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Week in review 1/31/2020

Timber!

A freshly constructed section from President Trump’s controversial wall collapsed along the border of Mexico and California on Wednesday, January 29. Wind gusts of up to 30 mph had been hitting the area when several metal panels collapsed onto a row of trees on the Mexican side of the border. The cement used to anchor the panels had not set yet. Luckily, no one was hurt by the falling pieces of Fort Idiot, and Mexican authorities were able to divert traffic away from the nearby street rather quickly. If a panel falls on a tree and no one is around to hear it, does it make very fine sounds on both sides?

True Justice 

Wednesday afternoon welcomed a viewing of the powerful, emotional, and poignant film, True Justice: Bryan Stevenson’s Fight for Equality, in BE 1110. The film tells the true story of the many wrongfully imprisoned folks on death row, focussing on cases in Birmingham, Alabama. The event was fairly well attended, but the bulk was from classes affiliated with faculty putting on the event. I don’t know, Central, maybe we should be reminding ourselves of the injustices of the world instead of ignoring them? Do better. This event was put on flawlessly and could have been a full room for each showing! 

The New Racial Profiling

On Friday, the Trump administration announced that they are expanding the travel ban to include immigration restrictions on six new countries: Nigeria, Eritrea, Tanzania, Sudan, Kyrgyzstan and Myanmar (known as Burma), with exceptions for immigrants who have “helped the US”. The restrictions apply to immigrant visas, but not students, other temporary visitors or refugee processing. Just in case your geography is a bit rusty, those are all African countries. Coincidence? ACLU’s director of its Immigrants’ Rights Project, Omar Jadwat, responded to this ban, expected to go into effect on February 22nd, with this statement: “The ban should be ended, not expanded. President Trump is doubling down on his signature anti-Muslim policy — and using the ban as a way to put even more of his prejudices into practice by excluding more communities of color” It may seem to some that the Trump administration has found yet another insidious way to make being Black or Muslim in America illegal, without actually saying so out loud.

Brexit AKA Britain Hurt Itself in Its Confusion

On January 31st, at 11P.M., the United Kingdom officially left the European Union, a move that marked the end of a 50-year relationship. With a similar level of competence, in a small English pub, perhaps, one of the more active patrons drunkenly stumbled to the lavatory, undid his tie, held it pointed at the wall, and promptly pissed himself. While the U.K. plans on retaining E.U. regulations for the next 11 months, the transition means that the laws governing medication, trade, flight, utilities, law enforcement, and data privacy will need to be rewritten. The timeline of 11 months is a tall order for enacting even one significant piece of legislation, let alone the hundreds impacted. For the world at large, many analysts are predicting a volatile stock market in the aftermath of the break. All effects, however long their duration, were certainly preventable. The decisions, spontaneous as they were, had warning signs. The path forward now seems to be watching a piss-soaked Britain pick itself up off the sidewalk after an all-night bender.

Engineering Mentor Night

On January 30th Thursday night, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the cafeteria, Engineering mentors night event took place. The purpose of the event was to give the students the chance to meet with people who majored in the field of engineering. Many of the mentors studied in Seattle Central before. First, the event started with giving speeches. After having speeches for about half an hour, students had the chance to ask questions to the mentors. Some mentors also brought disassembled part of things they’ve worked on in their work, such as machine parts or electronic devices for demonstration of their work. For me, as a student studying in the field of engineering, it was a valuable event worth attending, thanks to the mentors who showed us what engineering is really like. That’s what the event was for, but one more thing about the event was that they had pizza and drinks, which meant it was also perfect for people who hadn’t had dinner yet. 

Impeachment Witnesses Denied

On the 31st of January, in a fit of absolutely precedented stupidity and partisan tyranny, the Senate voted against the Democrats’ motion to consider more documents and impeachment on the Senate floor. As expected, no one is surprised. The tune of American politics seems to march ever closer to the tune of “old white men protect other old white men because reasons,” and frankly I have no words. The vote failed 49 to 51, with only two Republican Senators voting to continue the consideration of evidence, and the final vote expected on Wednesday. It seems the Democratic Party’s continually feeble attempts to corral the GOP into submission has failed yet again, and because Mitch McConnell has shoved his turtle face so far up corruption’s you-know-where that he can’t even give a thumbs up without looking constipated. In other news, the system benefits who it is supposed to benefit, and we all sleep a little worse. 

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