I “Hope” James Comey Says More.

Darian Mesneak

WR-121-13

Blog #18

 

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Donald Trumps Official Twitter

 

“I need loyalty.” I replied (Comey), “You will always get honesty from me.” He paused and then said, “That’s what I want, honest loyalty. (Trump)” (CNN Politics 1).

Yesterday morning at 9:00AM CBSN did a live broadcast of the James Comey testimony, former FBI director who was fired from his position by President Trump. The broadcast consisted of James Comey being questioned by the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee about his written memos which, consist of conversations and interactions between Trump and Comey. After watching the entire broadcast I have come to the conclusion that Comey is a hero in the same way Snowden is a hero. Comey made the very hard decision to stand up for the rights of the American people by putting his own reputation and potential life at risk so the we the people can know what is happening in our white house and our president. I believe that Comey was telling the truth based on his consistency and how serious he took the content of the conversation. I think every member of the committee had good questions, I felt some members were making attacks toward Comey including Senator Marco Rubio and John McCain. I question why John McCain was involved in the conference at all considering he is not part of the committee according to the website, and the questions John McCain asked were clearly answered by Comey but it seemed that McCain just didn’t understand what Comey was saying.

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Committee Members Via –  https://www.intelligence.senate.gov/

While Comey was the acting FBI director he had a total of 9 conversations with President Trump, some in person and some over the phone. These different conversations brought but many issues concerning the ongoing investigation looking into the involvement of Russia during the 2016 election and who may be involved on the US side including the current FBI investigation into General Flyn. Along with direct quotes by Trump from Comey Memos, I found three major points. The first being Trump asking Comey to drop the FBI investigation on Flyn. Comey was asked several times about Trumps comment on the Flyn investigation but I think the clearest moment on the subject came from the conversation between Senator Bisch and Comey.

(Bisch) You wrote down the words so we can all have the words in front of us now. There’s 28 words there that are in quotes, and it says, quote, “I hope” — this is the president speaking — “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.

Now those are his exact words, is that correct?

COMEY: Correct.” (New York Times Politics 1).

The Second, point that I found frightening which, was a discovery to me, was Comey’s replies to the several straight forward questions from Chairmen Richard Burr about the Russians involvement in the 2016 election in including,

BURR: Do you have any doubt that the Russian government was behind the intrusions in the DNC and the DCCC systems, and the subsequent leaks of that information?

COMEY: No, no doubt.

BURR: Do you have any doubt that the Russian government was behind the cyber intrusion in the state voter files?

COMEY: No.

BURR: Do you have any doubt that officials of the Russian government were fully aware of these activities?

COMEY: No doubt.

BURR: Are you confident that no votes cast in the 2016 presidential election were altered?

COMEY: I’m confident. By the time — when I left as director, I had seen no indication of that whatsoever. ( New Yorks Times Politics 1).

James ComeyThose questions and answers between Burr and Comey scare the hell out of me, because now the investigation is no longer the question of “did the Russians tamper with the election?” but is rather “was General Flyn involved with the tampering and who else is possibly involved?”. With the investigation into Russia being on-going the obvious question arose “is Trump involved/or was involved with Russia?”. Comey claimed several times during the testimony that he had clearly communicated to Trump that at the time when he was the FBI Director there was no direct open FBI investigation on him. The third point that I found important was when Trump comments on the “cloud” that is the Russian investigation and how the investigation is causing him trouble. I believe that Senator Feinstein nailed this issue on the head.

FEINSTEIN: You described two phone calls that you received from President Trump, one on March 30 and one on April 11, where he, quote, “described the Russia investigation as a cloud that was impairing his ability,” end quote, as president, and asked you, quote, “to lift the cloud,” end quote.

What — how did you interpret that? And what did you believe he wanted you to do?

COMEY: I interpreted that as he was frustrated that the Russia investigation was taking up so much time and energy, I — I think he meant, of the executive branch, but in the — in the public square in general, and it was making it difficult for him to focus on other priorities of his. But what he asked me was actually narrower than that.

COMEY: So I think what he meant by the cloud, and again, I could be wrong, but what I think he meant by the cloud was the entire investigation is — is taking up oxygen and making it hard for me to focus on the things I want to focus on.

The ask was to get it out that I, the president, am not personally under investigation. (New York Time Politics 1).

