December 7, 2016 TheSiouxEmpire.com Art, Comedy, Comics, Crime, Education, Events, Extras, Feature Columns, Health, History, Most Popular, Movies, Music, Opinion, Outdoors, Paranormal, Podcast Reviews, Poetry, Pokehon, Politics, Pop Culture, Restaurant Reviews, Science, Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Sports, Technology, TheSiouxEmpire.com, Top Stories, Travel, TV, US, Weather, World Comments Off on The Sioux Empire Podcast Season 4
Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary Ceremony. The nation commemorates the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. In a ceremony at the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C., Sen. John McCain will deliver a keynote address, while the great-grandson of President Franklin Roosevelt will recite the former president’s “Day of Infamy” speech.
President-elect Donald J. Trump is Time’s 2016 Person of the Year, the magazine announced.
TIME Washington Bureau Chief Michael Scherer wrote the magazine’s cover story:
For years, he fed off the disrespect and used it to grab more tabloid headlines, to connect to common people. Now he has upended the leadership of both major political parties and effectively shifted the political direction of the international order. He will soon command history’s most lethal military, along with economic levers that can change the lives of billions. And the people he has to thank are those he calls “the forgotten,” millions of American voters who get paid by the hour in shoes that will never touch these carpets-working folk, regular Janes and Joes, the dots in the distance.
There are, of course, many reactions on social media to the upcoming Trump presidency. They’re varied, across multiple spectrums, and I think it a folly to lump them together as either protesters or supporters, as there are exceptions to the general composition of those categories. Trump gained a lot of support from the Alt‐Right and proponents of a Christian theocracy for America. As an apostate, I have my set of reactions. That I am writing some of them up, in attempted civil fashion, on National Openly Secular Day, is somewhat fitting.
The first thing I found disappointing, though not entirely confusing, was how people were enamored with Trump simply because he is not a career politician. They have their set of negative characterizations, but at least they have experience in politics. It seems people do not realize that it is possible to have experience and not be a corrupt professional. It seems they think anyone can play the game, and that it is even a game. I agree that power corrupts, though I do not agree that being a politician makes a person an evil, blood‐thirsty, war‐monger. Also, I do not see anything that involves access to nuclear launch codes a game but moving on.
Apparently, a selling point was that Trump is a business man instead; therefore a fresh perspective. I can understand that. However, I also know Trump is not exactly successful and employs deceptive tactics such as foreign manufacturing facilities, undocumented workers, and refusing to pay for jobs completed. Maybe that is all, how do you say it, wrong, but that is what people are telling me. These things do not seem to matter, though. Some part of me is still prepared to swear that people honestly believe Trump can just walk into a United Nations meeting and tell a few choice diplomats that they are fired, thus fixing everything. Then those representatives will blow teary‐eyed kisses to the camera while social media explodes with fangirls expressing undying love for them, yet forget about them overnight. Those countries then fall into oblivion, and the world is ready for the Second Coming. Some say Trump is the Antichrist. I can see where that comes from, too. Though, according to Dispensationalism, the Antichrist is supposed to be beautiful and a unifier. Trump is neither.
The Antichrist is supposed to be deceptive. I can say Trump had that covered. He appears to be changing positions on some issues. I understand compromise, but compromise does not necessarily mean that your personal opinions change. Such flip‐flopping and bait‐and‐switch tactics are what the dreaded career politicians and shifty business people do. Trump is a real rock and a hard place. If he tries to unify, he will lose the support, trust, and respect, of the extremists. Thus making it nearly impossible to unite the country. As an atheist, I do not agree with his idea of unifying under one deity. The extremist supporters remind me of the side chicks who become girlfriends and believe their man will be loyal. Similar to the kind of person who only cares about his image, Trump seems not to care too much about America. He may believe he does, but what he cares about is a misrepresentation of America and her history, lauded as truth. Diversity and trade are a big part of what makes any nation great. America is not a Christian nation and was never intended to be. Like a narcissistic man, destroying and attempting to rebuild his girlfriend into an image he likes, Trump insults what America truly is and claims to be making her better by turning her into something not good, kind of like the Dark Ages. He does not care about her well‐being, just that she reflects well on him, if she does not, he is off to the new side chick, and America is fired, left to wonder if she was ever great. But let us hope it does not come to that.
In addition to the Antichrist, politicians are often compared to Hitler. There are the tired arguments in regards to what religion, if any; he was, but it remains that he empowered bigotry and touted nationalism, manipulated fear in a grab for power. If you are vague enough, any comparison can be made, but Trump’s platform was disgustingly obvious. Of course not all Christians, then and now, are haters. But, No True Scotsman Fallacy aside, I see that apologetic defense as anything but, since it indicates incoherence and thus an apparent lack of a clear, perfect, and loving message. But, even all that aside as well, there have been enough psychological experiments with humans to show that people will go to dangerous extremes with which they disagree just to follow an authority figure or a
group. Every apostate has experienced the wrong end of this at some level. Even if all legislation, or the repeal thereof, is stonewalled, fear and hate are alive, well, and empowered in America. Trump’s casual call for harassment of minorities to stop means as much to me as the narcissist occasionally mentioning to his girlfriend that he loves her, with the least amount of effort possible.
