A Heavy Dose of Ranting: Is the US judicial branch compromised?

Shortly after the midterm elections, Attorney General Jeff Sessions was fired by President Trump [1]. It’s likely that Trump held off on the firing until after the elections because he knew the optics would be bad. He essentially fired Sessions in order to appoint someone else to control the Mueller investigation, since Sessions had recused himself from that role. Moreover, Trump had increasingly complained about Sessions’ loyalty towards his position rather than the GOP or the Presidency [2]. The reality is that a few GOP officials had been indicted for insider trading and a variety of campaign violations, which Sessions dutifully pursued. Trump was unsatisfied because the bad optics could jeopardize the elections. Unsurprisingly, the President could care less about the GOP adhering to the law. Personally, I doubt Trump cares about the GOP political party whatsoever; this comes down to two factors: the Russia investigation and support of Trump’s policies. Democrats gaining control is going to translate to Trump actually being held accountable and he won’t be able to pass any of his policies. Moreover, the GOP are willing to blindly support seemingly any Trump policy.

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A Heavy Dose of Ranting: A Journalist, A Martyr

Journalist Jamal Khashoggi was an outspoken critic of Saudi Arabian foreign and domestic policies. He took aim at the disastrous Saudi-led war in Yemen, the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, and the continued extremist policies used within “The Kingdom” (i.e. Saudi Arabia). He had been a reporter, journalist, and editor within Saudi Arabia for decades. He was the editor-in-chief of a daily newspaper, but was forced to resign by the government multiple times due to his willingness to publish critical views of the Saudi government. Eventually, He “voluntarily exiled” himself to avoid arrest. He didn’t want to cease his criticisms and seemed to realize that a reluctance to do so would lead to his arrest, or worse.  Due to his journalism experience in The Kingdom, he had numerous sources, connections, and routes to collect information from Saudi insiders.

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A Heavy Dose of Ranting: The Trump-Warren Ancestry Feud

For this piece I’ll be touching on a dash of politics and a sprinkle of science related to the underpinnings of genetic testing. In regards to the politics of the issue, we’ll be looking at the feud between Senator Elizabeth Warren and President Donald Trump. Donald Trump loves to give nicknames to the seemingly endless number of individuals he feuds with, for instance “Lyin’ Ted Cruz”, “Crooked Hillary”, “Low Energy Jeb”, and “Pocahontas” [1]. Personally, I think the nicknames gained so much traction because the media loves quick punch lines that add a bit of drama to political discourse. Therefore, they tend to get repeated ad nauseam. Whereas some of the nicknames are a bit straightforward, the “Pocahontas” nickname conferred upon Elizabeth Warren is due to her claim that she has a Native American Ancestry [2]. Trump even went so far as to offer a million dollars to the charity of Senator Warren’s choice if she could actually “prove” Native American heritage [3].

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A Heavy Dose of Ranting: The Digital Age of Misinformation

A simple google search can yield answers to almost any question imaginable. However, how reliable are the varied answers? Although inaccuracies about your favourite TV show trivia questions might not create any disastrous consequences, what happens for individuals that look up information regarding their health? Studies conducted at the University of Kansas by Assistant Professor Susan Harvey have highlighted that adults and adolescents alike frequently don’t verify their sources or double check information [1]. Given the success of “fake news” at influencing the electorate, it seems clear that many individuals seem to inherently trust anything that is published on the internet. It’s as if the fact that it’s freely available is evidence enough of its trustworthiness.

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A Heavy Dose of Ranting: Beliefs over Evidence

Given my background in science, I wanted to start off the blogging with an article detailing a blend of “science” and a new cultural trend… A few days ago, Gwyneth Paltrow’s company, Goop, held a “Wellness Summit” in Vancouver. This isn’t the first summit and likely won’t be the last, but Paltrow’s company has been coming under fire for making ludicrous claims that are dubious at best and a clear example of fear-mongering based profiteering at worst.

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A Little Bit About ME

For those that don’t know me, I’ll start off with a bit of an introduction. My desire to stay politically informed largely stems from my family and where I grew up. Both parents have always been heavily interested in current events/politics and they weren’t shy to express their views, especially when the family was grouped around the television watching the news. If you’re curious, the “ranting” aspect of my personality stems from my father, whereas my skeptical nature likely originates from my mother.

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The Beginnings of Rambles of a Campbell

After years of social media posting articles about politics, current events, science, and anything else that piques my interest, I figured it was finally time to start an actual blog! If you’ve ever gotten into a political conversation with me, you know that I can ramble on for hours until I notice you falling asleep or pulling your hair out. With that in mind, I came up with “Rambles of a Campbell”. If it doesn’t rhyme, what’s even the point, right?

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