          Comey Vs TrumpI believe that Trump and the Trump administration are in deep trouble right now. What I find funny is that so many people are shocked by Comey’s testimony. I can see how if you are a strong Trump supporter the findings of the testimony would surprise you, but I am not surprised at all. Based on how Trump has acted during his campaign and so far as president I’m sure he thought he could say whatever he wanted and not get caught. The proof of that was also included in Comey’s testimony by the wording Trump chose. Also, by how Trump presented his issues and what he wanted Comey to do and Comey didn’t do them because that is not how this democratic system works. Plus, what Trump was asking was completely inappropriate! Once Comey didn’t do what Trump wanted he was fired and I’m sure Trump probably thought that was the end of it, but he was wrong. Comey not only stood up for himself but for the American people. I hope that as the Committee continued there questioning with Comey on the unclassified information that they gained an even clearer understanding of how Trump is doing what he wants, thinking he won’t have to face any repercussions because as Sean Spicer says “the president is the president of the united states.” (Meyers, “Late Night With Seth Meyers” 12:12-12:15)

 

 

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Blood, Ink & Bacteria

Darian Mesneak

WR-121-13

Blog #17

Charlie, an author for Inked Magazine said, “If there is one thing you should know about getting a tattoo first and foremost it should be how to look after and care for it in the extremely important first few weeks after leaving the studio” (1).

tattoo-gun-10Tattoos are in my opinion are one of the most beautiful acts of art man has created. To view your body as a blank canvas to fill with art that is based on your own expression, feelings or memories is amazing to me. I’m sure by now you have figured out that I probably have tattoos and you would be correct. My whole right arm starting from the top of my hand up to about my shoulder is almost covered and of course, I plan on getting more. I have always been accepting of tattoos because I’ve grown up around them my whole life. Both of my parents are covered in tattoos, all my parent’s friends that would babysit me as a kid were covered in tattoos and a lot of my friend’s parents had tattoos. When I was in middle school I started hanging out at tattoo shops smoking cigarettes with all the tattoo artists and body piercers, watching them tattoo and create gorgeous works of art on people’s bodies. I love it and I hope to be covered head to toe in tattoos someday.

old tattooingNow, “Every time a tattoo gun pierces your skin, the needle is opening a wound” (Tinker 1). Tattoos are a bunch of tiny cuts being filled with ink, they are wounds and people should treat them as such. Because they are a wound one of the most important part about getting a tattoo, that I’ve heard from the multiple artists throughout the years, is that you need to keep them clean! It involves a lot to take care of a new tattoo but a clean tattoo really starts at the beginning of the tattoo. What I mean by that is before you sit under the needle you should know that your artist has the proper licenses, that the shop is clean, all the equipment is clean and that all the needles have come from clean packaging. Artists that have a tattooing license through the state must follow certain guidelines called the “Standard universal precautions for preventing the spread of diseases by using sterilization procedures and infection control in body art, body piercing, and tattooing“. These guidelines include three different articles by the Department Of Health under WAC 246-145-015, 246-145-050, and 246-145-060. Those articles are meant to ensure that an artist uses the proper guidelines to keep those who go to get tattoos safe and clean. The problem is that even these articles don’t address the issue of how to take care of your tattoo after you leave the shop.

getting-heavily-tattooed-L-OqLtInMan dies after swimming with new tattoo” (Tinker 1). Ben Tinker an author for CNN wrote an article about a man who dies from an infection after swimming with a new tattoo. Dying from a tattoo is very uncommon, but if you’re not in a clean environment you are prone to getting an infection. “Tattoo-related infections aren’t common, but they do happen,” says Dr. Daihung Do, an instructor in dermatology at Harvard Medical School and director of cosmetic and laser surgery at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center ” (Skerrett 1). How do we protect ourselves once we have the tattoo? Patrick J. Skerrett an author for Harvard Health Publications wrote an article in 2012 offering advice on how to keep your tattoo safe and clean after leaving the shop. This is the advice he offers.

  • After a tattoo session is over, take off the bandage within three to five hours. Wash your hands with antibacterial soap and warm water, then wash the tattooed skin. Pat dry with a paper towel or clean cloth towel.
  • Allow the skin to air dry for 5 to 10 minutes. Then apply a very thin layer of Vaseline, Aquaphor, or other ointment.
  • Repeat the washing, drying, and moisturizing process three to four times a day for four days.
  • When the tattooed skin starts to shed a thin flaky layer of skin, do not scratch or pick at it. At this point you can switch to a moisturizer—don’t let your tattoo get dried out for the first few weeks.
  • Call your doctor—not the tattoo artist—if redness or swelling persists after a few days, you have a fever, or you notice a rash in or around the tattoo. (Skerrett 1)

I think the advice that Patrick J. Skerrett offers is great! I follow all of his guidelines for aftercare. The tattoo artist I go to makes all the same suggestions for aftercare and I have never had a problem or had an infected tattoo. I believe that tattoo aftercare is very important and my advice to you is to really think of all the health factors of the tattoo before getting it done. So go get a tattoo, just be safe about it.

