Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Trend or Isolated Incident? Depends.

"Some polling suggests that Americans view high-profile shootings as isolated events, not evidence of a broader problem in American society," quotes an article in the Washington Post.

This quote illustrates the point that, in a hierarchy, it makes a difference whether criminals are from a low group or a high group.  If there are some undesirable behaviors, real or perceived, among some in a lower group, most often this problem will get spread to all members of the group. But when there is detrimental behavior from members of a top group, it's not perceived as specific to a group, but as individual, unrelated instances.

Here's an example. If one person who is a lesbian or gay molests a child, all of a sudden there is a widespread cry for all lesbians or gay men to be banned from teaching school. Anita Bryant led a coalition called "Save our Children" that stirred up a nation-wide panic.

We've heard no one suggest that white males should be banned from teaching because they are most likely to bring a gun to school and shoot the students. Hierarchical position does make a difference in how we in this country perceive criminal behavior.


Monday, December 3, 2012


The United States Military Academy at West Point has hosted it's first same-sex marriage held in the Cadet Chapel.

Charlotte visited West Point in the early 1990's for a research project, and was impressed with how committed they appeared to be in providing equal opportunities for women. A faculty member explained that even though individuals at West Point may not have wanted women, once it was decided to admit women, the officers got behind the command to make it work, no questions asked. One story she remembers was that male cadets who heckled female cadets at a football game were immediately disciplined.

It looks like the same commitment has been made about equal opportunity for lesbians and gays. We are well aware that parts of the culture that are sexist and homophobic take generations to change, yet at least the command at West Point appears to be giving the right message.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Medical Hierarchy

Even though we've been following the clues for decades, we've not commented on the huge amount of hierarchy in the Western medical system.

Here's some examples of clues:

1.  A very large amount of resources goes to the top of the system – to physicians, insurance company CEO's, and drug companies.

2.  There are higher people who can receive health care but many people who cannot afford it.

3.  We become dependent on medical institutions when we agree to over-medication and must keep coming back into the system to keep the prescriptions current.

4. The western medical system is physician-centered with the physician being viewed by some like a deity. There is much less emphasis on individual people taking control of their own health and believing the body can heal itself with appropriate care and time.

The medical hierarchy, just like any hierarchy, can be hazardous to your health. Danish researchers have found that annual physical examinations might actually have a negative impact on your health. Using a large study group of 183,000 people, they found that those who received regular check-ups were no less likely to die of cancer or heart disease than those who only saw their doctors when symptoms occurred. People who saw their doctors regularly were more likely to be diagnosed with diseases and to take prescribed medications - but those visits did not improve their health, and did increase unnecessary biopsies, surgeries, and other treatments.

Another study has found that mammograms have not been effective to catch deadly breast cancers. and more than a million women have been treated for cancers that are not life threatening. The article below, "spotlights a reality that is tough for many Americans to accept: Some abnormalities that doctors call "cancer" are not a health threat or truly malignant. There is no good way to tell which ones are, so many women wind up getting treatments like surgery and chemotherapy that they don't really need."

Because the medical system often operates as a hierarchy, we may want to use hierarchical tools to navigate our way through it. We can ask, "WHO'S BENEFITING?" when we are encouraged to hand over decisions about our body to someone else. We can do our own research and expect to be able to ask questions about the services we are paying for and being advised to accept. We can also seek out health professionals who aren't on top of the medical hierarchy, including those practicing alternative medicine.




Monday, November 26, 2012

Men's Health

"I consider that there is a men's health crisis going on is this country," says Jo Davies,  a staff psychologist at the University of Oregon. Davies is the co-founder of the UO Men's Center, which is dedicated to promoting the physical, emotional, and social health of young men. He says, "We need to help men realize that it can be liberating to give up power and control – that choosing not to exercise power does not mean powerless."

Over that last half-century, women have established many centers to help them expand their options and to be more healthy.  It's wonderful to hear of men who are establishing centers to help men find the freedom from their restricted hierarchical roles.


Monday, November 19, 2012

Succession Solves the Budget Crisis?

While Romney claimed that Obama supporters are moochers, the fact is that in most of the red states that backed Romney, the amount of federal money they receive is more than what their residents pay in taxes.



Hierarchical Programming

To keep people in their lower ranks of hierarchies, fear and unquestioned loyalty are essential.  Recent research shows a link between these two elements and political conservatives including the Republicans - the ones who are most actively supporting hierarchies.

Researchers have found that children whose parents believed that children "should always obey their parents," and people whose parents described them as being fearful and cautious were likely to vote conservative/Republican. Children whose parents believed that "children should be allowed to disagree with their parents" and who were active and restless as young children tended to prefer Democratic party policies later on.

Authoritarian attitudes and fearful temperaments produce conservatives who in turn produce hierarchies. Looks like it is a simple and predictable path.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Clueless Death Struggle Gains Traction

This week, we've seen two national columnists who use the word clueless when describing what we call hierarchy conservators and also describe the top as appearing to be in a death struggle.

"In its delusional death spiral, the white male patriarchy was so hard core, so redolent of country clubs and Cadillacs, it made little effort not to alienate women," writes Maureen Dowd. "And shocking as it may seem, his strategists weren't blowing smoke when they said they were going to win; they were just clueless."

Kathleen Parker describes the Republican convention: "If the latter sounds like something in the final stages of life, you're not far off." Later in the article, she writes, "More to the point, the GOP seems willfully clueless."

This website predicted this death struggle two years ago, based on social and political trends and hierarchy theory. The numerous articles about last weeks election, specifically the widespread discussions about the weakening of the white male patriarchy, is very encouraging. We're looking forward to continuing our work to make sure we move forward.



Monday, November 5, 2012

Angry White Guys

“We’re not generating enough angry white guys to stay in business for the long term,”  is how Senator Lindsey Graham describes the demographics race that the Republican party is losing. These angry white guys are upset because their hierarchies are crumbling beneath them - they don't have the large percentages of followers that they had in 1950.

