OK, I Might Want to Build a Wall

The Many Possible Shapes Of Trump's Border Wall

I have never liked the idea of Trump's wall. I think it's stupid and unnecessary and there are so many other things we could spend our money on.

But no one asked me, so bids went out to build the damn thing, and "there was no lack of companies competing to build the wall..." [Source]

Most of them are ugly and ridiculous. Wire mesh? Really? And then there's the wall that looks like a really cheap panel room divider. One's a curtain wall - are we expecting to hold off a Medieval siege? Does it come with a moat?

But there's one I would love to see built:

It is reasonable to conclude that this proposal is not exactly what Trump has in mind for his signature campaign promise.
"We propose a trans-national 'New Deal' to build an innovative shared co-nation based on local economic empowerment, energy independence and revolutionary infrastructure and transit," says the MADE Collective, a cross-disciplinary team that argues for the creation of what it calls the Otra Nation — a "regenerative co-nation shared by citizens of both Mexico and the United Stated and co-maintained by respective governments."
Far from a boundary between two states, the Otra Nation proposal envisions the construction of a hyperloop transit system and the rights to cross open borders of the three North American countries without impediment. [Source]
Guys - now I really want to build this wall.

Pretty picture time!

  • Library Land 
    • The Great Library at Alexandria was destroyed by budget cuts, not fire "Though we imagine that knowledge and civilizations are destroyed in one fell stroke, a rain of fire as it were, the truth is a lot more ugly and more slow. The ancient world's greatest library didn't die in battle — it died from thousands of little cuts, over centuries, that reduced this great institution of knowledge to a shadow of its former self." 
    • What ‘white folks who teach in the hood’ get wrong about education  "In 'For White Folks Who Teach in the Hood … and the Rest of Y’all Too,' his new book released this month, Emdin draws parallels between current urban educational models and Native American schools of the past that measured success by how well students adapted to forced assimilation. Instead, he calls for a new approach to urban education that trains teachers to value the unique realities of minority children, incorporating their culture into classroom instruction."
    • These high school journalists investigated a new principal’s credentials. Days later, she resigned. Very cool! "The student journalists had begun researching Robertson, and quickly found some discrepancies in her education credentials.... 'All of this was completely overlooked,' Balthazor said. 'All of the shining reviews did not have these crucial pieces of information … you would expect your authority figures to find this.'" 
    • Someone needs a dictionary for her birthday: Ivanka Trump interview: "If being complicit is wanting to be a force for good ... then I'm complicit" That's not what complicit is.
    • Gorsuch's writings borrow from other authors "Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch copied the structure and language used by several authors and failed to cite source material in his book and an academic article, according to documents provided to POLITICO.The documents show that several passages from the tenth chapter of his 2006 book, 'The Future of Assisted Suicide and Euthanasia,' read nearly verbatim to a 1984 article in the Indiana Law Journal. In several other instances in that book and an academic article published in 2000, Gorsuch borrowed from the ideas, quotes and structures of scholarly and legal works without citing them." Shockingly (where's that sarcasm emoji when you need it?), "The White House...pushed back against any suggestion of impropriety." It's plagiarism, pure and simple - and ewwww.
  • Health, Science, & Technology
    • These stunning timelapse photos may just convince you about climate change "Melting glaciers, from Greenland to Antarctica, have become symbols of global warming — and monitoring their retreat is one major way scientists are keeping tabs on the progress of climate change.  Now, scientists are trying to bring the issue a little closer to home by using time-lapse photos to show the effects of climate change are already occurring."
  • Randomnesses
    • For 18 years, I thought she was stealing my identity. Until I found her   Lisa Davis's search to free her legal identity from entanglement with those of other Lisa Davises became a social justice epiphany: "Brownsville, the South Bronx, East Harlem, Bed-Stuy (at least eight years ago, when the ticket was issued), all of them are neighborhoods with large black or Hispanic, and very small white, populations. It was then that it became clear to me: the reason for the tickets wasn’t that these Lisa Davises were petty criminals. The reason was likely that they lived in highly policed areas where even the smallest infractions are ticketed, the sites of 'Broken Windows' policing. The reason, I thought, was that they weren’t white... I felt there was only one thing to do. I had to find the Lisa Davises, to untangle myself from them, to talk to them about being Lisa Davises, and to see if they agreed with my supposition: that the real 'crime' they had committed was being non-white. " Nothing gets solved - but it still ends OK.
    • Disillusioned with fine dining, one of the world’s great chefs took on fast food. It has been harder than he ever imagined.  "For the previous two years, Patterson and his partner Roy Choi, the tattooed king of L.A. food trucks, had been raising money, developing recipes, designing the Locol brand, overseeing construction, and giving presentations and interviews about their plan to disrupt the predatory corporate fast-food industry. They talked about creating a chain of gorgeous new restaurants that served healthy food at Burger King prices in so-called food deserts, impoverished communities where the only places that sell anything edible are liquor stores, convenience stores, and conventional franchises. They promised to hire from surrounding neighborhoods and pay fair wages while teaching the culinary fundamentals necessary to launch a cooking career. That first Locol, near Jordan Downs in the core territory of the Grape Street Crips, one of the most famous African American gangs in the United States, had been deliberately designed to appeal to neighborhood residents and not look like the first step toward gentrification." Of course, as you might imagine, the whole project was more complicated than it seemed. Patterson seems like a really cool guy.
    •  Twitter Rips Pepsi, Kendall Jenner for ‘Tone-Deaf’ Protest Commercial "In an attempt to court a politically active younger demographic, Pepsi may have instead set them off." Oh, maybe a tad... Some of us not so young people were a bit offended, as well.
      • Pepsi Says It "Missed The Mark" With The Controversial Kendall Jenner Ad And now I'll be copying my own comments from someone else's post on Facebook:
        Pepsi says they 'missed the mark.' You have to ask, then: What was the mark? The mark was you and me and everyone else who is involved in protesting injustice. We were marks, in the conman sense - because Pepsi, like other companies, saw the opportunity to Commodify the Revolution, and tried to do it.

