paper took me four hours to get through–mostly because I had to keep double checking myself. Hopefully that intensity will literally pay off. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

The Voting Fear

I’m tired. I’m getting attacked, tagged in posts on Facebook, and ridiculed, saying that we shouldn’t be fighting for what’s right because we are afraid of the political results. The United States was founded on the right to vote, we were meant to be able to see corruption and stand against it. We saw an unfairness–those who were women, non-land owners, black men, black women, Chinese, Native Americans–and we fought to make the change so that everyone could vote (though even now that’s wavering). We left a monarchy so that each and everyone of our voices could be heard, so that the people would decide what was right.

But right now, we’re being played. Both sides of the democratic and republican parties are playing the public, and a massive amount see it, but they are too afraid to do anything about it, despite our constitutional rights. For all of those who love guns, this is why we have the right to bear arms–so that we don’t put up with being bullied and put into these predicaments (let it be known, I’m not condoning going and shooting anywhere or anyone. I’m making a reference to what the forefathers meant by ensuring that we were able to keep our guns).
I don’t want Clinton, I don’t want Trump. The reality, is we’ll probably have one of them. But I also think that if we can remember that THERE’S MORE THAN JUST TWO PARTIES, then we can break this cycle of voting for the lesser evil. But it means standing up to fear, and telling it that it won’t control you.
Fear is a fight or flight mechanism: You can either run away from it, which does nothing except perpetuate the fear, or you can fight it. If you fight it, then you learn that you’re stronger than it, that you can make a difference. The only thing that comes from running from the fear is momentary safety, until the source of that efar threatens you again. Do you really want to be running for the rest of your life?
I’m not saying vote Jill Stein, or remain Bernie, or whatever. I’m saying DO NOT VOTE OUT OF FEAR. Stay informed. Do your research. Be strong. Be brave. Make a difference.

Petition on academic purge in Turkey — Feminist Philosophers

Please sign. As academics and administrators affiliated with colleges and universities around the world, we the undersigned strongly condemn the recent attacks on academic freedom by President Erdoğan and his Justice and Development Party (AKP). On July 19, over 15,000 teachers and staff have been removed from their jobs, and Turkey’s Higher Education Board […]

via Petition on academic purge in Turkey — Feminist Philosophers

The Pokémon Effect

I gave in. I downloaded PokémonGo. I’ve had it for about ten days now. There are a few things to keep in mind before I go on about my experience:

The majority of the reason that I have a smartphone to begin with is so that I can keep on top of work/school/blogging related things. I don’t really listen to music (though I’m huge on podcasts), and I really, really don’t play games. I don’t play games on my phone, computer, or even own a console of any type. Games are just not my thing.

As far as Pokémon goes, I remember when it first came out in the US twenty years ago. I was far more into pogs than I was Pokémon. I didn’t (and for the most part, still don’t) like animé, and thus really had no interest in this ridiculous thing with silly words attached to it (like “jigglypuff” and “rattata”). I thought that it was just another fad that would fade away, like the giga pets so sadly did. Clearly pogs were far more superior.

Well, that just goes to show how my prediction for trends goes (but you know, I was also nine years old).

Now, that being said, when I started hearing about PokémonGo, I had no interest, and tuned it out like I do the rest of the game fads. Again, I don’t really play video games, or any games aside from poker or chess. But when my friend asked if I wanted to go for a walk with him while he hunted Pokémon, and insisted that I do the same, I gave in to see what the hype is about.

It’s not that great of a game.

You catch these things and they go in a digital ball. Sometimes you can battle. Blah blah blah. It’s not that great.

Except that it’s awesome.

I’m on team Mystic, and level ten at this point. I just catch the dumb things because that’s what I should be doing. But really, I’m in it for the PokéStops, because maybe they’ll give me an egg that I can put in an incubator, which will give me reason to walk 2-10 kilometers. I want to hatch the eggs because it tells me how far I’ve walked, and then I get a prize.

Sure, I can walk without that. I can get a pedometer to let me know how far I’ve walked. No problem. However, having the goal helps. But what helps even more is having the direction.

There have been a great many times when I think that I’d like to go out and do something, go for a walk or whatever. I don’t do it because I don’t know where to go. Washington State, and Bellingham, especially, is phenomenal for forestry, beaches, mountains, and all the trails that go along wit it. It attracts so many out-doorsy people. However, I don’t want to be one of those people, and I get intimidated by people who are. It’s not that I don’t like the woods–I freaking love the woods. But I want to go into the woods to get away from people, not have to worry about getting out of the way of cyclists and watching out for joggers and other peoples’ dogs. I simply want to go and relax and breathe in. Plus, the parking is insane at all the trail heads.

