As with most liberal minded Americans, the national news has been one constant horror show ever since the orange baboon was sworn into office. Never in my life has my president so reviled and disgusted me. Sure, I hated George W. Bush's policies -- most of them, anyway -- but with that did not come the revulsion for his person that I get when I think of the Cheeto Nazi. I can't even use his real name. My fingers forbid me from typing it out.
This has left me with a constant sensation of helplessness. What am I to do? I didn't vote for him, yet now he's in power. I didn't vote to give the majority of congress to the conservatives, yet now they have it. I contacted my representatives and told them that I did not want them to vote for the president's appointments, but it didn't matter because even if they listen to me, they still don't have the majority and thus are powerless to stop any of these confirmations. And every time I see a bit of political news, it's another executive order or another decision or another remark that just plain horrifies me. I can't afford to donate money to organizations that will try to fight this kind of thing. I can't afford or get the time off to attend rallies or marches to protest what's happening. When every decision the president makes causes me to go, "No, that's WRONG. How can he DO that? Why isn't anyone STOPPING him?", I'm left with this feeling of utter helplessness and anger. The simple fact that I'm forced to follow alternate versions of NASA, the EPA, the National Parks and Services, and other government agencies in order to get real facts is, quite honestly, terrifying.
I do believe that we'll be okay. I see how many people are out there fighting for what's right, fighting to stop all this potential stripping away of human rights, all this damage that could be done to the economy and to the environment, and it helps. But it doesn't stop that feeling of helplessness, of feeling that there's nothing that I can do to help.
The answer to this dilemma came to me in the strangest of circumstances.
Yet another news article entered my feed, and I found myself once again dismayed, angry, and filled with a desire to DO something. But this one wasn't about a pipeline that could ruin the lives of hundreds of Native Americans, or another story about a racist/bigot/billionaire/old white person being appointed to a position in which they have no experience, or about American's worldview reputation being flushed even further down the toilet. This was a simpler article stating that the president's administration was delaying the addition of the bumblebee to the endangered species list, and how scientists were worried that this could put it on the path to extinction.
I went through all the familiar motions, sighed in defeat, rolled my eyes, and scrolled on. But then, I was suddenly struck by inspiration. There WAS something that I could do. I could help with this, even if just a little bit. Adding a species to the endangered list provides it protections and raises awareness. It spurs actions to help to preserve both the species and its habitat. I realized that I could help do that myself, regardless of my incompetent government's decisions. I have a large yard, and I'm a gardener. I have the means to do something about this.
And so, after just a short bit of research, I found a great online resource on bumblebees. I learned the best types of flowers to grow that will benefit them, that it's important to provide nectar during all parts of the warmer season (especially early on), to watch for grounded bees in the early spring, and how to build a nesting box for them.
While it may not be much, and it's not as compelling as going to a march or getting involved in some other, direct way, this is something that I can do, and it helps me feel a little bit better about the awful political climate that we're in right now. I'm just one person, but I hope there are a lot of others just like me doing the same kinds of things. That's the only way we're going to make things better.
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