A GoFundMe has raised millions for the wall. Another will fund 'ladders' to get over it.

A GoFundMe has raised more than $12 million in four days to help pay for Trump's border wall. Yes, really.

As President Trump battles with the Senate to secure $5 billion towards the building of his wall, one citizen has taken matters into his own hands. Purple Heart veteran Brian Kolfage started a GoFundMe campaign calling on the 63 million people who voted for Trump to donate money to go toward building a The Wall.

"Like a majority of those American citizens who voted to elect President Donald J Trump," writes Kolfage, "we voted for him to Make America Great Again. President Trump’s main campaign promise was to BUILD THE WALL. And as he’s followed through on just about every promise so far, this wall project needs to be completed still."


"As a veteran who has given so much, 3 limbs, I feel deeply invested to this nation to ensure future generations have everything we have today. Too many Americans have been murdered by illegal aliens and too many illegals are taking advantage of  the United States taxpayers with no means of ever contributing to our society."

Mmkay. So we're just going to ignore that most research indicates that undocumented immigration actually correlates to lower violent crime rates. And we're just going to gloss over the research showing that core industries in the U.S.—including the farming of the food we all eat—could not survive without undocumented workers. Who needs research when we have fear-mongering rhetoric to fuel our financial decisions?

With all due respect to Mr. Kolfage, and with sincere gratitude for his sacrificial service, the stated reasoning for funding this wall is bunk. (And so are the far right-wing conspiracy theory website businesses peddling racist, inflammatory garbage that he's started over the past couple of years. Thanks for the investigative journalism, NBC News.)

And yet, 200,000-and-counting Americans have happily thrown their hard-earned money at Kolfage's fundraiser. In a mere four days, the GoFundMe has raised more than $12 million toward the initial $1 billion goal.

It's amazing how motivating prejudice and fear are. No wonder wanna-be-despots shamelessly fan those flames in their followers.

In response, an alternate GoFundMe is raising money for "Ladders to Get Over Trump's Wall."

Another veteran, Charlotte Clymer, started a counter GoFundMe fundraiser, "Ladders to Get Over Trump's Wall," and it's fire and gold all at once.

"We saw some folks are raising money for a border wall to keep out our migrant siblings and fellow human beings, who are fleeing violence and persecution and whose tragically-underpaid labor is essential to the U.S. economy," states the page. "Seems like a bad idea on countless levels for everyone involved.  Maybe we should focus on human rights and creating a community that reflects our supposed values."

When the page was set up, the wall fund was still ramping up, with a rate of $1.7 million per day. "And even though at a rate of $1.7 million daily, it would take their fund about 35 years to raise the $21.7 billion that Trump's own Dept. of Homeland Security says would be needed  to build said wall," it reads, "we wanna make sure ladders are ready to send over to our undocumented friends and help them." *

And then perhaps the best line ever written: "If this seems ludicrous, we welcome you to the coalition of reasonable adults." Gracious, I miss the days when I believed reasonable adults were the vast majority.  

This fund won't actually pay for ladders—it will help with legal representation for those who need it.

All funds raised by the Ladders GoFundMe will go to the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES) , a Texas-based nonprofit that provides free and low-cost legal services to underserved immigrant children, families, and refugees.

"You see," the site states, "they’ll never reach their goal, but no matter how much we raise, we’re going to reach ours: Supporting an organization working to help immigrants seeking legal asylum. This GoFundMe isn’t really about ladders at all. It’s about lifting people up."

So far, Clymer has raised $89,000 for RAICES, and the campaign is starting to gain steam on social media. The Hoarse Whisperer, who originally came up with the idea, shared what happens when people only read the name of the fundraiser and not the description. Prepare to smack your head:

Reasonable adults, please keep showing up when ridiculousness rears its ugly head. We need you now more than ever.

* Just for the record, at the larger rate of $3 million per day, it would still take 19 YEARS to get the full $21+ billion for the wall. Isn't math fun? For more on why the wall is a dumb idea all around, read this analysis from the Cato Institute.

JediMentat 44 / Flickr

Starbucks is the most popular coffee chain in the world and it's also one of the greatest producers of waste. The company uses more than 8,000 coffee cups per minute, which adds up to four billion a year. Over 1.6 million trees are harvested every year to make its disposable cups.

Since the cups are lined with plastic only four cities in the U.S. will accept them for recycling.

Starbucks has attempted to address this issue in the past by making bold proclamations that it will reduce its waste production, but unfortunately, they have yet to yield substantial results.

Keep Reading Show less
Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
True

Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

Keep Reading Show less