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.