Friday, December 30, 2011

We Call the Question

Everyone in this country knows the right answer, if we ask the right question.

Back to Hierarchies OR Forward to Liberty and Justice for All?

Think Big Picture and Keep It Simple.

The pivotal year of 2012 is here. Our future hangs on having an indisputable unified message:

1. Big Picture: With 250 years of momentum toward equality and fairness, let's finish this march toward the vision of our founders.

2. Simplicity: Our persistent slogan is, "Are we going backward to hierarchies OR moving forward to liberty and justice for all?"

3. Transparency: Clear and simple, the opposition is building hierarchies as they channel resources to the top.

We ask the right question, we'll get the answer we want.

As the united 99%, we will prevail.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Health Coverage - Painfully State by State

Last night here in Oregon, we heard two women speak from the campaign that brought single-payer medical coverage to Vermont. A group of people from Vermont are traveling to educate and encourage other states to start campaigns to pass legislation that defines health care a basic right, and therefore available equitably to all.

We are looking forward to the campaign in Oregon, but at the same time, are feeling overwhelmed with the huge effort and expense it is going to take to mobilize these campaigns state by state.

The people from Vermont described that even now that their legislation is passed mandating a single-payer system, insurance companies with huge amounts of money are still putting their profits before the people, pumping massive amounts of resources into turning back the legislation.

Looking ahead at what it will take to implement single payer health insurance state by state, we can clearly see just how expensive hierarchies are, not only in money but in human effort. Our health care is a typical hierarchy. The people at the bottom have to scramble to make it work for them, since the priority of the US Congress is to support sending resources to the top - the insurance companies - while not taking care of the bottom – the people of the United States.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Gayly Moving Forward

We learn hierarchical behaviors in any hierarchy, it doesn't matter which one. If we want to end hierarchies, we can't discriminate against any hierarchy as far as taking a stand.

The hierarchy of sexual orientation is our current 'hierarchy-du-jour." While we're in the middle of learning about it, it's difficult to see the same hierarchical attitudes and behaviors that are obvious in previously fought equality battles, such as gender or race.

There are those who find it difficult to support Hillary Clinton's message that the U.S. is going to use the tools of U.S. diplomacy to promote gay rights around the world. Decades from now, however, our grandchildren will understand that this declaration is as important as sanctions on South Africa years ago.

Charlotte lives in Springfield, Oregon. She is proud of her City Council for recently giving quick and unanimous approval to an ordinance that protects lesbians and gays against discrimination. Even thought the amendment is just "housekeeping," (the State of Oregon passed a anti-discrimination law in 2007), the Springfield act is especially sweet due to the city's history.

Springfield drew national attention in 1992 for becoming the first city in the U.S. to add anti-gay/lesbian rights language to its code. That year, 55% of Springfield voters approved a ballot measure that barred the city from taking any step to protect homosexuals from discrimination and stated that the city could not "promote, encourage or facilitate" homosexuality, pedophilia, sadism or masochism.

The current mayor of Springfield said that this recent charter addition was an important step toward ridding the city of some of the "stigma" it had earned through the 1992 vote. She said that the memory of the 1992 vote had lived on for many years, particularly in the minds of people outside the community.

When we weaken the sexual orientation hierarchy, we go a long ways to weaken all hierarchies.

Friday, December 2, 2011

True Colors

When we encounter a typical top-of-a-hierarchy attitude, we want to expose their true motives to the right audience. For example, passive resistance works because, given enough rope, people who are vehement about conserving hierarchies will expose themselves in unacceptable ways.

Nicholas Kristof, a columnist for The New York Times, recently wrote an article entitled, "Authorities play into the hands of occupiers," that describes how the Occupy protests might have died in infancy if a senior police official have not pepper-sprayed young women on video. Kristof describes how harsh police measures built popular support.