So because of this, I often find myself not going out and not going for walks because I have no direction. Now, PokémonGo does not get me out into the woods. But it gives me direction. I can go wherever the most PokéStops are, and just follow those. I walked nearly four miles yesterday, and nearly another three this morning before I came into work–just because I wanted to hatch the eggs and had direction.

What’s more, after I came home yesterday from my long day of Pokémon hunting, I ate some dinner, relaxed for an hour, and then wanted to go back out and keep walking. It’s not the Pokémon I want, I simply wanted the movement.

That, right there, is why I fully endorse PokémonGo. It’s gotten me off my ass and hooked on the exercise.

And I feel fantastic!

Usually, after working at the farmers market on Saturdays and Sundays, involving 100 miles of driving each day, plus setting up and packing up, loading and unloading, as well as the general drain of customer service, I’m exhausted. But both days I went out and went walking around. Saturday I went to beautiful Boulivard Park and discovered that there’s free live music on Saturdays. I heard a fantastic mamba band and discovered some trails leading to the park that I didn’t know existed.

Yesterday a friend of mine tried to walk from down town to this same park, using a trail I hadn’t been on in six years. We ended up taking the wrong trail which took us through the trees, and we discovered veils of vines dangling from trees in a beautiful display of intermingling life and death. We also discovered a homeless camp, which was fine. We tried not to disturb anyone there. The trail ended up dumping us out on the train tracks. I was mostly certain of where we were, but not 100%. After following the tracks, I figured it out pretty quick.

We discovered that every quarter moon, there is an Astronomy Enthusiast group which meets up and brings a giant telescope out so that people can look at the moon up close. We discovered people playing a Viking game in the park. I have been finding pieces of art that I didn’t even know existed. I have been looking at buildings differently, seeing the graffiti, and realizing that these are pieces of Bellingham that I have been neglecting over the last seven years that I’ve living here.

PokémonGo has brought forth a new awareness of myself and my surroundings that I am very grateful for. No, I don’t battle my Pokémon. No, I don’t evolve them. But I do get outside. I do walk–enough that right now my ass and calves are hurting–and I am remembering why Bellingham is so amazing.

On Monday, a friend and I are talking about hunting around Seattle, and seeing what other fun destinations we can find. It’s giving me something to do this summer. What’s more, I think that when I get to Durham, it’ll be a fantastic way for me to get out and explore my new surroundings.

One of the selling points for me, before I agreed to try it (or rather, what made me decide to try it rather than rebel against my friend and say that I would just walk with him minus the app), was that I had heard of its effects against depression. I go through my bouts, and have my ways to deter it, however, I thought that it might act as another tool. Now that I’ve had it for over a week, I realized that I was depressed and didn’t even know it. Getting out, getting those endorphin from movement–it’s all elevated my mood entirely.

Another fun fact about it, my dad, who’s about to be 70 next month (shh, I didn’t tell you that), is even participating in it–and is not that many levels behind me. I’m looking forward to going to see him in Palm Springs in September so we can go out hunting together (I never thought I’d say I was looking forward to hunting).

Yep. PokémonGo is truly amazing.

Student Loans Acquired (kind of)

Thank goodness!

After a lot of tangling emails and fixing of forms and grappling iwth the exchange rate, I am fully, 100% ready to go to Durham in October. My Financial Aid form has been submitted and accepted in full. My application to Sallie Mae complete with co-signer has been turned in and accepted in full (I think).

I spent a lot of time trying to deal with the idea of what the exchange rate was going to present me with in October and for the rest of the 2016/17 school year. The thing is, when I very first began filling out my Financial Aid worksheet, I was advised by Durham to assume that the exchange rate was $1.53 to £1, which was a couple cents more than it actually was. However, the pound to dollar is always fluctuation a few cents at a time. Since the Referendum vote, it’s dropped quite a bit. I’ve been rooting for to recover, but the reality is that it doesn’t look like it will now. Yesterday morning, when I woke up, it was at $1.28, and by the afternoon floated back to $1.29. As I write this entry, right now, according to my XE app, it’s at $1.2902.