 

 

 

Does God Use His Lucky Dice On Certain People?

Darian Mesneak

WR-121-13

Blog #15

 

Is Russian roulette a game you can win with a mathematical equation based on probability or is the winner picked by a higher power?

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That is a very loaded question and I image that if I asked multiple people “do you believe in chance or God?” I would get a lot of different answers. If I was asked the same question what would I say? Would I come to the same conclusion that “You can’t thwart chance with religion because chance likely created religion“? I do agree with that sentence but I feel that my view is a little different. First off, I don’t believe that there is a God making choices on who lives and who dies based on my experiences with religion. Do I believe that every situation or event can be solved by math equation? No, not necessarily, because math, in my opinion, is still a man made construction that has been used to try and explain nature. I believe that there are things about life that humans will just never know and things that we may not be meant to know. Second, do I believe in luck? Yes, I do belive in luck. Can luck be explained by a mathematical equation? In a sense it can. For example, flipping a coin and landing on heads, the “probability of flipping a coin and it being heads is ½, because there is 1 way of getting a head and the total number of possible outcomes is 2 (a head or tail). We write P(heads) = ½ .” So I think in cases of simple luck like flipping a coin you can use math to help your odds, but in the end, math will not tell you what will end up in your hand, it will tell you the chances but not the official outcome.

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Now, what I’m going to say next I mean with no disrespect to any religious groups or people. If there is an all-powerful God or higher power why would this entity let all the terrible things that happen in the world, happen in the first place? War, famine, rape, murder etc. We all know the list goes on. The reason I ask this question is because if the case is that a God does have all mighty power than why would he choose who survives and who doesn’t as well?  I have struggled with theses types of questions based on the existence of God my whole life. With all that being said, what if you take away the idea that the responsibility for actions and events lies in the hands of higher power, what are we left with? What if the answer really is as simple a mathematical equation? What I’ve found is that you can break down some events or situations with mathematical probability like a coin flip that mentioned in the beginning of the blog. What if the issue with solving an event is because there isn’t enough data. For example, in the case of Frane Selak’s car flying off the road and him landing in a tree. What if it could be mathematical proven that what happened was not chance. If you had data such as what time he started driving, how fast was he going, what time and how fast was the United Nations truck driver going, what was the resistance of the guard rail? If we had all of the data of the event could we plug the data into an equation and come out the other end of that solved equation saying “yeah, that makes sense why he lived because of A and B.” Could that be possible in the future?

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Now, I grew up in and out of churches, mostly western Christian based belief systems. I was very involved in one particular church which was a Christian southern baptist based belief system. While I was deeply involved in this church I saw a lot. I was involved in a lot of events, some good, some bad and some really bad in retrospect. Some of those events you could say were based on chance or you could say that it was all Gods will. For example, while attending this church we had a woman who had cancer that was so bad that she was given a time line of how long she would most likely live. We performed a prayer circle for her three times and we would make sure to pray for her once a week at the end of Bible study. As time went by the woman eventually beat cancer. Did she beat cancer because we prayed so much for her to be healed or was it by chance that all of her medical treatment worked? I no longer prescribe to the Christian belief system, or any religious belief system for that matter but I know I will spend my whole life discussing the different possibilities of God, existence, chance and the purpose of life. So do I believe that chance is mathematical or is it choices being made by a higher power? I think that in some cases chance can be explained with math but I do think there are events in life that cannot be explained with math.

Slaughterhouse 5 VS. Full Metal Jacket

Darian Mesneak

WR-121-13

Blog #16

full metal jacket suicide

I chose Full Metal Jacket for my compare and contrast essay. I picked this film because Full Metal Jacket deals with the Vietnam War through the eyes and experience of the main character Private Davis. The film deals with multiple elements caused from the effects of war from, suicide, insanity, the brutality of war and the different mental states amongst soldiers. I have not watched the movie in a long time but if I remember correctly the main character  Private Davis “Joker” deals with the struggles of duality surrounding war. He wears a peace symbol on his helmet and is a journalist in the war. The character doesn’t really like war but yet is fascinated by it. The film gives the feeling that the character Billy Pilgrim and Private Davis encounter some of the same experiences in both story lines when it comes to war. Plus there are no Tralfamadores in Full Metal Jacket. 612FVd615aL._SY346_The difference I see right of the bat between the two characters is that Billy Pilgrim gives up on humanity in my opinion and is very depressed and deals with war differently than Private Davis. Private Davis I feel is a journalist because he wants to share the true brutality of war. He wants to show people that war isn’t good, yet he wears a helmet that says “born to kill” but he also wears a peace button. As I finished reading Slaughterhouse Five I think I may go back and read some of the key chapters to refresh my view of Billy Pilgrim’s experiences during the war.