Loth's article states that for four decades national Republicans have pursued a strategy, often successful, of racking up huge majorities of white male voters and winning just enough others to carry the day. The orthodoxy is deeply set by now. George W. Bush, John McCain, and more recently, Rick Perry were blasted for making overtures to immigrants that might antagonize the party’s base. Obviously they realize that this strategy has come on hard times because of the 34 states introducing voter ID bills last year, 33 had Republican-majority legislatures.

The angry white guy phenomena is good news for the death struggle of hierarchies. Let's just keep moving forward and try to avoid them as much as possible, and when we can't avoid them, set them up to look ridiculous.



Leaders of the Future

Bhutan is committed to becoming the first modern "hundred percent organic" nation.

Bhutan is a small nation nestled in the Himalayas between China and India. They pan to phase out agricultural chemicals, fertilizers, pesticides, etc. by 2022. That's a good sign as many people in the world continue to reject dependence on huge hierarchies.

"Bhutan has decided to go for a green economy in light of the tremendous pressure we are exerting on the planet," Bhutan Agriculture Minister Pema Gyamtsho told AFP. "If you go for very intensive agriculture it would imply the use of so many chemicals, which is not in keeping with our belief in Buddhism, which calls for us to live in harmony with nature."

Bhutan also brought us the idea that the "Gross National Happiness" is more important than the "Gross National Product."



Wednesday, October 31, 2012

How Do You Score?

We found a fun quiz from Slate that invites you to "Spot the difference between the Christian social conservatives and the Islamic fundamentalists." The quiz presents a quote, and then it is up to you to decide whether the statement was made by an Islamic Fundamentalist or a Christian Social Conservative.

The quiz points out that hierarchy-conservators are pretty much the same, no matter what religion they use as a shield.  It is easy for us in the U.S. to condemn Islamic radicals, while we are trained in our hierarchies to view our own hierarchy-conservators as merely having differences of opinion.

Both of us took the quiz separately and answered only 5 of 9 correctly. Give it a try and see how you score!


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

One by One - Down They Go

We can be encouraged and excited by terrific examples of people who skillfully expose hierarchy conservators and therefore quicken the death of outdated ridiculous hierarchies.

John Franklin Stehens's open letter to conservative political pundit Ann Coulter hits the target.

Stephens, a 30 year old man with Down syndrome, is responding to Coulter's comment about Romney's performance in Monday's presidential debate: "I highly approve of Romney's decision to be kind and gentle to the retard."



Monday, October 22, 2012

Yeah Julia!

Women around the world are telling each other to watch this video; that's why it has gone viral. We join the voices.

Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Austraila, takes on political hypocrisy with a tremendous speech that is so worth watching - we did more than once.

Here in the United States, our politicians are courting the women's vote, and Romney especially will flip-flop and say anything to act like he's supportive of women. Wow, we need a Julia Gillard here on our side of the globe.




Friday, October 12, 2012

Rest Assured, You're Covered

According to Mitt Romney, we're all really covered on health care, even if we aren't covered.

Romney says that no one will be dying of a heart attack because everyone can go to the emergency room and be treated. "We don't have people that become ill, who die in their apartment because they don't have insurance," according to Romney.

Again, Romney is again treating us to a sample of top-of-the hierarchy clueless perspectives. As more of us break our programming and stop listening to people at the top, more of us will support leaders and comrades more capable of creating the lives, the country, and the world we want.

Mr. Romney has lived his whole life with all the resources he could ever use, even with elevators for his cars. And he evidently hasn't needed to learn about preventative care, and the fact that going to the emergency room is a last ditch ultra-expensive solution, if you make it in time.


Friday, October 5, 2012

Powerful Programming

This week's Presidential debate has left us questioning if Obama believes that it's really O.K. to separate himself from and take on people at the top. Obama appeared to have been on the defensive, not choosing to stand up to Romney, who clearly comes from and represents the 1%.

Obama's picks for his advisers, cabinet, and Supreme Court may show that he thinks that people who go to top-of-the-hierarchy elite private schools are the best leaders. We noticed when he said that he and Michelle are lucky to have been able to attain the "best education" in the country by attending Harvard. What does that say about what he believes about the other 99% of college degrees and the diverse experiences and perspectives of the people who earned them?

All of us have been programmed from birth to believe that those on top know more and are more capable, and Obama is no exception to the influence. But has he learned to separate himself from the top enough to champion another agenda?

On a recent Jay Leno program, when asked about Romney's 47% comment, Obama stated that a good leader would govern for all of the country. Does he realize that if anyone compromises with the top of the hierarchy, all you will get is more hierarchy? There's one good offensive theme for the next debate.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Who's Expecting the Entitlements?

Hierarchies are expensive to maintain. The Obama campaign has twice the staff at the same cost as Romney's campaign. Many people who support Romney are used to being paid very well, so it would make sense that he has to pay much more to get people to work for him.

Here's another example that the people who support Obama, the "47%"  (who Romney calls victims and who expect the government will give them entitlements) will work hard at the same job for significantly less money than the people who work for Romney. The comparison of salaries in the two campaigns show us the Romney's workers feel entitled to much more compensation for the same work.


Monday, September 17, 2012

Unaccountable Top

In August, we wrote about the Loomnin platinum mine in South Africa. Police shot and killed 34 people while trying to disperse protesters at the mine. We have been gone on vacation, so are just now able to note an amazing law that allowed murder charges against 270 South African miners whose striking colleagues were shot and killed by police. The charges have been dropped, but this law is really the ultimate in blaming the bottom for the actions of the top, while not holding the top accountable. Whew!


Friday, August 31, 2012

What We Miss

Thank goodness we have our computers to watch the fabulous athletes competing in the Paralympics in London, including the sold-out opening ceremony featuring Stephen Hawking.