        Pepsi did a bad job of it, no doubt. I'm concerned, too, with the ones who are doing a good job of it. Any time we're called on to buy something 'because injustice!' we should stop to ask: Why does buying this help? Where's this money going? Is this a publicity stunt? Because I don't know about you, but I'm tired of being a mark.
        • Related: My comments above were in response to Awesomely Luvvie's thoughts on Pepsi's commercial: Dear Pepsi, That Ad was a Gold in the Fail Olympics "This commercial is so bad that the word 'bad' is now offended. The type of bad where I hope many people get fired for it. MANY. My goodness. The level of utter disrespect is off the charts. The message is basic as fuck, just like the protest signs throughout. And this is what marketing looks like when it checks the boxes without having the depth. This ad didn’t have the range."  
        • Although - let's be honest - no one beats Bernice King for 'best reaction':

  • International
  • U.S. News
    • GOP Wants To Weaken Safety Rules At Chemical Plants Issued After Deadly Texas Explosion "The new regulation that Republicans want to scuttle was meant to address lapses by the EPA in its risk management program. Among other changes, the new regulations would require facilities covered by the law to study whether they could be using safer technologies to protect workers and the surrounding community. It would also require facilities that have had accidents to pay for safety audits performed by independent third parties.  In other words, companies would be expected to help fund some of the safety improvements.... The new president has shown little love for chemical safety regulations in particular. In fact, his proposed budget would wipe out the U.S. Chemical Safety Board, which is responsible for investigating accidents and enforcing safety laws." Seriously, Trump and the Republicans as a whole have made it very clear that they are more interested in supporting Big Business profits than in protecting the lives, livelihoods, and well-being of the citizenry. 
    • Well, at least one piece of crazyness has been fixed: Bannon Taken Off Trump National Security Council in Shake-Up "President Donald Trump reorganized his National Security Council on Wednesday, removing chief strategist Stephen Bannon from a key committee and restoring the roles of top intelligence and defense officials..."
      • Related: Trump Removes Stephen Bannon From National Security Council Post "...[T]he reorganization seemed a clear victory for General McMaster as he struggles to assert control over national security. In addition to the changing membership of the principals committee, the new order also puts the Homeland Security Council under General McMaster rather than making it a separate entity, as Mr. Trump’s original order had done."
      • Also related: Trump Chief Strategist Steve Bannon Removed From National Security Council "According to the Federal Register, the new memo also adds the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations and the secretary of the Energy Department to the principals committee. And in another change, the national security adviser will set the agenda for the council as well as for the Homeland Security Council, and can delegate that at his discretion. Previously the homeland security adviser was able to set the agenda."


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