 

A Plate Full Of Veggies & Bugs.

Darian Mesneak

Blog #13

WR-121-13

man-eating-crickets

          The future is gray, scary and exciting all at the same time. We, as humans, have caused many problems for our planet. We are going to have to come together to seriously starting fixing our planet, and soon. One of the biggest problems that we face, in the near future, is “how do we feed everyone?”. With all of the advances in the medical technology field, people have begun to live longer and fewer people are dying from illness, which is great, but it also comes with the burden of feeding all the humans of the world. This problem is a great concern across the world and there seem to be some different ideas on how to solve the problem from synthetic meat to a completely vegan diet. Out of all the possible solutions to feeding everyone on the planet, I believe that the best choice, in the long run, is for the planet to go vegan or at least a vegan Entomophagy combination. A vegan diet would solve many of the problems including reducing gasses released into the atmosphere by livestock. It would greatly lower the abuse of animals, we would us less water and many other problems could be solved by a vegan based diet. My family and I are all vegans, but we have not always been. We had the average American diet of meat and potatoes, but thankfully we educated ourselves and made a change. My family has been vegan now for about three years. I can say wholeheartedly that switching to a vegan lifestyle has been one of the best decisions I’ve made for my health, both emotionally and physically.
beef farm           I am an all animal rights activist and a pro clean renewable energy advocate based on my beliefs and what I have learned over the past five or six years from documentaries, articles, and conversation on global warming, GMO’s, population growth, animal abuse and toxic industries. I have come to realize that we all have choices we make has individuals, we choose where we eat, what we eat, what we drive, what we put in the garbage and how the garbage is used, etc. I believe that if more individuals start making more clean energy, vegan life choices, that we can begin to reverse the effects of the toxic industries that we have all become so comfortable with. As a society, we can choose to turn a blind eye to what is happening around us and leave the problems for future generations to deal with, or we can make the right choice, right now to make a change to save the future of our planet.
 the bug chef          Now the question remains, how do we do that? It is a lot easier than you think and once you start making these small changes in your life, they will eventually become normal. From my experience, you have to take it slow. I understand feeling passionate and just saying, “That’s it! I am now a vegan and I will never eat meat again!”. That is great, but it is not easy being vegan and it does take a lot of work. Luckily, there are way more options when it comes to vegan food than there have been in the past years. So, my advice would be to go to your local grocery store and see what vegan options they have. I do a lot of my shopping at Fred Meyers and Whole Foods. Check out brands such has Tofurky, Daiya, Simple Truth, Silk Milks, Follow Your Heart, Boca and Field Roast. There are so many more brands out there to try, and if you are lucky enough to live in the Northwest, then you have a lot of vegan restaurant options in, for example, Portland and Seattle. In the end, it is a personal choice on what you eat, drive, and throw away, but I hope you will take the time to think about your decisions and how they affect the planet. The choices you make can make a difference.

 

vegan food brands

Why Did My Uncle Have To Steal That Ring?!

Darian Mesneak

WR-121-13

Blog 11#

Creative synopsis

LOTR

Resting in darkness for years, just waiting for the right moment to re-enter the world to cast a cloud of death across middle earth. Black cloaked servants that serve the great eye of fire, the eye of Sauron, search for the great gold ring of power. The one ring of power finds itself in the hands of a Hobbit named Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood), who is now placed with a great burden of destroying the ring but he is not alone. Frodo Baggins will join a fellowship, the fellowship of the ring. The fellowship is made up of Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) the ranger of the north, Boromir of Gondor (Sean Bean),  the woodland elf Legolas (Orlando Bloom), Gandalf the gray wizard (Ian McKellen), the hobbit’s Samwise Gamgee (Sean Astin), Peregrin “Pippin” Took (Billy Boyd), Meriadoc “Merry” Brandybuck (Dominic Monaghan), and Gimli the dwarf (John Rhys-Davies). This fellowship is placed with the quest of destroying the one ring by casting it back into the fires of mount doom where is was forged so that the ring can never be placed back in the hands of the dark lord.