We in the United States can't see the Paralympians our televisions like in the rest of the developed world. The games are barely covered in major United States newspapers.

Does this have anything to do with our being on the top of our own world hierarchy, and that we overly value bodies that are on the top of our body hierarchy?  Just another example of the richness of life we miss by looking at the world from the top.

You'll enjoy the article below.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Age-Old Stories

Now Romney is saying that he can not release his tax information because the Mormon Church does not  believe in disclosing how much donors donate. This new excuse sounds like a trick that some hierarchical Christians have used for centuries – to hide behind religion while building a hierarchy that benefits oneself.

Romney recently highlighted another tax-related practice that helps build big hierarchies – the role of offshore tax havens in helping to ensure big business is "doing fine."

Here's another smokescreen disguised as a noble cause - Instead of the current guarantee that the program pays for medical costs, Ryan's plan would give seniors a set amount of money each year to buy private health insurance. If that sum isn't enough to pay for the necessary coverage -- or to pay for traditional Medicare -- seniors would have to make up the difference. Vouchers to pad the pockets of private insurance companies.

If people in this country weren't so programmed to support hierarchies, then maybe not so many would be believing these hierarchical tactics.



Friday, August 24, 2012

Risks of Inequality

At Lonmin's platinum mine in South Africa, police shot and killed 34 people while trying to disperse protesters at the mine. Over 78 people were wounded. Prior to this, 10 other people - including two police officers - were killed.
This article states that South Africa frequently tops the list as the country with the greatest income inequality, and the result is public and economic unrest. The conclusion is that such financial division of society is a fatal separation that will eventually implode into conflict.
We look forward to end of the death struggle and the fall of hierarchies in the United States so we can avoid systemic implosion and increased conflict.

Friday, August 17, 2012

little people

The addition of Paul Ryan to the Republican presidential ticket places the feet of the Republican party firmly in hierarchy-conservator concrete. They are making their stance even more obvious, in case anyone was questioning.

Both Romney and Ryan have made statements that are typical of people on the top of hierarchies, who believe they have what they have because they have worked harder than other people whom they have placed lower on their hierarchies. Romney and Ryan cannot see the contributions of other people – a primary reason why people at the top of hierarchies are so clueless.

Eugene Robinson's article describes this as: "little people don’t contribute and don’t count."


Friday, August 10, 2012

Female Athletes in the Spotlight

Last night a friend called to talk with Harriet, but she told him she would call him back during the commercials. You see, Harriet was savoring watching the Olympics, where only once every four years she can enjoy watching female athletes featured on television in any way in an equal proportion to men.

During the broadcast, the NBC social media report indicated that 70% of the Tweets and Facebook messages involve female athletes, so obviously Harriet is not the only interested fan of women's sports out there.


Friday, August 3, 2012

Reason in Health Care

Hierarchy conservators used "death panel" propaganda to undermine efforts in the U.S. to establish an equitable system of health care that many other nations have. The label of "Death Panels" was created by Sarah Palin when she charged that proposed legislation would allow bureaucrats to decide whether Americans—such as her elderly parents or child with Down syndrome—were worthy of medical care. This myth helped turn Americans move away from a single-payer system and towards a system that benefits insurance companies.

Our expensive health care system will continue to make many individuals and companies extremely wealthy, because they will reap financial benefits from the troubles of other people. They will continue to perform expensive procedures to keep people alive who, without intervention, would die naturally instead of lingering in an undesirable state (see the article below).

In this well-written, thought-provoking article about his mother, Michael Wolff says, "What I would not do for a fair-minded body to whom I might plead for my mother's end."

We're glad we live in Oregon, the state that pioneered assisted suicide.


Friday, July 27, 2012

Moving Animals Up the Family Hierarchy

Conventional wisdom for many people is that if they are having children, they should get rid of their animals. Viewing pets as disposable family members pushes animals to the bottom of the family hierarchy quickly!

But wait on that move, for, as usual, those on the bottom of hierarchies have very much to contribute.

Researchers followed 397 children from pregnancy through their first year of life, and found that those living with dogs developed 31 percent fewer respiratory tract symptoms or infections, 44 percent fewer ear infections and received 29 percent fewer antibiotic prescriptions.Contact with cats was also linked with fewer infections, but the effect was not as drastic as contact with dogs — for example, infants living with cats were 2 percent less likely to need antibiotics.


Friday, July 20, 2012

Gold Outside the Olympic Spotlight

The Olympic Games in London are in the news, but we're not hearing as much about the London Paralympic Games that begin Wednesday, August 29, 2012, and end Sunday, September 9, 2012. We expect that the Olympic Games – being on top of the athletic hierarchy – gets publicity, but there's much to follow when you look elsewhere than the top.

Charlotte attended the Paralympic Games in Atlanta, and she got to see fabulous athletic events without all the hype, money, and crowds of the previous week's Olympics. When she saw people with one leg do the high jump, the two-leggeds that competed the week before paled in comparison.

Oscar Pistorius, commonly called "Blade Runner," is expected to take center stage in the Olympics. But just a week later, you can see plenty of other athletes whose diversity of body and skill make watching the games fascinating in an entirely different way.

Last month, Spencer West scaled Mount Kilimanjoro using only his hands, as he doesn't have legs. Look at the pictures - your eye will be drawn to his personal feats, with the climbers with legs looking all the same.



Friday, July 13, 2012

Only One of Many

This week's Penn State University's report brought verification of the involvement of the football coach and university administrators in the cover-up of the sexual crimes of Jerry Sandusky. This type of "image and power at any cost" is typical of many people who feel they must do anything to maintain their hierarchies.

We pass on the comments made by our local sports columnist, George Schroeder, as a reflection of what can happen when we are living in a hierarchy.

