Trump cruelly reinstates military ban on transgender people

As if Donald Trump couldn’t violate LGBT rights any further, today he spewed the following harsh announcement on Twitter.

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Trump’s decision rolled back the policy initially approved by the Department of Defense under President Barack Obama that would allow transgender individuals to openly serve in the military. Ash Carter, the Secretary of Defense under Obama, ended the ban on transgender troops in 2016, but allowed for a year-long review process to allow the Pentagon to determine how it would accept new transgender recruits into the military. Last month, current Defense Secretary James Mattis announced on the eve of the one-year deadline that he was delaying the implementation of the new policy, saying in a memo that he’s been debating whether accepting new transgender recruits into the military will “affect the readiness and lethality of the force.”

According to a 2016 Rand Corp. study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Defense, allowing transgender people to serve openly in the military would have a “minimal impact” on readiness and healthcare costs. Out of 1.3 million personnel in the force, only 15,500 service members identify as transgender. However, not all transgender vets in the active component will seek hormonal treatment–between 29 and 129 of them annually will seek gender transition related-care that could possibly interfere with their ability to deploy. When they do seek treatment for their transition–surgery, hormone medication, etc.–the cost ranges from $2.4 million to $8.4 million, which comprises an “exceedingly small proportion” of total healthcare expenditures, capped at $49.3 billion.

Barring transgender people from enrolling in the armed forces simply because they are a financial “burden” on the military in terms of healthcare when they pose no financial ramifications at all is just as cruel a decision as forbidding transgender students to use a bathroom that matches their gender identity. This decision has become akin to bringing the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy out of the wood works.

Once Trump pisses off the LGBT community, he gets the entire country pissed off. We need to place harsher checks and balances on this pompous asshole because, quite frankly, he’s proven to me that he doesn’t care about anyone except himself. I had a feeling he was talking shit when he said he was going to fight for LGBT rights.

 

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Different Strokes

At the time I posted my rant about the unrealistic demands of my online Ethics class–not to mention the fact that the course was written by someone other than my professor–my mother was hospitalized because she suffered a stroke while working in the pharmacy. The stroke affected the left hemisphere of her brain, which controls speech, language and cognitive thinking. It wasn’t bad to the point where my mother lost her speech entirely, no. Rather, the stroke gave her a mild case of speech aphasia, which causes difficulty in speaking, reading, writing and listening but doesn’t affect intelligence in any way, not even memory (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association).

The first night in the hospital bed, my mom had trouble coming up with words to say, especially with the stroke team asking her 20+ questions about her personal information (age, date of birth, etc.) and the events that led up to her stroke to begin with. The next four days her speech improved, but she was confusing gender pronouns and names, calling me a “he” and my brother a “she,” and sometimes calling me by my brother’s name. I got a little impatient with my mother for giving me a male pronoun, but my brother told me that I shouldn’t act that way towards someone who recently suffered a stroke–especially when the stroke patient is the same person who brought us into the world.

Yesterday, my mother returned home. However, there is still room for improvement in terms of her speech.

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As Thanksgiving approaches, I’m looking back on everything that had transpired in 2015. The other day as my bus was running late to take me to my Journalism class, I kept saying that I wanted this year to be over already. It was basically one episode of misfortune after another–my stepdad’s chainsaw injury to his arm on Valentine’s Day; my grandfather’s death after a fall at his assisted-living facility that rendered him comatose two days after Mother’s Day; my brother’s car accident just 30 days before Halloween; and now, my mother’s migraine-induced stroke a week before Thanksgiving. While I am thankful that most of my family is still alive, all these unfortunate events, especially my mother’s stroke, have affected me to the point where I am contemplating on taking a measure that may cause some people to raise their eyebrows: taking a break from school after earning my Associate of Arts degree.

Although a good education is essential, I hate to see that the mantra of the American education system is “Go to college because you’re SUPPOSED to, NOT because you want to learn the tools of trade you wish to get into.” I heard that I don’t necessarily need a degree of any sort to get into the writing field as long as I have the skills to write well–and I have been honing my writing skills since middle school, if not earlier. Other than that, I am very upset with my online Ethics class requires me to write three essays in one month, and with Voc Rehab for making me major in Mass Communications in lieu of English or Creative Writing. I would choose one of the two as a Minor, but still. And a degree is not exactly worth anything in this day and age, so why even bother?

The True Cause of Robin Williams’s Death

The True Cause of Robin Williams’s Death

Robin Williams’s widow, Susan Williams, appeared in an interview on ABC’s Good Morning America to speak out about the real cause of the famous comedian’s 2014 suicide Tuesday, Nov. 3.

Williams revealed that Robin committed suicide not because of depression as everybody believed, but rather Lewy body dementia (LBD), the second most common form of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease that affects about 1.4 million people in the United States each year. LBD is caused by the aggregation of normal proteins in the brain, forming clumps called Lewy bodies, as the name of the disorder implies, that severely affect the brain’s ability to transmit signals. The symptoms of LBD include, but not limited to, hallucinations, memory loss, confusion, reduced attention span, mobility impairment and depression, though the latter is not a major symptom.

Links:

http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/03/health/robin-williams-widow-susan-williams/index.html

http://www.people.com/article/robin-williams-widow-susan-williams-people