LOTR G

A small man named Frodo, unfortunately, finds himself in the position of taking on the sins of his uncle’s decisions, his uncle’s obsession over a golden ring that has elvish words written across the banner which can only be revealed in fire. This golden ring holds great power but the problem is Frodo’s uncle isn’t the only one who wants the ring. Frodo’s uncle stole the ring years ago from a creepy dude named Golem. Now Frodo is being hunted by a gang of black-cloaked cult members called wraiths who work for Sauron, who they call the black lord. Frodo is now tasked with creating a gang of his own to fight the followers of the black lord as he takes the ring back to where it was made at mount doom to destroy the ring. While Frodo is on his journey to destroy the ring he realizes how dope the ring is and begins to be taken over by its power. Luckily Frodo has his best homie Sam to keep him on track while they continue their quest to mount doom to destroy the one ring of power.

Lighting Up The Map.

Darian Mesneak

WR-121-3

Blog 9#

video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLCF7vPanrY

nuke

By the year 1993, the year I was born the United states had used 1,032 nukes. this number is sickening to me. Watching the work of Isao Hashimoto was very eye opening to me. The video itself gave me different emotions, trains of thoughts, and it really made question how I feel about the use of nukes. At the beginning of the video, I didn’t really think or feel much about the little lights going off because I feel like it is common sense now knowing that all the major countries of the world have and have used nukes. So when the different flags began popping up and their lights started going off on the map I wasn’t that surprised or shocked. However, as the video progressed I began to have a different feeling about the countries including the united states. The other thing that took me by surprise was how much the soviet union used nukes all over its own country. The united states also used nukes in our own country a lot and I’m assuming that it was at a testing site. After the video ended I felt a sense of disgust and sadness at the total number of how many nukes have been used from 1945-1998 which was 2,053. The united states had used 1,032 nukes by the end of 1998 which is an insane number to me and what I found even sadder is that was 1998.

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I can’t even imagen how many nukes have been used since 1998 to today. I’m sure way mores tests have been done and I’m sure that the perfect nuke has been created by the united states. My thought of how many nukes the united states have used in recent years mad me start to think of my best friend who is in the military. How easy would it be for one country including the united states to use a nuke and start another world war or just obliterate the whole planet in an all-out nuclear war. To think that my best friend could have to go to war or could be killed in a nuclear blast by the decisions of other human beings in power make me feel a sense of anger and worry. Plus if a country does decide to use a nuke how many lives are lost? Another subject that was on my mind during the video was how many people died between 1945-1998 by those nukes? Hundreds, thousands?

After I watched the video and processed what I saw I had my girlfriend friend watch the video. I set up my girlfriend with no prior knowledge of the video. I just had her sit down on the couch and I pressed play. After the video was over I interviewed her on what she had just watched. This is how it went.

kim nuke

me: So what do you think that video was about?

Sydney: nukes.

me: you answered that quick.

Sydney: That’s because smart. [laughter]

me: what was your initial feeling? when did you realize the lights were nukes?

Sydney: when the soviet union came up on the map. That’s what gave it away for me and also where the lights were hitting in the united states is where a lot of nuclear tests take place.

me: what was your emotion response once you realized they were nukes?

Sydney: I was Disgusted. Just watching where the nukes were going off especially where they were hitting the ocean because it just makes me think about all the wildlife that is being affected by those nukes and I imagine there are probably small islands out there that are affected by the nukes.

me: were you surprised by the overall number of nukes used or how many nukes the united states has used.

Sydney: yes and no. I know that countries use nukes obviously, including the united states but what surprised me was what the actual number was and just being able to see the number was what surprised me. Also that those are the record nukes from that time frame. I can’t imagine how many more nukes have been used since then.

me: So do you think that the world is more active when it comes to the use of nukes or less active?

Sydney: I think it is less active because I think that scientists have studied the effects how nukes and realized they probably shouldn’t use them as often but I also think that the use of nukes is more active than what we think if that makes sense.

me: yeah that makes sense. Any last thoughts or comments?

Sydney: it is disturbing. I also think about our parents and our grandparents because of all their health problems. Those nukes and the fallout has to have caused health problems for many people around the world.

me: I agree. I’m sure the fallout from all those years is linked to cancer.

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After watching the video and doing the interview I now have a more heightened sense of worry when comes to the use of nukes. It makes me wonder about the future and what could possibly happen under the current presidency. The future of nuclear use is a fine gray line in my eyes. I just hope that humans will one day realize that we are all on this planet together. We should probably figure out some way to find peace with each other before it is too late.