Insatiably Curious

Tag: US President

‘The President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country’

Jane Rosenzweig at the NY Times writes »

I can’t tell you what’s going to happen to his blockbuster complaint about the president’s behavior, but I can tell you that the whistle-blower’s college writing instructor would be very proud of him.

As a writing instructor myself for 20 years, I look at the complaint and see a model of clear writing that offers important lessons for aspiring writers. Here are a few:

The whistle-blower gets right to the point.

We know right away what his purpose is and why we should care. He wastes no time on background or pleasantries before stating that he is writing to report “an ‘urgent’ concern.” And then he immediately states it:

In the course of my official duties, I have received information from multiple U.S. Government officials that the President of the United States is using the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election.

Read the whole NY Times article »

The unclassified whistleblower complaint, dated August 12, 2019, can also be read in full here »

Court gives US Administration 20 days to restore the DACA program

Microsoft and Princeton lawyers were back in court, taking a humanitan stand for the Dreamers.


Washington, D.C., District Judge John Bates upheld his previous ruling that the Department of Homeland Security failed to give a rational explanation for the “arbitrary and capricious” decision to end DACA. The ruling issued Friday denies DHS’s motion to reverse the decision and gives the federal government 20 days to decide whether or not to appeal before resuming the program.


“A lasting solution for Dreamers has become an economic imperative and a humanitarian necessity,” said Microsoft President Brad Smith in a statement Friday. “We hope today’s decision will encourage the nation’s leaders to work together before the end of the year to address the uncertainty Dreamers have been living with for almost a year. Dreamers grew up in this country, attended our schools, pay taxes and contribute to our communities. They deserve bipartisan action by Congress.”

More: Politico

The U.S. President’s War on Public Lands

Outside Magazine Editors:

Immediately after he took office, on January 20, 2017, [U.S. President] and his officials began opening up public lands to the energy industry. Ever since, it’s been hard to keep track of all the regulation rollbacks and revoked protections.

First, there was the announcement on January 30, 2017, to reorganize government agencies, including the National Park Service and the Department of the Interior. Two weeks later, [U.S. President] repealed a rule that stopped mining companies from dumping waste into rivers. Then Ryan Zinke was confirmed as secretary of the interior, and from there the deregulation pace quickened. Zinke oversaw reviewing national monuments, streamlining oil and gas industry permits, opening Arctic waters to drilling, and, finally, shrinking two monuments in Utah.

Outside Magazine: Top 5 ‘Shitholes’ to Visit

Following Fodor’s lead, Outside Magazine has released it’s own list of “shithole countries” well worth a visit following the U.S. President’s remarks.

Tim Neville, writing for Outside Magazine:

I have to confess something: I love a good shithole. It’s taken me the better part of three decades to step on all seven continents and visit about 80 countries, including many of the those that President Trump would disparage. Last week, he reportedly called those poor (not-white) countries in Africa, Central America and the Caribbean shitholes, but the term has long been used to describe just about any country (and some of our own counties) that lacks the sorts of luxuries that many Americans take for granted.

But here’s the thing: so-called shitholes are the better places to visit. Not only can your dollar affect them the most, but the more beat-down a place is, the greater the potential it has to shake you out of your bubble and give the traveler’s holy grail—you know, this thing called “understanding.” I’ll suffer through skiing in Switzerland with chasselas-soaked chanterelles in my belly if I must, but I’d rather wander around the places our President writes off any day.

Why? The people. They’ve invited me into their homes, let me camp in their gardens between the ginger and frangipani, and given me bowls of goat they just slaughtered for no other reason than because they were curious and kind. Experiences like that make you grateful, and that’s the first step toward becoming decent. So, herewith, five of my favorite shitholes.

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