I haven’t posted in a long time and largely that’s due to many different changes happening in the past couple of months. To keep it short, I’ve just been busy, moved to a new apartment, had lots of transitions at my job that have kept me occupied, and formed some new relationships that have increased my social life and therefore decreased the amount of time for writing and reading.
I have moved from a house to an apartment pretty close to the heart of downtown Denver. I makes me realize that I really do like city-living. I like being able to walk everywhere and have a bus stop right outside my door. I like how the grocery store is 3 blocks from me and I can see the capitol building from my window. I like when I wake up in the morning and I can see the not-quite-skyscraper-tall Denver buildings all lit up from my porch.
I don’t have much to say in this post but I do have some general things from the past month to share. I was largely prompted to write because of an email from Jack Cheng about Shanghai. He’s a writer that I follow and his post took me back to China and made me miss my travels.
You can read his email here. It’s about how China has not only caught up but surpassed the US in many aspects. https://mailchi.mp/e5506adfb9e9/sunday-2627669?e=a29515e892
Colorado’s winter has been particularly snowy this time around. Lots of big snowstorms and usually one after the other. I am a volunteer with the Snow Buddies program through Volunteers for America. Basically, people go around and shovel the snow off the sidewalks of homeowners who are disabled, older/elderly, or just physically unable. I was paired up with this older couple who are amazing. Even though I dislike the cold and am allergic, I love going over to their place to shovel the snow.
I do have to say, I love these two in particular because it’s a black man and a first-generation Japanese lady. They always give me Japanese candy and snacks afterward and are always so appreciative. They’ve invited me to have curry with them and it feels so much more fulfilling to know there’s also a personal connection and understanding. It also just feels refreshing to have a relationship with people who are older than 50 since I spend most of my time around younger people.
I’ve been paying some attention to the 2020 candidates but I’m not invested in it quite yet. I was very involved with the Bernie Sanders campaign last time around but now the field is huge and mostly I just find it interesting which candidates are rising in the polls and why. I’ve found Andrew Yang to be interesting but he’s a long shot and I know he’s only been showing up in my feed because he’s Asian American.
I’ve been involved in some refugee advocacy. Here are some information and action items you can partake in if you want to advocate for more refugee resettlement in an administration that is trying to dismantle the refugee resettlement program.
Top 5 Ways to Protect Refugees & Rebuild U.S. Resettlement Program
An unprecedented 68 million people, including 25 million refugees, have been forced from their homes around the world. This is the worst refugee crisis in history. With global need at its highest, the Trump administration has dismantled the refugee resettlement program and reversed our nation’s history as a world leader in refugee protection. The administration set a new record-low refugee admissions goal for fiscal year 2019 at 30,000, and what’s worse, we are only on track to resettle 21,000 refugees this year – not even meeting this low goal.
Refugees who we promised to protect are still awaiting safety, and families have been separated for years because of these drastic reductions. As we approach the halfway point in the fiscal year on March 31st, we have a moral responsibility to hold the administration accountable to resettling at least 30,000 refugees this fiscal year, and to urge them to set the admissions goal for FY20 for at least 75,000 refugees. Together, we ask #WhereRtheRefugees?
TOP FIVE WAYS TO TAKE ACTION
- Join National Call-in Day on March 27th
- Host a #WhereRtheRefugees Public Witness Event
- Write Opinion Editorials & Letters to the Editor for Local Media Outlets
- Engage State & Local Policy Makers to Pass Refugees Welcome Resolutions
- Plan a Visit with Your Members of Congress In-District During April 13th-28th Recess
I watch a lot of videos. I don’t have Netflix and don’t really use Hulu or even Kanopy, the library’s version of Netflix. I spend a large amount of my free time on YouTube, watching all these information videos, news clips, and cooking videos. I watch them when I’m getting ready in the morning when I’m eating, and when I’m tired and laying in bed. Part of me feels guilty like I’m wasting time or rotting my brain but I ease the guilt by reassuring myself that a majority of the videos I watch are pretty educational.
Here are some videos that I’ve liked:
The pressure to get into elite institutions is high, and the main gatekeepers to these competitive universities are admissions officers. Sara Harberson, a former Associate Dean of Admissions for UPENN and former Dean of Admissions at Franklin and Marshall College told us, “What would always helps students if they were tagged and their family had a lot of financial resources. You were really looking at seven figure donations 8 figure donations. But sometimes six figures plus a connection with someone on the board was even more powerful.”
VICE News spoke to five of them to find out what it’s really like behind a process that remains closed to most people.
Consumerism in the U.S. has reached an all-time high. In 2017, we spent $240 billion on goods such as jewelry, watches, luggage, books, and phones—twice as much as in 2002, even though our population grew by only 13 percent during that time. This is not to mention the 81 pounds of clothes and textiles that each American throws away annually, or the 26 million tons of plastics we collectively dispose of each year.
In the 1970s, the USDA stepped in to help control volatile milk prices, and it became very profitable to produce milk. So, farmers started producing way too much of it, which was then turned into way too much cheese.
In 1981, then-President Ronald Reagan declared 30 million pounds of American cheese would be distributed to food pantries, school lunch programs and other welfare programs. By 1984, the U.S. was storing about 5 pounds of cheese for every American.
Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) concluded the House Oversight Committee’s questioning of President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen by delivering a call to “keep democracy in tact” and a return to normalcy in the political arena.
China’s one-child policy led to millions of female infanticides—except in a lush valley known as the “Land Where Women Rule.” Located in the foothills of the Himalayas, Lugu Lake is home to China’s Mosuo matriarchy. The region’s 40,000 denizens have come up with a unique own family structure that puts women in charge. The Mosuo’s “walking marriages”—in which women can have as many boyfriends as they want throughout their lifetime—replace traditional monogamy and inheritance passes from mother to daughter.
But are the women really in control—and how are men fairing under their rule? Broadly correspondent Milène Larsson spends a week in Lugu Lake with three generations of Mosuo women to find out what life is like in one of the world’s last matriarchies.
We work in diverse places. We live in segregated ones.
America policies engineered our segregated homes. But the workplace? That had the chance of being a place where we interact with people of other races — and form meaningful relationships. These maps show that this hasn’t exactly happened. In fact, the most personal parts of our lives is still very segregated.
Democrats like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez want the wealthy to pay more in taxes. Why? The American economy is booming…but the government is strapped for cash. The national debt just reached a record 22 trillion dollars. Meanwhile, wealth inequality threatens the cohesion of society. One solution: tax the rich. There are a few specific policy proposals out there. Will they work and are they fair? Lou explains.
Saturday Night Live’s cue card supervisor, Wally Feresten, gives a behind-the-scenes look at an integral and iconic part of the show’s production.