Beyond Labels

A 360° Discussion of Foreign, National and Local Policy Issues

Notes: 23 Jan 2017

The Women’s March

Wikipedia Article

Organizers stated the focus of the march was not in opposing Trump but “more about being proactive about women’s rights”, or broadly, “a stand on social justice and human rights issues ranging from race, ethnicity, gender, religion, immigration and healthcare”.[4][26] Still, opposition to and defiance of Trump infused much of the protests,[27] with some directly calling them anti-Trump protests.[28]

Web site for the March

Mission and vision

Statement of Principles

What happens next

Follow-up from the March organizers “Ten actions in 100 days

Another new activity: Sister District

We Pair Red Districts With Blue Districts for a Bluer Tomorrow.
If you live in a safe blue or red district, your economic and volunteer resources can be channeled to a swing district that needs your help. We can change the map together.

Reaction from the Trump administration

Sean Spicer at Wikipedia

Sean spicer, before the fact: “He has a contentious relationship with the media”

Kellianne Conway cites “Alternative Facts”


David Brooks says (at the very end of a column) “Trump will resign or be impeached within a year.”  Also Breitbart.


Emoluments clause and Trump from ProPublica explanation from The Economist

The Cabinet

Betsy DeVos assessment from here:

The most accurate assessment is that charter schools have simply created a second, privately managed failing system. Yes, there are high-performing outliers —  a little more than 10% of the charter schools perform in the top tier. But in Detroit, the best schools are as likely to be traditional public schools.

Marital Economics

In 38 percent of heterosexual American marriages, the woman outearns her husband. From here.

Corruption in the USA (we’re not doing great)

Most corrupt countries (source: Transparency International )

Rank Country/territory 2015 Score 2014 Score 2013 Score 2012 Score
1 Denmark 91 92 91 90
2 Finland 90 89 89 90
3 Sweden 89 87 89 88
4 New Zealand 88 91 91 90
5 Netherlands 87 83 83 84
5 Norway 87 86 86 85
7 Switzerland 86 86 85 86
8 Singapore 85 84 86 87
9 Canada 83 81 81 84
10 Germany 81 79 78 79
10 Luxembourg 81 82 80 80
10 United Kingdom 81 78 76 74
13 Australia 79 80 81 85
13 Iceland 79 79 78 82
15 Belgium 77 76 75 75
16 Austria 76 72 69 69
16 United States 76 74 73 73

A story from my daughter about the march is here, and quoted below:

This morning I snuck down to the lobby of my hotel at 6AM to do my morning ritual and get caught up on some work. It was quiet.

An hour after I arrived, the pink hats and posters began to appear. The energy is AMAZING. #girlpower and love everywhere.

Eventually, I got in line at the Starbucks in the lobby. The man in front of me was dressed in a button-down shirt and khakis. He looked very out of place in the sea of marchers dressed for the part.

The Starbucks Barista asked if someone needed help and he piped up. The woman in front of him whipped her head around and barked at him. “I haven’t ordered yet. WAIT.”

“Geez.” He replied.

Suddenly it was tense.

I thought back to something Obama said in his last meeting with the press.

“So regardless of the station we occupy; we all have to try harder; we all have to start with the premise that each of our fellow citizens loves this country just as much as we do; that they value hard work and family just like we do; that their children are just as curious and hopeful and worthy of love as our own.”

“Did one of your kids make you that bracelet?” I asked.

He turned around and smiled.

“Yes, my daughter did.”

We talked a bit about various bracelet trends over the years and how kids obsess about a trend for a few years and then move on to the next one.

I asked if he was here for the inauguration. He said yes and asked if I was. I told him no, that I was here for the Women’s March.

He shifted.

I shared with him how wild I thought it was that there were two such large audiences of people here to celebrate totally different things. We agreed that tensions were high.

I mentioned that some of the tense exchanges we saw yesterday yielded conversations with my kids about being respectful while owning our place in the conversation. And how we had talked about looking for commonalities between the two groups rather than feeling tense about the differences.

He agreed, we should be able to find common ground with anyone and smiled pointing at his bracelet.

We shook hands.

“So nice to meet you,” he said.



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