"We should all consider, again, whom we’ve placed on a pedestal, and the potential for moral corruption inside any closed culture. If we’re being honest, the culture that allegedly allowed Sandusky to operate unchecked for years exists at other places.
           "We put our heroes on a pedestal. They’re considered irreproachable, and sometimes unapproachable, and too often unassailable. And it’s in that atmosphere that the culture can become corrupted, and morality becomes relative.
           Paterno’s power was consolidated over almost a half-century in a very isolated atmosphere. Penn State is perhaps a special case. Let’s hope so. But let’s not kid ourselves. It could happen anywhere else."

This scandal illustrates how the people who live and thrive on the top of hierarchies are working towards goals that are opposite to a vision of equality, fairness, and justice for all. We've gotten a glimpse inside the Penn State hierarchy. From our experience, it would be equally as shocking to learn what atrocities, personal and financial, are keeping numerous other powerful hierarchies intact.


Friday, July 6, 2012

Who's Benefitting from Our Long Work Weeks?

A new report indicates that the average Swedish workweek hit an historic high – 26.2 hours. Yet, they have one of the lowest gaps in the rich and the poor in the world. So here in the United States, which has one of the highest income gaps in the world, most of us are working way more hours than the Swedes just to send our money up the hierarchy to the wealthy.

Viewed comparatively, U.S. income inequality is severe. Income inequality can be measured and compared using the Gini coefficient, a century-old formula that measures national economies on a scale from 0.00 to 0.50, with 0.50 being the most unequal. The U.S., with a Gini coefficient of 0.450, ranks near the extreme end of the inequality scale. China, for example,  is significantly more equal than the U.S. with a Gini coefficient of 0.415. Sweden has a Gini coefficient of 0.25.



Sunday, June 24, 2012

Hierarchies Weakening Everywhere

Hierarchies are falling everywhere in the world. Now for the first time, women will be able to represent Saudi Arabia at the Olympic Games. The decision will end recent speculation as to whether the entire Saudi team could have been disqualified on grounds of gender discrimination.

It will be interesting to see how Saudi Arabia deals with the fact given in the last line of this article, that Saudi women graduates outnumber their male counterparts. On the college level, the same is the case in the United States where female graduates substantially outnumber males. As women move into more leadership roles, we most likely will continue to see the positive influence of people who understand the disadvantages of hierarchies, as they have personally experienced their downsides.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Good Interview

We enjoyed our radio interview with Marshall Stern last Saturday, from Chicago WCPT 820 AM. Marshall made some impressive comments and analogies to further our discussion of the vulnerability of the Right.
When he described psychology's Extinction Theory, we agreed that it's a good parallel to the Death Struggle of hierarchy conservators. When we were describing the setting up of hierarchy conservators, Marshall offered a metaphor we ourselves have used for years – that of a martial art in which you take an opponent's energy that's coming toward you and use it to your advantage.
Marshall asked us to come back on his show, so follow his website to stream our talk from anywhere.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Casey Martin Rides Again

There's lots of celebration here in Eugene, Oregon – as well as around the country – that golfer Casey Martin is back at the men's U.S. Open. Casey grew up in Eugene and is the University of Oregon men's golf coach.

We followed his legal challenge to the PGA for the right to use a golf cart under the American with Disabilities Act. Harriet attended the court hearings all day, every day, when the case was heard in Eugene, the first legal step before eventually being upheld by the Supreme Court.

The trial proved to be a wonderful activity for researching hierarchies. Perched on top of their hierarchy, the PGA lawyers and officials, all white men dressed alike in their similar lawyer suits, could not hear or understand much that Casey and his female lawyer were saying. The PGA acted as if they didn't have to listen, and they had the right to make the rules, no matter who suffered from them. Harriet best described the scene as ships passing in the night.

We wish you the best, Casey. You're a #1 hierarchy-buster!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Common Goals, Common Success

"For years, gay rights organizations and major civil rights organizations viewed each other warily. "

Now that's turning around, as the article below indicates, describing conversations among leaders in the Lesbian, gay, black, and Latina/o communities.

These alliances are another indication that a huge shift is happening now. When lower groups come together to weaken all hierarchies – using a common language and a common goal – then there will be nothing that the hierarchy-conservators can do to stop us.


Monday, June 4, 2012

Death Struggle More Obvious

Michael Fumento, a lifelong conservative who worked in the Reagan administration, is receiving considerable attention for his latest article. Last week when he wrote that he is breaking with the right describing the right-wing mass hysteria as what sociologists call a "moral panic" – the terror that comes "when society is undergoing a wrenching transformation." He also says that he is frequently dismayed and disgusted by the "mass-produced hate and rage" that passes for conservatism today.

Mr. Fumento is giving us a good description of the death struggle of radical hierarchy-conservators  whose death struggle is becoming increasingly obvious.

We believe that the result of our country's transformation out of hierarchies will bring us a much better country. Now more than ever, it's important that we all keep our hope alive.


Michael Fumento is an attorney, author, journalist and former paratrooper who has written for National Review, The Weekly Standard, Commentary, The American Spectator, Human Events, Forbes, Forbes.com, Reason, Policy Review, The Spectator (London), The Sunday Times of London, The Wall Street Journal op-ed page and many other publications.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Wall Street Feels Steamrollered

When Obama recently enacted some modest regulations that affect Wall Street, the response was predictable of those on top of a hierarchy. Paul Krugman reports that that Wall Street is whining and trowing temper tantrums. He reports, "They're taking Obama's very mild criticism of financial excesses as a person insult."

From studying hierarchies, we know that people at the top take any challenges to their position very seriously. What appears as a small change to outsiders looks totally different to a person at the top, as they are used to doing what they want unchallenged, not having to consider the effects of their decisions on anyone else. Maintaining their hierarchy is a pressing priority.


