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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.

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Native Siberian shares what daily life entails in the coldest village on Earth

See how the people of Yakutia, Siberia take showers, do laundry, go to school and more in minus 58 degrees Fahrenheit.

A man in the Yakutia region of Siberia takes an ice bath in minus 50 degrees Celsius.

For most of us, waking up to a temperature of minus 50 degrees would spell catastrophe. Normal life would come to a screeching halt, we'd be scrambling to deal with frozen pipes and power outages, school and work would be canceled and weather warnings would tell us not to venture outside due to frostbite risk.

But in the Yakutia region of Siberia, that's just an average winter day where life goes on as usual.

When you live in the coldest inhabited area on Earth, your entire life is arranged around dealing with ridiculously cold temperatures. Villages don't have running water because freezing pipes wouldn't allow for water treatment. Kids go to school unless the temp drops below minus 55 degrees Celsius (which is then considered dangerous). Showering involves spending hours stoking a fire in the bathhouse to create a steamy, warm room.

Native Siberian Kiun B. has created a series of documentary short films detailing what daily life is like in Yakutia's frigid winters. She was born and raised in Yakutsk, Siberia, widely recognized as the coldest city on Earth, where average winter temperatures hover around minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit. As seen in her videos, smaller villages in the Yakutia region regularly dip down into the negative 50s, with the lowest recorded temp in the Yakut village of Oymayakon reaching a mindblowing minus 96 degrees Fahrenheit.

The popularity of Kiun's YouTube channel demonstrates how curious people are about life in such harsh conditions, as her videos have been viewed by tens of millions of people in the past year alone.

Check out this video detailing a day in the life of a family in a Yakutia village.

Can you imagine going out to use an outhouse in minus 40 degrees? Oof.

Another of Kiun's videos goes into more detail about how people shower and do laundry in the region. You might assume they wouldn't line-dry their laundry outdoors, but they do.

Watch:

What do people wear to protect themselves from the negative temperatures? Frostbite is a real risk, so it's important to have the right kinds of clothing and outdoor gear to stay safe and relatively comfortable.

Kiun shared some frigid fashion norms from Yakutsk, which include traditional fur hats and boots as well as lots of layers and down jackets.

However, there are some Yakut folks who see the cold as something to embrace. For instance, this man takes an ice bath out in the elements as a morning ritual. It's something he has worked up to—definitely not something to try on your own during a cold snap—but it still has to be painful.

(Seriously, please don't try this at home.)

The way humans have learned to adapt to drastically different environments, from the sweltering tropics to the Arctic tundra, is incredible, and it's fascinating to get a close-up look at how people make life work in those extremes. Thank you, Kiun B., for giving us a glimpse of what it's like to experience life in the dead of winter in the world's coldest inhabited places.