Terminate the Dempartment of Education? Begin Defunding Public Schools? Congress Bills 899 and 610 Aim to Do Just That

Can you imagine a world without decent education? Well, that is now a distinct possibility thanks to the republican senators introducing bills H.R 899 and H.R 610.

H.R 899 is a bill which seeks to terminate the Department of Education. No Joke. Click on the links above for more info.

And H.R. 610 is a bill that would effectively start the school voucher system to be used by children ages 5-17, and start the defunding process of public schools. It would also get rid of the Nutritional Act of 2012 (No Hungry Kids Act) which provides nutritional standards in school breakfast and lunch. 

…And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. We’ve got to call our representatives and tell them to vote NO on these bills.

As a teacher, I’m heart broken and astonished we’re even close to such actions becoming reality. Every single person, young and old, benefits from education. How have we gotten so far away from this idea? Education is fundamental.

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Open Letter to the Electoral College

Dec 19th is getting very close, the day when the electoral college officially votes for president. As you probably already know, the electoral college was created to prevent a severely unqualified person to take office. Therefore, now is the time to utilize the electoral college for what it is supposedly supposed to do, and protect the American public from a demagogue such as trump.

We still can make a difference. It’s quick and easy to send an email to our electors through this website:  asktheelectors.org . It just takes a minute or two to  to let the people of the electoral college know we cannot afford to have a man such as trump run our country. (Not to mention, Hillary won the popular vote by 2.8 million votes.) 

Here’s what my letter said if you’d like inspiration:

“Please do not harm the American public by allowing such a horrifyingly unfit man, such as trump, to take office.

Do what is right and protect the American public from a demagogue from taking control over our great country, the United States of America. You would be harming the American public, and the international community, by casting your vote for trump. We the people cannot allow this to happen, and yet our future is in your hands. You are responsible.

As you know the electoral college was created to ensure the president elect is prepared to be president “to an eminent degree, endowed with the requisite qualifications.” (The Federalist Papers) It is insanely clear just how unfit trump is, and you as an elector, have a duty to protect us.

Thank you for your time and I appreciate your position as an electoral college member.

Sincerely,

Julia

The Worst has Happened: Trump is Here. Let’s Take a Stand in Whatever Way We Can

Shots were fired outside my house in my Montana neighborhood late Tuesday night and that’s when I knew Trump was officially the President of the United States…Celebratory bullets into the air. My friend, in another part of town heard some guns being fired there too.

This is a sad, sad day in world history. We have come so far in human rights and environmental protection and we must continue to fight for the greater good, even in the face of a Trump take-over. I really want to be hopeful that it won’t be too bad, and there certainly IS hope, especially if we continue to unite and stand together.

As we know, Hillary Clinton won by popular vote. Donald Trump only won due to the electoral college. (Perhaps we should look at changing the system in that regard…That’s how George W. Bush got into the presidency too.) But yes, Hillary Clinton did win by popular vote and not all hope is lost YET. There is a change.org petition going around directed to the electoral college saying, “You don’t have to cast your vote for Trump!” Already, one state has said they’re doing just that: Maryland officially became the first state to approve a plan to put their votes towards the candidate who won by popular vote and not Trump.

Remember, electors in the electoral college are not actually obligated to vote how their state did and can be urged by the people to vote for Hillary. Almost a million have already signed the petition. It’s a long shot, but if we spread this petition like wildfire, maybe we truly could prevent Trump from taking the presidential seat. Let’s rise to action! But we only have until December 19th, because that is when the college officially votes. Click here to access the petition. We must rally and protest. And remember, elections for other political positions are coming up again in two years: VOTE! Do not take your right to vote lightly.

One reason I think this Trump take-over has happened is because I heard a lot of this: “Oh, he’ll never actually run for president…Oh but he’ll never get the republican nomination…Oh but there’s no way he’ll actually win.” And here we are. People largely underestimated the monster and so did not feel compelled to get out and rally for Hillary. Coming up in this presidency, (if the electoral college does indeed vote him in) we have to be aware when people say, “Oh he’ll never actually pass that bill…” or “Oh he’ll never actually deport people.” Etc.