Whether Trump wants such abuses to stop remains to be seen, as do his intentions regardless. President Obama gave a press conference yesterday. He said that the job of president mostly wakes you up. Will that happen for Trump? Is he capable of change? I honestly do not know. I have seen a lot of weird conspiracy theories this election. Seems a complicated mess to come back from, but I know it is possible. I rather followed some once. They made sense with the information I had. I even knew my information was limited, but I did not have access to more. So I sought it, found it, changed my mind. This was not the first time. Will not be the last. Will Trump be open to new information? Will any of his followers? Will he renege on his promises like a career politician? Of course, there are hurdles, so every politician breaks their promises, whether they intend to or not. However, using that statistic as a free pass for aptitude does not make sense. Every situation is different because the times and people are different; though, in a way, that makes every situation the same. With such simple requirements, though, anyone could be president, fit or no. A friend and I were talking about this, and we decided that it was like everyone was trying to herd a different kind of cat in a dog world.
Some people say they respect the office of the presidency, so they respect Trump. I respect the office, but having an office does not garner you obligatory respect. I see the reverse as possible that the dignity of and office can be tarnished and mocked by whoever holds it. Actions and words speak more truth than titles. Being treated fairly is a fundamental human right, so Trump has that by default. The more far‐reaching a position, the more fit the officiate has to be. Trust and respect are not freely given. They are earned, fought for if they have been lost. Trump has not received such accolades from me.
That is not to say that I am in denial. I can accept something as inevitable and still not like it. Though that does not mean we should all just move on as if nothing bad happened. Ignoring a problem does not make it go away. Mentioning it in passing is not to say it was discussed and settled. If you follow that path, the next bad thing will be worse. Like the narcissist’s girlfriend, America will eventually believe she deserves the abuse and to be torn asunder. Some say the system is broken. Others, that it has always been like this. However, just as it is more important to be safe and then analyze later, it is important to maintain the peaceful transfer of power, lest a poor precedent is set. Social analysis can be done later. It is more important to maintain stability when emotions and tensions are high. I believe President Obama exemplified that in his press conference.
The nation, though, is still divided into tense and arbitrary lines of “us” and “them” groups. In a way, I can agree, but not on which “us” is the victim. They say Trump tapped the sentiments of those who felt ignored, put down, or what have you. To me, that is just as ridiculous as saying there is a war on Christmas just because different religions and Nones also want to be represented in various aspects of the community, as is their Constitutional right. These supporters are not victims of atheists promoting Evil‐ution while partaking in Satanic blood rituals at CERN in order to hide the flat earth truth and open portals to hell so that demons may be unleashed and turn everyone gay as a New World Order population control tactic because the chemtrails and GMOs are taking too long ‐‐‐ as I have heard a few times is what is really going on. Well, I did not get my invitation. I feel ignored. As far as groups that are ignored, I have yet to see a candidate openly pander to atheists, and it is still illegal in some states to be an atheist and hold public office.
Though I would like it if the office of president woke Trump up to actual individual ills in this country, to be open to new information, to lead instead of a just rule to flatter his ego. But that is not what I have seen.
Carl Sagan said that one difference between science and religion was that science admits when it is wrong, that it has a self‐correcting mechanism built into it. He said that ego still gets in the way sometimes, but that self‐correcting hardly ever happens in religion. Trump has apparently mixed religion and politics, which is against the Constitution, and I have doubts about him changing for reasons other than personal gain. I am often reminded of Carl Sagan’s words in “Cosmos” about nuclear war and the responsibilities of world powers. As an atheist, I hold no belief in an afterlife. Hitting the button does not mean a shortcut to eternal happiness in heaven. It means the end of everything forever. Nuclear war is apparently still avoidable. Bigotry has always been present, under the guise of religious freedom for a while, and then proudly displayed. I have been near that end. I understand the mindset. But I am not there anymore. Its existence bothers me. Its legitimacy via a Trump presidency frightens and saddens me. As a humanist and atheist, I have my ideas for how America can be great. As far as Trump doing anything unifying and ushering in new glory days for America, I refuse to rely on faith in his promises and will believe it when I see it.
The Most Relaxing Song Ever is so effective at inducing sleep, motorists warned not to listen to it. A study claims it’s more relaxing than getting a massage, taking a walk, or drinking tea. It slows your breathing and reduces brain activity to such an extent that Weightless, written by band Marconi Union, is said to be the ‘most relaxing song ever’.
The eight-minute track is so effective at inducing sleep, motorists have now been warned they should not listen to it while driving.
The band worked with sound therapists to get advice on how to make the most effective use of harmonies, rhythms, and bass lines. The result on listeners is a slowing of the heart rate, reduced blood pressure and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
The study – commissioned by bubble bath and shower gel firm Radox Spa – found the song was even more relaxing than a massage, walk or cup of tea.
The women were connected to sensors and given challenging puzzles to complete against the clock in order to induce a level of stress.
They were then played different songs as their heart rate, blood pressure, breathing and brain activity were recorded.
