Prompted by a conversation with a colleague about Facebook and the congressional hearings with Mark Zuckerberg, today’s reading log post regards staying current with social and political happenings. We both agreed that finding the time to fit in reading or listening to the news is difficult. As graduate students, it is easy for us to disconnect from the world by becoming enveloped within the conservation / learning community and ignoring the realities that face those less fortunate.

As the end of Inorganics and Metals block drew nearer, I allowed myself to ignore my daily email blast, and even some days my daily morning podcast (NPR UpFirst. Big fan.).

So what have I missed? Quite a lot.

Today’s news begins with the ever-nauseating Trump-Stormy Daniels controversy: Trump admits to paying lawyer Cohen back the $130k he never knew about. (?)

Next up is South Korea related, which brings up many questions, most pressing how the reporting seems to suggests that negotiations are proceeding as if the North peninsula isn’t under rule of a dictator, and that not just a few months ago an American was released from being detained in the North and died shortly thereafter. How easily we ignore the pleas of refugees.

Every time I read the news I grapple with the lack of answers. What is the best situation for the denuclearization of North Korea? How can the US demand something that we ourselves do not ascribe to? Part of the article concerned the possible removal of troops from the South Korean Peninsula. US troops have been stationed there since the 1950s. Are we “peacekeepers,” “international police(wo)men,” “hired security?”

I am glad it is not my responsibility to make these decisions. It would be preferable if that responsibility did not land on Trump’s 71 year old shoulders.

What’s left? So much:

#metoo and the continued claims flowing in against Charlie Rose, including the many who state they filed complaints with CBS.

Extreme weather in Northern India (dust storms) and Hawaii (active volcano post earthquake).

HOR bullshit with soon-to-be-gone Paul Ryan and HOR Chaplin who wasn’t even named..

Number of annual police shooting dead unarmed people are down. Better, but why isn’t number = 0?


Natalya Swanson