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Holy shit. I simply cannot believe it. I can’t even bring myself to discuss in any great depth the volume of sheer insanity. So I am going to list them:

This last one is certainly egregious, standing against libertarian principles that the Republicans so often espouse, and instituting a Big Brother style approach:

Staffers at the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Transportation, Interior Department, National Institutes of Health, Department of Agriculture, Health and Human Services (which includes the CDC and Food and Drug Administration) and other agencies were reportedly told not to speak to the press or provide information to the public for an indefinite period. New projects were also halted at a number of agencies.

The EPA was instructed by the Trump administration to take down its website page on climate change, according to a Reuters report. There were reports that the Trump team would be reviewing previous EPA studies and numbers, and also embargoing new studies pending review. Those steps follow the Trump transition team’s request that the Energy Department fork over the names of staff who worked on climate change issues. The team also asked the State Department for a list of positions and programs aimed at achieving gender equality.

That effectively muzzles agencies concerned with science, health, the environment, medicine and food. Essentially, everything critical to human survival.

Perhaps bowing to public outcry, USDA officials reportedly rescinded the gag order on Tuesday. There were reports of agencies going rogue, like these supposed unauthorized Twitter accounts of federal science workers, or the now offline but cached at the @WhiteHouseLeaks account. There was also the Badlands National Park Twitter, which for a few hours rebelliously tweeted climate change facts.

In the minutes after Trump’s inauguration, pages dedicated to civil rights, climate change, LGBT rights, and health care disappeared from the White House website. Spanish language pages were also removed, while a page titled “Standing Up For Our Law Enforcement Community” was newly added. “The Trump Administration will be a law and order administration,” the page reads. “The dangerous anti-police atmosphere in America is wrong.”

What I will say is that Obama enacted slow and steady changes against a torrent of challenge and derision from Republicans. Now, with free rein, Republicans are doing everything they have ever dreamed of, and more. The sad thing is many less nuanced thinkers think a strong America is an outwardly powerful one that flexes its muscles. One that challenges Iran publicly, that irritates North Korea, that winds up ISIS, and so on. Obama understood that this approach makes the world hate America. He took over from Bush and managed to get people to like America again. The world came around to the States again and were willing to work with them.

Now we think they are idiots, all because of one man having his strings pulled by a nefarious bunch of dark figures behind the scenes. Because, simplistically, people can’t help summing up a nation by looking at their figureheads and ruling party. Heck, you should hear what I have to say about the UK right now…

I cannot, simply cannot, tell you how scary things are right now. It’s all too much.

If anyone has anything else they would like to add, hit the comments and I will add them to the list and repost this in a few more dire weeks.

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Jonathan MS Pearce

A TIPPLING PHILOSOPHER Jonathan MS Pearce is a philosopher, author, columnist, and public speaker with an interest in writing about almost anything, from skepticism to science, politics, and morality,...