Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Whose Advantage?

This was a good week to observe typical top-of-the-hierarchy responses to people in lower groups who dare to try to move outside their dictated roles or challenge the views of those on top. A nudge from lower groups to participate equally feels like a steam roller to those on top. Crumbs given to lower groups in a hierarchy is perceived as a mountain of advantages, even if the top has routinely and unceremoniously received multitudes more.

First example – Senator Tom Coburn cluelessly implied that being an African-American male gives you a big advantage in the United States. Coburn told a townhall meeting in Oklahoma that Obama’s views are “goofy and wrong,” and that the president wants to “create dependency” because “as an African-American male,” he had received “tremendous benefit” from government programs.

Then there's the "Blade Runner" Oscar Pistorius, who recovered from his traditional slow start to qualify for the semifinals at the world championships in South Korea, the 14th best of all competitors. Initially the International Association of Athletics Federations had banned the multiple Paralympic gold medalist from able-bodied competition, saying the blades he wears gave him an unfair advantage. But in 2008, Pistorius was cleared to compete by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

These "advantage" statements by those on the top of hierarchies remind us of the case of golfer Casey Martin, who lives in our city of Eugene, Oregon. The Professional Golfers' Association (PGA), along with the likes of golfing giants Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer, argued that Martin would have an advantage if he used a cart. Martin has a disability, called Klippel-Trenaunay-Weber syndrome, a degenerative disorder than causes his veins to rupture and fill the cavities around his tibia with blood which makes it impossible for him to walk the course. "I've missed four out of eight cuts and made $5,000 this year," he said, "so if there's an advantage, I'd like to know where it is." The case went to the U.S. Supreme Court who ruled in Casey's favor.

Read more:

African-American males:



Monday, August 22, 2011

Depends on Who's Benefitting

Should the Congress let tax cuts expire? If you ask Republicans, it appears that their answer depends on if it's the rich or the poorest part of the population.

Many of the same Republicans who fought hard to keep the George W. Bush-era income tax cuts from expiring on schedule for the rich are now saying a "temporary" tax cut for lower income people should end as planned.

Rep. David Camp, R-Mich., chairman of the tax-writing Ways and Means Committee, and a member of the House-Senate supercommittee tasked with finding new deficit cuts, says that tax reductions, "no matter how well-intended," will push the deficit higher. But he didn't worry about that when it concerned the wealthiest citizens, even though this constitutes a much bigger tax break for those citizens.

We think those Republicans are looking ridiculous and hope they look ridiculous to you also. But to them, they have likely convinced themselves that their wealth and power hierarchy is reasonable.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Washington in Focus

The title of an article peaked our interest: Clueless in Washington. We're not so much into the context of the WBST article, but we love the title.

Lately, the hierarchies that make Washington clueless are especially difficult to ignore. You are probably as frustrated with, tired of, or bored by them as much as we are. But the good part is that they motivate us to try something different.

Now more than ever we need to focus on the liberating process that’s shown in the picture above, and on the cover of our book. In addition to our comments, we are willing to share your suggestions or experiences with turning your head and looking away from the clueless top for Life, Liberty, and Happiness. Stay tuned for more!


Monday, August 8, 2011

Christian and Moslem Terrorists

The term "Christian Terrorist" has ignited a debate in our country. Vocal Christians who have been quick to equate terrorism with Islam are outraged by anyone who links the word Christian with terrorism.

What would happen if these right-wing Christians were to ask their congregations for some self-reflection? Would they still say that their Muslims neighbors are as different from extremists as most of their own church members are different from Anders Behring Breivik of Norway?

Of course people who are on top of their religious hierarchy in the United States would have a hard time equating themselves to another religion. Since Norway does not have such a strong religious hierarchy with Christianity on top as in the United States, it makes sense that in Norway it would be much easier for them to see the analogy.

In our hometown on Murfreesboro, many Christians have made national news by trying to stop the construction a mosque. What would these Tennessee Christians think if Norwegians tried to stop the construction of a Christian church in their Nordic community stating the same objections?

Friday, August 5, 2011

Look Over Here Obama

Paul Krugman's recent article, "The President Surrenders," illustrates that compromising with people who are intent on building hierarchies will only build more hierarchy. Paul Krugman states that Obama could and should have demanded an increase in the debt ceiling back in December. When asked why he didn’t, Obama replied that he was sure that Republicans would act responsibly.

Here's a quote from this Clueless at the Top website: (look under Take Action/Clueless Top)

"In an effort to be fair, we often view top-of-the-hierarchy perspectives as personal opinions, and think we need to compromise, even if the top sees no need to compromise with us. We compromise with people who are building hierarchies, then wonder why our hierarchies continue. Compromising with people building hierarchies only builds more hierarchies."

If anyone out there has a better connection to Obama than we do, would you please direct him to our webpage? Thanks.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Moving Free

If it is true that the Netherlands in the 1960's had the same attitude about alternative transportation to the car as the United States does now, maybe there is hope for us.

We are two people who have bus passes and usually leave our cars at home to instead walk, bike, or take the bus, so we know how valuable the time is that we spend transporting ourselves in other ways than our cars. We relax, are in great physical shape, slow down, talk to people we are with on the bus, enjoy noticing how people live along our routes, commune with nature, and feel great getting around on our own power.

We hope that as the United States climbs off the top of the world hierarchy we are creating, we can stop rushing around in our cars that are major contributors to pollution and global warming. Of course we will have to invest in the infrastructure that makes other-than-car transportation more workable. Other countries are far ahead of us; we're not near the top of the heap in this regard.

Everyone having fresh bread every day!! Yummmm!! Let's try it!