Monday, May 21, 2012

Bang Bang

According to Germany's Der Spiegel, German police shot only 85 bullets in all of 2011, a stark reminder that not every country is as gun-crazy as the United States. Out of those shots, 49 were warning shots, 36 were pointed at suspects.  This situation sounds much safer to us than what is "normal" in the U.S. where guns are supposed to make us safe.

The use of violence is one of the primary harmful behaviors that hold hierarchies together. The U.S. is well-known for our widespread use of guns  – just look at our movies!  Obviously, there are other ways than rampant gun use to enforce our laws. The incarceration rate in the U.S. is the highest in the world – 743 per 100,000. In Germany the rate is about 1/10 of the United States: 83 per 100,000.


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

And the Beat Goes On

Cher recently tweeted, "If ROMNEY gets elected I don't know if I can breathe same air as Him & his Right Wing Racist Homophobic Women Hating Tea Bagger Masters."

Cher later backtracked writing: "Sorry I Let The Dogs Out, But I Should Have Remembered I must watch what They Say These Days!"

Yes, there can be retaliation when taking on the top who is used to not being held accountable – especially when we are honest about them. The trick is to first establish that political conservatives fall into the umbrella frame of "conserving hierarchies," then the details like in Cher's tweet become obviously irrefutable.

And the list goes on – especially when it comes to radical Republicans and the individual hierarchies they create and support.

One Clear Message

Yesterday's primary elections move us closer to November. The elections of 2012 represent a major decision:
FORWARD to equality and fairness, or
BACK . . . . to hierarchies
Three advantages arise from using the frame of hierarchies to size up political candidates:

1.     Universal Frame. We no longer have to fight issue by issue. Instead, we create a crystal clear  
        choice about our future.
2.     True Colors. People on top a can be set up to appear ridiculous to the rest of us – most Americans
        – when the supporters of hierarchies are skillfully illuminated.
3.     Personal Attacks. There is little need to move into personal battles using finger pointing and

2012 could be the year of realized change and hope. Change that lasts happens because those who support outdated hierarchies no longer have a place to hide. Hope emerges from knowing that 250 years of struggle to end individual inequities is about to pay off.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Pope's Errant Hierarchy

In his recent article, "We Are All Nuns," Nicholas Kristol describes how the Vatican recently chastised American nuns for focusing on poverty and social justice, rather than joining the errant hierarchy’s (as Kristol calls it) obsession with abortion and gay marriage. The Vatican issued a stinging reprimand, ordering a presiding bishop to oversee a makeover of the organization that represents 80 percent of the nuns.

“What Bible did that come from? If you look at who has more closely emulated Jesus's life, Pope Benedict or your average nun, it's the nuns hands down," wrote Kristol. The article notes that Jesus commanded his followers to feed the poor and embrace the outcasts; he said not a word about homosexuality or abortion. What is more Christ-like: the pampered pope in his white silk cassock and slippers, or the nun working the line in a ghetto soup kitchen?

 “I’ve seen heroic nuns face down warlords, pimps, and bandits. So Pope Benedict, all I can say is: You are crazy to mess with nuns,” said Kristol.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Is Augusta Next?

A pillar of Nashville, Tennessee society, the 111-year old Belle Meade Country Club, has finally this week admitted a woman as a full member. The club's lack of diversity came to the forefront last year when a federal judicial panel concluded that Belle Meade engages in invidious race and gender discrimination.

Another hierarchy in our home state bites the dust.   : )

Club president Timothy J. Douglas wrote, "Most importantly, it will be in the best long-term interest of the club to have a diverse membership. The future relevance of Belle Meade requires it to be a club our children will want to join."

At least three African-Americans have been recommended for full membership, but the outcome is unclear at this time. Women married to club members have had access to the benefits of their husbands' memberships, and unmarried women have had access to cheaper "lady" memberships. Neither, though, allowed women to hold office or vote.

Is Augusta National Golf Club, that exists for only a very small top-of-the-hierarchy part of our national population, next?


Invisible Lower Groups

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney said in a speech yesterday in Chantilly, Virginia that his vision for America includes “putting aside ethnicity, race, gender.” 

As a person who consistently talks as though he supports our going back to more dominance of hierarchies, we can predict that his comment translates into ignoring the effect of hierarchies on lower groups, and pretending that everyone has the same "freedom and opportunity" to succeed as he himself did as a white, tall, able-bodied, Christian, heterosexual, born-into-wealth male.


Friday, April 27, 2012

Free at Last

There's signs every day that the cruel human-animal hierarchy is weakening. The Wichita, Kansas Fire Department received significant praise and publicity for a rescue of Taz, the dog. This week, the cage-free trend gained momentum when Burger King became the first major U.S. fast-food chain to pledge to that all of its eggs and pork will come from cage-free chickens and pigs by 2017. And now we have a new TV channel, DogTV, to entertain dogs who are home alone during the day. There are constantly pictures of animals in the newspaper, and often mentioned by name as part of families.

From the article below on cage-free practices: " 'This is an issue that just four to five months ago was not on the food industry's radar,' said Paul Shapiro, vice president for farm animal protection at HSUS. 'Now it's firmly cemented into the mainstream in a way that I think few people would have imagined.' Studies have shown that shoppers are willing to pay more for products they believe are produced with higher animal protection standards."

"Wal-Mart and Costco have since transitioned their private-label eggs to 100% cage-free. Unilever, which uses 350 million eggs a year in its Hellmann's mayonnaise brand, is switching to 100% cage-free, and others such as Sonic, Subway, Ruby Tuesday, Kraft Food and ConAgra Foods are incorporating some percentage of cage-free eggs in their products."

Of course we have a long way to go until all animals are treated well and loved, but it's good to see we're making progress.




