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US government in time-out until Trump says so

 

Apple Parry
Apple Parry

By Apple Parry

This story initially ran in Issue 6, published January 22, 2019.

Today marks the 32nd day of the longest government shutdown yet, and there is no end in sight.

Federal employees will not be paid until after appropriation bills, which allow government spending, are passed into law.

In September, all funding requests for the next calendar year were either approved or declined by the House and Senate. If a request is not approved by the New Year, a shutdown is a possibility.

The shutdown will last until the House and Senate agree on a solution. When it’s over, employees are entitled to back pay.

In the meantime, workers will be scrambling to pay for necessities.

Nearly 800,000 government workers, including our military, did not receive a paycheck for their most recent pay period.

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders recently tweeted: “President Trump said that ‘nobody has been better at the military’ than him. So why is he keeping the government shutdown and leaving 42,000 service members without paychecks for the first time in history?”

Not only is Trump making employees work without pay, but he’s asking soldiers to continue to risk their lives – without pay.

While I’m not in the military, nor a federal employee, I do attend a federally funded school. Although I’m not personally affected by this, there are a plethora of concerns I have for the long-term outcome this will have across America.

For example, 70% of the 7.3 million students enrolled in the districts that are part of the council are signed up for free and reduced lunch.

Students who rely on schools for food might be in trouble if the shutdown lasts through March.

After March, the schools will have to use their “rainy day” savings or pull funding from extracurricular activities in order to accommodate food prices.

Imagine telling these children that they can no longer go to their favorite after school activity, because the school has to use that money to feed them now.

Trump recently tweeted, “Great being with the National Champion Clemson Tigers last night at the White House. Because of the Shutdown I served them massive amounts of Fast Food (I paid), over 1000 hamburgers etc. Within one hour, it was all gone. Great guys and big eaters!”

Well Trump, since you’re feeling generous, why don’t you buy lunch for the 30 million children signed up for free and reduced lunch that you’ve screwed over?

Rapper Cardi B chimed in on the situation on her Instagram, posting a video in which she voiced her profanity-ridden opinion, bringing up the length of time the shutdown has dragged on, and stressing that this needs to be taken care of and handled.

Cardi B would like to stress that she isn’t weighing in on political subjects for “clout,” she is genuinely interested in political science, and is concerned for the citizens of America.

Cardi also mentioned former President Barack Obama’s shutdown, not using it to excuse Trump, but rather to call him out. After all it is such a stupid and illogical reason.

When Obama shut the government down in 2013, it only lasted 16 days. Obama had two appropriation bills on the table.

His goals were to acquire enough funding for Obamacare, which was already a law, which requires everyone to have health insurance, and raise the debt limit, which is the amount of money the government can spend.

The shutdown ended when the House and Senate compromised, regarding the debt raise, which in turn allowed funding for Obamacare.

Let’s compare, shall we?

Trump has said he intends to stick with the shutdown for however long it takes to get his way. He only had one issue, this issue is not a law, and it benefits absolutely no one. In fact it could be genuinely damaging to the surrounding ecosystems.

The butterfly effect that this will cause could be completely detrimental to the economy alone. Not having a constant flow of paying and spending will damage all kinds of businesses, and everyone involved.

This not a presidential action. It is not an act of patriotism. It’s an immature act of exclusion, which proves the president doesn’t even take the citizens of this country into account. Well, if they were rich he might at least blink an eye.


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The #relatable factor

By Apple Parry

The mass production of relatable content is discouraging genuine opinion.

A few years back, the term “relatable” became a popular saying. People involved in social media started to become more and more “relatable.” But like all things that start out good, the mass locals with follower mentality overdid it.

This led to an incredibly boring cast of YouTubers.

But other than this new “typecast quirky” that happens to actually be very, very extremely normal, my main concern is the lack of self-cultivated opinions.

Continue reading The #relatable factor


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See the world, study abroad

By Apple Parry

Students who are interested in seeing the world, meeting new people, and trying new foods should check out the study abroad program at Whatcom Community College.

“It’s definitely worth it. I can almost guarantee it’s something you won’t forget for the rest of your life,” said Ulli Schraml, the associate director of international programs at Whatcom.