Let’s not be naive because Trump is not to be underestimated. Also, let’s face it, sexism, whether overt or subconscious, did play a major roll this election. Just an idea: If Trump were a female, there’s no way she would have been allowed to say the things that were said and to get where things are now; do you agree? 

Red president, red house, red senate. Certainly, it is true that not all republicans are so bad, (thankfully) but look at the news and see how this has already effected the people: You will see there has been a jump in violence against specific groups of people in the past 48 hours. And the KKK was spotted on a bridge in North Carolina just after a Trump victory was announced:

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Trump has posted what he will do in his first 100 days and it does not look good. Some of it may not even seem that bad to some people, but I would caution those who see it that way to be cautious of the rhetoric: Sometimes things that are horribly bad, are made to sound not so bad in rhetoric.

We must UNITE. We must continue to take a stand against misogyny, racism, and xenophobia of all types.

Start a rally in your community!! Show the world that this is not OK. Write a letter to the editor in your newspaper. Or just speak your mind between friends. Every little bit is powerful. Speak up, protest and stay safe. Because people like the KKK are coming out of the wood-works. And people like this too, are feeling free to spout their vile words:

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Here in Montana, we had a gathering of people last night. It was empowering and hopeful to see the compassionate people of my community come out and take a stand promoting acceptance and equal rights, and denouncing that which Trump stands for. Be strong fellow Americans, and fellow world-citizens, we will get through this.

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Photo credit: Juliaview

Calling Out the Hypocrisy

This election is pretty scary. We’ve got to keep speaking out and need to keep going “high” when some go “low.”

Get out and vote! Not just for the president but for local representatives, across the board, because they too have a major impact on our country’s well-being. Research your candidates, see what news they’ve been in, be informed. Let’s create some positive change and turn the page to a better chapter in history. Let’s continue to call out misogyny, racism and hypocrisy for what it is.

 

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Repeal Women’s Right to Vote? You Heard right. Some of Trump Supporters Say ‘Repeal the 19th Amendment’

This is a sorry time in our American History. The amount of abhorrent, sexism, misogyny, racism, ableism and homophobia that has been vomited forth from Trump himself and his supporters is astoundingly backward and disgusting. And now this? The Los Angeles Times reported that some Trump supporters are using a hashtag saying “Repeal the 19th” (the amendment giving women the right to vote) after someone posted a map showing Trump would win if only men voted. Oh, and it wasn’t just men spouting this repeal of basic rights, no, it was women too.

Some women were saying they would gladly give up their right to vote in order to get Trump elected. WHAT is wrong with people? How can some women throw themselves away like that? I just don’t get it. Sad, sad times. Hopefully some good will come of all this. by bringing out into the open, the disgusting sentiments people may secretly have. By bringing it out into the open, hopefully it will demonstrate the problems that still exist and soon, hopefully, we can caste them aside, once and for all. Luckily, the response was huge and people used the hashtag to show their outrage. I just hope that this is the storm before the calm… The more we speak up, the more we expose vile sentiments for what they are, the closer we will get to further equal rights and respect.

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Way to Go, Senator Jon Tester!!

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In times like these, I think it’s especially important to draw attention to the men and women standing up for women: Hurray for Jon Tester! He has been a Montana Senator advocating for women’s rights for many years! He is, and has been an outspoken supporter and general wonderful individual representing Montana and we appreciate him.

What if there was a word for when you peruse the internet and leave comments of support for people and counteract people’s ignorance and hatred with kindness? As you may know, the definition for an online troll is, “to antagonize (others) online by deliberately posting inflammatory, irrelevant, or offensive comments or other disruptive content.” What if we did the opposite and provided information? A woman left a comment on Jon Tester’s Facebook status saying she supports Trump and proclaiming that Hillary Clinton’s husband “raped” Monica Lewinski, which, as we know, is incorrect, because Lewinski has stated herself it was consensual. My first response was to say something angry to this commenter. But then, instead, I acknowledged her heart going out to a potential rape victim but then accompanied with a legit source with facts. I think, by coming from a place of support and understanding, words will sink in more, and hopefully we can help create informed opinions.

 I’m not sure whether or not my response did any good, but I’d rather be a voice of support and information, than say nothing. What would be a word we could adopt for the opposite of trolling? A word for spreading knowledge, not through anger, but through support and kind words?