Monday, April 23, 2012

The "Monkey Trial" is Back

The Tennessee legislature, over the objections of the scientific community, Monday passed the "Monkey Bill," reminiscent of the Scopes Monkey Trial of 1925. The "Monkey Bill" protects the rights of public school teachers who want to put ''creation science'' and challenges to climate change in the classroom as subjects for debate.

We offer assistance in keeping sound science education in Tennessee and other locations, using our expertise on hierarchies.

Our research has shown that when science teachers and scientists suggest that non-Christian creation stories be added to the science curriculum, creationists back away from their demands to include their creation story. This strategy works because people who place themselves or their beliefs on top of a hierarchy cannot tolerate others as equals.

Here's some examples of creation stories from Tennessee's residents :

American Indians – Chickasaw, Quapaw, Shawnee, Koasati, Yuchi, and Cherokee tribes – have inhabited Tennessee for thousands of years, and their creation stories have been told on what is now Tennessee soil long before the first white settlers brought the Christian story less than three hundred years ago.

The Muslim creation story from the Quran has many of the same components as the Christian version. A class discussion that encourages students to compare and contrast the two interpretations could be a stimulating exercise in critical thinking.

If Creationists support the inclusion of all creation stories equally, then their claims of providing "critical thinking," and "discussions of strengths and weaknesses" are true. If Creationists push for the Christian creation story as the only alternative to evolution, they expose to a wide audience their real motives of building a hierarchy with only themselves on top.

Monday, April 16, 2012

US Clueless to Mexico?

In the April 20, 2012 issue of The Week, an article entitled "How They See Us: Exporting Death to Mexico," discusses a different view of the United States than many of us have here. It's a fact that those on top of hierarchies are clueless about their effects on people below, and we do view ourselves as on top of our world economic and social hierarchy. Are we clueless at the top about the NRA?

"It's time to redefine the NRA as not a lobbying group but a cartel," said Andres Oppenheimer in La Reformia. "Mexico has the Sinaloa cartel and the Zetas cartel, which engage in drug trafficking; the U.S. has the NRA, whose members dominate weapons trafficking. In much the same way that the drug gangs have managed to get Mexican local and state officials on their payrolls, so too has the NRA infiltrated the U.S. government, counting senators and congressmen on its payroll. That's how it managed ot get the ban on military-style assault rifles lifted in 2004. No coincidentally, gun crime in Mexico began to sour the very next year. The NRA cartel bears 'an enormous responsibility for the violence that is taking place in Mexico."

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Raquel's Fantasy

Raquel Welch recently shared some wisdom with men about how they can create better sexual relationships. Her interview illustrates why many clueless men can learn a lot from really listening to women.

Ms. Welch believes that internet pornography has negatively affected American's men. She said that men's addiction to online erotica has damaged men's ability to relate to real women.

"We have equated happiness in life with as many orgasms as you can possibly pack in . . . it's just dehumanizing. And I have to honestly say, I think this era of porn is at least partially responsible for it. Where is the anticipation and the personalization? It’s all pre-fab now. You have these images coming at you unannounced and unsolicited. It just gets to be so plastic and phony to me. Maybe men respond to that. But is it really better than an experience with a real life girl that he cares about?

"I just imagine them sitting in front of their computers, completely annihilated. And it makes for laziness and a not very good sex partner.

"My fantasies were all made up on my own. Nobody remembers what it’s like to be left to form your own ideas about what’s erotic and sexual. I thought that was the fun of the whole thing. It’s my fantasy. I didn’t pick it off the Internet somewhere. It’s my fantasy."

Want more ideas about what women have to say about sexuality?
Here's an excerpt from this Clueless at the Top website (see Your Life-Sexuality):

“No,” Susan answers. “I’m going to get the hierarchy out of my bedroom.”

I’ve done the routine many times; I’m in search of something fresh.
I’m looking elsewhere than to those on top in matters of the flesh.

"Those on top?" Bonnie asks. "I guess you mean men." Susan explains:

Women know that heterosexual males are positioned right on top,
So we’ve gotten their limited perspective, for years, without a stop.
I've accepted that I’ll be waiting years, drawing on my pension,
If I expect males to bring sexuality a new dimension.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The message of the wolves

Long live the wolves! In Oregon, we have a history of honoring wolves, who are the sacred animal of the Kalapuyas, the people indigenous to the Willamette Valley where we live. Yet cattle ranchers are waging campaigns against them.

We think that the wolves symbolize something bigger than just issues with cattle. It's a question over whether lands are meant to be used by humans or preserved as wilderness. It's also a question of hierarchy – humans who believe that it's a god-given right for them to have dominion over all the other creatures on the earth.

Many of the ranchers who are actively working to kill wolves are actually leasing land from the federal government and their cattle graze in our national forests.

We have a friend who converted her 10,000 acre ranch from cattle to windpower. It's time to reconsider the real price of raising cattle for human consumption.

Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health tracked people over 20 years, and found that people who daily consume only 3-ounces of red meat were 13 times more likely to die in that period than those who don't. So maybe it's time to decrease the use of cattle for food.

Raising animals for food is grossly inefficient, because while animals eat large quantities of grain, soybeans, oats, and corn, they only produce comparatively small amounts of meat, dairy products, or eggs in return. You save more water by not eating a pound of meat than you do by not showering for six months!

It takes up to 16 pounds of grain to produce just 1 pound of meat, and even fish on fish farms must be fed up to 5 pounds of wild-caught fish to produce 1 pound of farmed fish flesh. It takes more than 11 times as much fossil fuel to make one calorie from animal protein as it does to make one calorie from plant protein.

It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat, while growing 1 pound of wheat only requires 25 gallons. A totally vegan diet requires only 300 gallons of water per day, while a typical meat-eating diet requires more than 4,000 gallons of water per day. Nearly half of all the water used in the United States goes to raising animals for food.

Animals raised for food in the U.S. produce far more excrement than the entire U.S. human population, roughly 89,000 pounds per second, all without the benefit of waste-treatment systems.