Over the next year, Whatcom students can attend study abroad trips around the world, in countries such as France, India, Morocco, and Spain.

Whatcom is not alone in this educational endeavor — it is working with 16 other colleges through the Whatcom Community College Consortium for Study Abroad.

Schraml said that working with the Consortium helps to recruit students, making the overall cost cheaper.

Included in the cost of the trip is housing, insurance, a public transportation pass, and group excursions, such as hiking trips or museum tours.

But students must foot the bill for airfare, a passport, and tuition, along with other less-obvious expenses.

“It definitely is a big challenge,” Schraml said, “plan ahead.”

The change of being abroad can help some struggling students, Schraml said, “Generally students who are not doing that well here are doing better abroad. It’s a new environment. It’s hands-on learning. Basically anyone can go.”

Lyon, France:

Lyon is a hot-spot for student tourism.

Upon arrival, there will be a tour of the ancient city and its 2,000-year-old historic center, plush with Roman architecture.

Students can look forward to cheese tasting, cooking classes, and a day trip to Beaune, a city revered among wine aficionados — also included are visits to the Roman amphitheater and, equally exciting, a chocolate shop.

Study abroad classes are tailored to fit the location by faculty. Professors teach classes that they have taught before in America and infuse them with a new angle appropriate to the country the class is visiting.

The class students who visit Lyon will be taking is “American Literature: Visions of France,” which is a five credit course.

This trip is planned for spring quarter. The application deadline is December 14, 2018.

Himachal Pradesh, India:

There is not much information about the trip to Himachal Pradesh, except that it will be in summer quarter and will be combined with an environmental literature class — the rest is TBD.

The application deadline is Jan 4, 2019.

Rabat, Morocco:

The trip to Rabat offers a new twist on the traditional study abroad experience: students will be staying with a host family.

Students can hope to experience Rabat’s rich and colorful culture by making bread, taking dance lessons, and going on a three-day excursion to the history-soaked city of Marrakesh.

Classes are varied and include subjects such as history, literature, and colloquial Moroccan Arabic lessons, which are taught by a local instructor.

This is the second study abroad opportunity of the summer. The application deadline for Morocco is May 15, 2019.

Barcelona, Spain:

Visiting Barcelona, touted as the most modern city in Spain, is an option for study abroad in the fall.

Students will enjoy weekly cultural activities; an overnight stay in Zaragoza, a city with impressive architecture; and a three-day trip to different Spanish highlights.

This trip is paired with a creative writing class, which involves writing a travel journal, or an English literature class.

The application deadline is June 24, 2019.

Studying abroad is a mix of work and pleasure, and Schraml said it’s important to strike a balance.

“There is always free time, but it’s definitely a commitment,” Schraml said.


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Unwrapping the gift of Christmas cinema

By Apple Parry

This holiday season is upon us, folks. So grab your cocoa, sit back, and get critical. I picked five different movies that don’t have anything in common except for the time of year they were set in, and I rated them.

‘Elf’

elf

Will Ferrell gave his most wholesome performance as Buddy the Elf in “Elf.” As far as Christmas movies go, this is the perfect balance between comedic and extravagant.

Without going totally over the top, this movie still hits all the marks of a feel-good show.

Early on, Buddy discovers he is adopted, and this is quite a shock to Buddy because he is delusional. So he heads out to find his dad.

While Buddy is navigating his way through New York, he gets hit by a car, demonstrates the proper way to go up an escalator, how to really make spaghetti, and teaches the youth how to win a snowball fight.

Rated G, this movie is perfect for watching with your entire family, especially if someone is adopted, and you need to find a way to tell them. — just send them to a worldwide crime hot-spot, alone, wearing an elf costume, and I think they’ll get the message.

I give this movie 10 out of 10 candy canes.

‘Love Actually’

love actually

If you haven’t seen “Love Actually,” you’ll be just fine.

With nine different story lines, this movie shows us how to actually love.

It stars Professor Snape, Nanny McPhee, the guy from “Taken,” and a bunch of other British people.