Studies found Weightless was 11 percent more relaxing than any other song and even made many of the women ‘drowsy’ in the lab.
It induced a 65 percent reduction in overall anxiety and brought them to a level 35 percent lower than their usual resting rates.
The song features guitar, piano and electronic samples of natural soundscapes. It is pierced throughout by Buddhist-like chants that induce a trance-like state.
Read more here.
Top 10 Relaxing Songs
1) Marconi Union – Weightless
2) Airstream – Electra
3) DJ Shah – Mellomaniac (Chill Out Mix)
4) Enya – Watermark
5) Coldplay – Strawberry Swing
6) Barcelona – Please Don’t Go
7) All Saints – Pure Shores
8) Adele – Someone Like You
9) Mozart – Canzonetta Sull’aria
10) Cafe Del Mar – We Can Fly
NASA’s Tumblr runs down the process:
For astronauts, the voting process starts a year before launch, when astronauts are able to select which elections (local/state/federal) that they want to participate in while in space. Then, six months before the election, astronauts are provided with a standard form: the “Voter Registration and Absentee Ballot Request–Federal Post Card Application.”
‘Space voting’ was first used the same year it was implemented in 1997. NASA astronaut David Wolf became the first American to vote in space while on the Russian Mir Space Station. Current space station resident astronaut Shane Kimbrough is the most recent astronaut to take advantage of the opportunity.
So remember: If astronauts can make time to vote, so can you! Go Vote!
On October 20th, 2016 something happened at the Siouxland Library that has never happened before. Mark Blackburn, the director of Establishing Sustainable Connections gave the community the chance to understand what is misunderstood about Islam, and Muslim culture. Mr. Blackburn works with Augustana University as an assistant dean of students and the Director of Diversity & Inclusion. Blackburn has many plans for more upcoming events to give the opportunity to meet others while tackling tough subjects. His primary goal is to have people become pro-active instead of reactive. Blackburn changed the whole room with one sentence; he said
“Have brave space, not a safe place. Brave space will encourage dialog and help us come together as a community.”
To establish platforms for empowerment, ESC wants to educate and advocate towards self-realization, and personal success. Building bridges between communities will unlock potential and strengthen relationships primarily in Sioux Falls.
Taniza Islam was first on the panel to speak about Islam and some of the misconceptions that people have. Mrs. Islam is a civil rights attorney and the director of the collaborator incubate program. She gave a brief description of what similarities are between Christianity and Islam, and there was a lot of shocked faces. Not many people knew that both Christianity and Islam both believe in the Virgin Mary and both religions believe in the same God. Allah is a translation of God in Arabic just as Dios is a translation of God in Spanish. Both religions believe in Jesus, only Christians view Jesus as the son of God, and Muslims believe the Trinity to be a division of God’s Oneness, mainly a profit. Both religions believe in the end times and believe that Jesus will return to earth. Taniza was in her brave space and talked about the Hijab, although she wasn’t warring one. The Hijab is a concept of modesty and is not required to be worn by every Islamic woman; it’s optional to women except the ones who live in places under radical Islamic law. Muslims believe in repenting and that there are a heaven and a hell. In a day every Muslim is obligated to pray five times a day and participate in Ramadan. Taniza even cultured Sioux Falls natives by informing us the first mosque built in North America was in North Dakota. One fifth of the world is Islamic, and it is also the fastest religion growing in the world. As outsiders of the Islamic faith, one cannot assume what one Muslim believes is what 1.5 million Muslims believe.
Musheera Anis, an assistant professor at the University of South Dakota, is a proud Muslim woman who enjoys wearing a hijab. Musheera has three daughters who live with her here in the United States, while her husband still lives in Saudi Arabia. When she first moved her when her girls were young, she did not experience any Islamophobia. Not until her eldest daughter entered middle school, and was referred to as a terrorist. Musheera even brought it up to the school administrators about her daughter becoming harassed at school and online. One man’s experience gave him the impression
“that not many in South Dakota are anti-hatred; South Dakota might look nice but more hateful under the surface.”
John Coke a native to South Dakota and born into a Catholic family, converted to Islam when he was 21. His experience in South Dakota as a Muslim is more peaceful, and he says
“it’s because I am not Arabic.”
Coke also mentioned that
“there is a lot of talk about diversity over the last twenty-five years, but our community still needs a lot of improvement.”
The way our city and the state can improve on the phobias of different cultures is to talk about them, to educated about them. Talking to other white people about the stigmas and the myths will help improve the Islamophobia.
The overall experience was unique, and I felt personally touched by the stories of the people up at the panel. Although the whole point of this meeting was to have brave space and to break down those boundaries, there was still heated conversing. I encourage everyone who has questions about Islam or other ethnic cultures to contact Establishing Sustainable Connections at firstname.lastname@example.org. ESC has another upcoming event on November 17th to tackle more social matters around Sioux Falls. Mark Blackburn said two sentences that I believe can change the world. He left off the meeting thanking everyone for coming and then saying this
“Communication is not about talking, it is about listening. If you don’t like the world, it’s your obligation to change it.”