We can greatly increase our health and the health of the planet by decreasing our consumption of meat.




Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tennessee Treasure

We've followed Pat Summitt's career from the beginning. We were both students at the University of Tennessee when it all started.

Charlotte remembers talking to the women's basketball team while they were selling donuts to raise money for their travel and uniforms. The team set up at a table outside Alumni Hall, a physical education facility where they played because they did not have their own gymnasium in which to practice or play games. Pat was a graduate student (Charlotte was too) and made $250/month. Pat laundered the team uniforms and drove the van that took them to their games. Meanwhile, the men enjoyed scholarships, travel budgets, high-paid coaches.

When Harriet went to the women's Final Four in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan in 1980, Tennessee lost the title game in an event that has little in common with today's tournaments – fans could walk into the small gym and purchase a ticket on the spot, while music was furnished by local high school pep bands.

It's been so fun and exciting for us to watch the progress of women's basketball over the last decades, and especially Pat Summitt and the Tennessee Lady Vols. Last night as we watched them play in the Elite Eight, it felt like it could be the end of Pat's career as Tennessee Head Coach.

But her influence will live on and on an on. Pat Summitt has done so much to crush the gender hierarchy in sports. There are millions of women across the world whose athletic opportunities are the legacies of Pat Summitt's tireless dedication, hard work, humor, and brilliance.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Sex with Dave

Has their personal sexual issues motivated hierarchy-conservators to hold on to their hierarchies during in the last 50 years of fast change? In a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, Nancy Cohen traces decades of a counterrevolution, a backlash, to the 1960's sexual revolution.

While it seems like Hi-Cons are obsessed with power and greed, maybe deep down they are just trying to resolve their personal sexual issues.

They are trying to drag us into their outdated hierarchies – predictable of those on top – as forty years later, we're still debating birth control and other issues focused on sexual roles and rights. If you haven't seen this video of Virginia legislator Dave Albo, go to the youtube link below to why hierarchies are so outdated that they can't survive anymore.



Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Washington Whiteskins

We are happy to see that the Oregon state education board is revisiting a possible ban on the use of American Indian school mascots. If you're having trouble understanding why the schools need to change their mascots, maybe a role reversal will help.

In a hierarchical role reversal, the higher group takes on the role of the lower, while the lower group plays the part usually played by the higher. We imagine the same scene played over again, however this time with roles switched.

What do you think would happen if: In autumn and winter, tens of thousands of fans pile into stadiums to cheer the Washington Whiteskins football team. The team mascot, a priest in a black robe and white clerical collar, performs Holy Communion on the field as a ritual to spur the rowdy fans and team to victory!


Friday, March 9, 2012

All You Need is Love

"They are views underpinning of Western civilization for 2,000 years" - that's how Kirk Cameron defended his saying that gay people are "detrimental to civilization."

We couldn't agree more about the 2,000 years! Hierarchies have been the underpinning of Western Civilization for two milleneums, including the 2,000 years since the Roman Christian church was founded.

"I can assuredly say that it's my life's mission to love all people," said Cameron. All people? Is Cameron willing to love all people only if they stay in their bottom role of being judged by the top as being of less value to civilization?

Cameron is illustrating one of the consistent and predictable attitudes of people who follow hierarchical religions – people at the top of their hierarchies believe that everyone needs to be like them in order to be acceptable.


Monday, March 5, 2012

What would Rush Limbaugh call Helen Keller?

Would Rush Limbaugh call Helen Keller a slut and a prostitute? Would he insist that he and his cronies be able to watch videos of Ms. Keller's sexual encounters?

Turn back a century.

One hundred years ago exactly, in 1912, Helen Keller – then one of the most recognized and celebrated women in the United States – spoke out publicly in favor of birth control, and in support of Margaret Sanger. Keller is cited as giving the movement some of its best publicity to date and furthering the national public debate.

The hierarchy conservators are getting desperate in their death struggle, as evidenced by the fact that they would pick a debate that's 100 years old. A whole century has passed them by!



Monday, February 27, 2012

Stampede to the Right

Every day we see greater verification that the hierarchy-conservators are moving farther right. They are moving farther and farther from center out to the end of the see-saw. Hierarchy conservators, even though they look ridiculous, are trying anything to counterbalance the number of people who are rejecting hierarchies in their lives, as they try to keep themselves from lifting into to the air in defeat.

This is very good news because the death struggle of the hierarchy is progressing nicely.

We can make sure that they don't take us, our country, and our world down with them. We all are active participants with roles to play. See this page on our website:


Article on Republicans stampeding to the right:


Friday, February 24, 2012

My God Tells Me I Can Have It All

Humans managed to thrive on the Earth for thousands and thousands of years without destroying the planet. Then here appears a religion that sets up a hierarchy with humans on top. In the words of Santorum, "I'm talking about the belief that man should be in charge of the Earth and should have dominion over it." Santorum went so far as to say that Obama adheres to "some phony theology, not a theology based on the Bible," because of Obama's environmental policies.

Thanks, Santorum, for passing on to us such a wonderful example of the extreme views of the death struggle – going farther out on the see-saw to balance growing opposition. You're showcasing the outdated hierarchies that create a hierarchical God who would instruct us to destroy the Earth to increase our own personal riches.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Out of Date

As the death struggle continues, the hierarchy-conservators will have so few people supporting them that they will lose their power to significantly impact our country. Here's an excerpt from an article in the New York Times that shows we're getting closer to that point:

"Watching the Republican Party struggling to agree on a presidential candidate, on wonders whether the GOP shouldn't just sit this election out – just give 2012 a pass.

You know how in Scrabble sometimes you look at your seven letters and you've got only vowels that spell nothing? What do you do? You throw your letters back in the pile and hope to pick up better ones to work with. That's what Republican primary voters seem to be doing. They just keep going back to the pile but still coming up with only vowels that spell nothing.