Take away a few scenes and the Christmas theme, and this movie could have been set at any time of the year.

Kirsten Parry, my mom, said, “The entire movie caters to the male ego” and “It’s annoying.” But if you like unnecessarily complicated and inappropriate movies, give this rom-com a watch.

I give this movie 9 out of 10 trash cans

‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas’

grinch

The Christmas movie that basically raised me was Dr. Seuss’ “How the Grinch Stole Christmas.”

We all know the story of how a bitter, former Who tried to ruin Christmas for the hopeful town folk, and how in the end, his heart grew three sizes.

But with the help of relatable teens, a new side of the Grinch was uncovered. When the Grinch ate glass and struggled to find something to wear, we all felt that.

Jim Carrey made a hashtag-relatable character. The only bad thing about this movie is how creepy the makeup and hair make the actors look.

If you’ve ever wanted to be inside a snowflake for an hour and 50 minutes, just head on down to Whoville. But don’t stay too long, the whole town revolves around Christmas, and that’s why the Grinch left in the first place.

I give this movie 38 out of 37 Who puddings.

‘The Princess Switch’

princess switch

Netflix debuted their newest original this holiday season, “The Princess Switch,” and it is bad.

If you’ve ever wanted to see a Christmas version of “The Parent Trap,” just log onto Netflix and search this title.

Vanessa Hudgens, who plays both main roles, does not make a classy comeback.

Every plot point is overdone and, in 2018, is redundant. Hudgens’ British accent alone is reason enough to not watch this movie.

93 percent of Google users liked this movie, which means 93 percent of Google users are idiots.

There are reasons humans have the ability to imagine and create, and this isn’t one of them.

I give this movie a “multiply by zero” rating, because it will never be good.

 ‘Die Hard’

die hard poster

Bruce Willis stars as John McClane, “a hard man to kill,” in “Die Hard.”

When McClane flies to L.A. to visit family on Christmas Eve, everything goes terribly wrong. Alan Rickman, who plays the villain in this movie as well, takes McClane’s wife as a hostage.

McClane sneaks his way around the building unseen, like a badass, and breaks a lot of things. The film includes terrorists, elevator shafts, walkie talkies, and iconic one liners. There will always be controversy when it comes to whether this is a Christmas movie or not, but I think we can all agree It’s a nice break from literally any Hallmark movie.

I give this movie 1 out of 1 “yippee ki yays.”

Happy holidays to all, and to all a good quarter.


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Sustainability Club hosts a fall festival

By Apple Parry

In order to recruit new members, the Sustainability Club set up “Fall Fest,” a Halloween themed event in front of Heiner Center on Oct 30.

Fall Fest included games like pumpkin bowling and tic-tac-toe with potatoes.

pumpkin bowling

Sustainability Club members go “pumpkin bowling” in front of Baker Hall

“Through this community we can work together in a fun and creative way to inform others to do better for the environment,” Nano DeOliveira said, a Sustainability Club member.

The Sustainability Club focuses on making Whatcom Community College more environmentally conscious.

Brian Cope, a co-advisor for the club, said, “We always have a project that we’re working on, such as Fall Fest.”

Stephanie Hombroek, another member of the Sustainability Club, said their goal is to “move towards a sustainable future.” Hombroek said they participate community service, go on hikes to pick up litter, and have guest speakers who inform members about the environment.

Mariia Nepuliaera joined the club because of her concerns about the future. She said, “We only have 12-15 years until climate change is inevitable, and you can’t do anything to change it.”

DeOliveira added that the club is, “about creating a community of people that are like-minded in seeing the importance in preserving the natural ecosystem.”

Their goals for the end of the school year, Hombroek says, are to “raise awareness, to be as informed as we can, and take this [experience] with us in the future,” so that they can continue leading more sustainable lives.

They recently contributed to the community by handing out flyers with tips describing how you can recycle your carved pumpkins from Halloween.

The club meets on Wednesday s in Kulshan 224 at 4:00 p.m.

Cope said, “Every year we do something a little bit different.” adding that the president of the club, Justin Claus, “would like to have a conference by the end of the year.”


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