Regardless, I was allotted $9,500 in Federal loans. Then I needed to figure out what the exchange rate was for my £16,500 tuition. If I had done as instructed, I would be looking at $25, 245 (-$9,500, then that would be $15,745 in Private loans). If I take trust in the predictions of exchange rate, which I think I am at this point, it’s going to remain low, continue falling to $1.21/£1 ($19,965 for tuition, and $10,465 in Private loans), and down as low as $1.18 this time next year. I compromised. I estimated the exchange rate to rise back to $1.33, and asked for $13,000 in Private loans. If it keeps falling, then next year I’ll only need to ask for $10k, and the following year will only need to be $7k in Private loans (that is if I don’t get a full tuition scholarship because I’m just that awesome of a student).

We will see. However, for the moment, I need to focus on getting a place to live lined up for October as well as a job, or at least interviews, lined up for when I arrive there. That way I can start paying off my slavery right away.

How to Make Your Life Revolve Around Writing

As mentioned yesterday in my Declaration of Independence, my goal is to make my life revolve around that which I aspire to do most: write. And to do this, I have devised a plan.

  1. Write Every Day
    This might seem like a no-brainer, but is more to it than simply making sure pen meets paper:
    Journaling–A personal journal is something that I think is important for anyone and everyone, even those who don’t want to be a writer. It helps to organize thought and find out what you really think or feel. It can help you become more open to what you might be ignoring, whether consciously or subconsciously.
    15 Minute Writes–What I mean by this is turning off of covering the monitor of your computer and just writing for fifteen minutes straight. This is something my English 100 teacher taught me when I attempted college the first time ten years ago. What this does is helps you to write on command. You write anything and everythign that comes to your mind, without looking, without thinking. If you don’t know what you want to write, you write over and over again “I don’t kow what to write” until you figure out something you want to write about.
    Spending at least an hour working towards fiction–This is a huge thing for me. Either I’m all into fiction, or I’m far from it. So either I’m just writing blog entries/essays/journaling, or I’m just writing fiction. Considering that I want to be a fiction writer, this is something I need to work on.
  2. Schedule Time to Write
    By wanting to be a writer and get paid for my wrods, I’m basically making this a business model. I need to be able to have scheduled time every day to write, whether  it’s creating a new project, working on an old project, editing, journalling, outlining–whatever. I need to be able to schedule a time, daily, that I am not disturbed, that all I do is write.
  3. Read Every Day
    I am a terrible reader. I don’t read fiction, hardly every. And non-fiction I basically skim over. It’s not that I’m not a strong reader–I am. But I think that with technology the way it is (smart phoens), I just don’t have the focus or discaplin to stay interested in something to read it all the way through from cover to cover. I need to fix that.
  4. Be A Better Blogger
    Aside from the fact that I’m not a regular writer any more, I need to do other things to be a better blogger. This means reading other peoples’ blogs and interacting and promoting them. We are all striving for the same goal: to make money on our writing. By reading what they have to say, I’m not only supporting them with their taletns and ambitions, but I’m learning how to strengthen my own blog as well.
  5. Be A Better Reader
    As mentioned before, I have no ability to stay focussed. I want to start making myself read articles from top to bottom, reading blog posts in their full, as well as maybe even reading magazine articles. By being a better reader, writers can gain ideas and perspectives on how to improve their own writing as well as passing the karmic buck forward.
  6. Surround Myself with Writers
    I’ve started doing this, though vaguely. I do have a confession though: other writers scare me. I have always delighted in writing being solitary work, but really, I need other writers. This goes along side of being a better reader: I need to be able to increase my skill and find out my weaknesses. The best way to do this is to network with other writers who experience similar problems and might feedback.
    This doesn’t have to mean physical people in front of you either. This can be finding networks of writers via twitter, NaNoWriMo, WordPress, Hubpages, and so on.
  7. Writing Podcasts
    No, I am not creating a podcast. I went down that road for all of four seconds and it was just not for me. However, I want to expand the podcasts that I listen to so that they are mostly about writing. I’m doing a fairly good job of this so far. I only listen to philosophy podcasts and writing podcasts. But if I’m honest with myself, I’m more into the philosophy stuff than I am the Writing Podcasts. I listen to Writing Excuses and Writers on Writing–both are amazing podcasts that I love. However, if anyone has any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.
  8. Find Alpha and Beta Readers
    I’m generally terrified to let people read my writing. But I am getting better at it. What I need is to find my group of supportive readers who can help me make my writing and story telling better so that I an eventually start submitting to publication. Without readers, I can’t submit anything. They will see that which I can’t see because I am too far into my own head. So I need to suck it up, and let some people read my work.