There's a reason for that. Their pile is out of date."


Friday, February 17, 2012

It Gets Better

We loved the video, "It Get's Better" from the San Francisco Police department. The police chief starts the film with a strong message to LGBT youth: "It does get better, and until it does, we in the San Francisco Police Department are going to stick up for you." Then several staff of the department tell their stories.

The film gives a very strong message – re-enforced by the power of police officers in uniform – that bullying of LGBT youth [top of the hierarchy behavior] IS NOT O.K., and what IS O.K. is that that LGBT youth [the lower groups] can be themselves and look forward to a better life. Congratulations to the San Francisco Police Department.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Deception Rejection

Desperate Lies – we can count on observing more deception in months ahead as the death struggle progresses. So it's time to get prepared so we can avoid getting sucked into those games.

Here's a wonderful article from Forbes – an analysis of organizational lying that uses the Komen Foundation as an example (linked below). The Komen debacle serves to remind us that the view from inside an organization can be very different from the view outside.

Similarly, what appears as lies to outsiders seems honest to hierarchy-conservators who are operating with a small amount of true information. Hi-Cons go through elaborate contortions to support their false beliefs. Therefore, they appear comical, crazy, ridiculous, or devious to those of us who are not so clueless.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Inevitable Death

"California's voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage deserves to be swept away into the dust bin of history, as do similar laws elsewhere across our nation," starts an editorial that states that the California decision is a step toward the inevitable dismantling of gay marriage bans and other laws that place gays and lesbians at a legal disadvantage.

The sexual orientation hierarchy is a main hierarchy-du-jour, and, as the article states, any mainstream acceptance for this discrimination will eventually fall out of favor as have many others over the years.

Just one more indication that hierarchy conservatives are grasping at straws - putting lots of time and energy trying to survive what is inevitably their own death struggle.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

When It Comes Back to the Source

Today at the swimming pool hot tub, Charlotte listened to a man tell a joke that she had also just read on the internet (synchronicity!) so we decided to pass it on.

The punch line works because growing up in a hierarchical society, we would expect the bottom of the hierarchy (in this case the woman) to adjust to and take the brunt of the wants of the top (in this case the man). In this story, unexpectedly the husband is forced to be held accountable for and absorb the negative effects of his decision, when he had assumed that his wife would be the one to change her life to suit his whims.

A couple had been married for 40 years and were also celebrating their 60th birthdays. During the celebration, a fairy godmother appeared and said that because they had been such a loving couple all those years, she would give them one wish each. Being the faithful, loving spouse for all these years, naturally the wife wanted for her and her husband to have a romantic vacation together, so she wished for them to travel around the world. The fairy godmother waved her wand and boom! She had the tickets in her hand.

Next, it was the husband's turn and the fairy godmother assured him he could have any wish he wanted, all he needed to do was ask for his heart's desire. He paused for a moment, then said, "Well, honestly, I'd like to have a woman 30 years younger than me." The fairy godmother picked up her wand and boom! He was 90.


Monday, January 23, 2012

Dogs in 2012

It's looking like the Republican presidential candidates are "going to the dogs." Romney put his dog on the top of his car when going on vacation. Santorum discussed homosexuality and man on dog in the same paragraph. Gingrich is being called Romney's attack dog and his words are being called dog whistles for bigots. Paul aired a spot that portrayed him as the "big dog" when it comes to cutting the federal budget.

The Washington Post published a list of the positions on issues of the four top Republican candidates. This list shows that "conservative" means "conserving hierarchies," and there's plenty of hierarchy-conserving to be found among these four candidates. Their radical stands and fighting among themselves can only help accelerate the death struggle of hierarchies that is gathering steam in 2012.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Reagan Today's Moderate

Today's GOP presidential candidates want to be associated with Ronald Reagan conservativism; in one debate he was mentioned 24 times. A recent NPR segment points out that the current conservatives have moved so far out that Reagan would most likely be too moderate for them.

For example, Reagan campaigned against a statewide measure that would ban gays and lesbians from teaching in public schools. Reagan granted amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants, a law that current Republicans are rallying against. While in office, Reagan supported many tax increases, and promoted the policy that those living at or near the poverty level pay no income taxes.

A comparison with Reagan's policies shows that current hierarchy conservators have moved to an extreme position as they play out their predictable role in the death struggle. As support for hierarchies has eroded continuously over the past 50 years, hierarchy-conservators have had to resort to a radical platform that is steeped in rhetoric and fear. They have been forced go further out to balance the social/cultural see-saw.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Fantasy of Horatio Alger

Working your way from rags to riches was once the American dream. Now it's more like the American fantasy.

Researchers have concluded that people in the United States enjoy less economic mobility than their peers in Canada and much of Western Europe.


Monday, January 9, 2012

Change is in the Stars

Eugene astrologer Johanna Mitchell gave her 30th annual public astrological predictions on Sunday. With Mars in Virgo and Neptune in Pisces and the odd lunar and solar eclipses coming our way, she said that 2012 should be a very good year if you’re an activist.

“It’s a great year if you’re ready to change. It’s not such a good year if you can’t find inspiration in chaos,” Mitchell said. “We start the year with Mars — the planet of action — in the sign of Virgo, which is all about getting your plans together. In February, Neptune goes into Pisces, where it remains for the next 13 years. The last time this happened in the world there were a lot of people who formed utopian communities.”

Sounds good to us! 2012 - the year of big changes - the turning point - in the outdated dominance of hierarchies.


Monday, January 2, 2012

Reframe the Right!

In his Iowa ads, Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum claims he's "a trusted conservative who gives us the best chance to take back America."

Let's reframe his message to reveal the truth simply:

Santorum is a trusted hierarchy conservator who gives us the best chance to take America back to the dominance of the hierarchies that channel resources to the top.