Thursday, December 31, 2015

Wishing All of Us a Successful 2016!

As we turn in on another year, may we look forward to 2016, a time when we may see the death struggle of hierarchies come even more to light.

With the presidential election this year, and the political party who supports hierarchies the most, the Republicans, in disarray and their beliefs they have been cultivating for years being brought forth by Donald Trump, we may be in for a very interesting year indeed.

Happy New Year to one and all!!

Monday, December 28, 2015

Peter Norman, the Third Hero on the 1968 Olympic Podium

This last October marks the ninth anniversary of Peter Norman's passing. Most people don't know Norman. But in 1968, he joined John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture at the 1968 Summer Olympics in Mexico City during their medal ceremony for the 200 meters.

The SF Globe has reprinted an assay by Italian writer Riccardo Gazzaniga on the life of Australian Peter Norman after he wore a  Olympic Project for Human Rights badge during the medal ceremony. He was subsequently left off the 1972 Summer Olympics team in Munich, Germany, even though he had run qualifying times for the 200 meters thirteen times and the 100 meters five times.

Norman died suddenly from a heart attack in 2006, and at his funeral Tommie Smith and John Carlos were his pallbearers, sending him off as a hero. 

Only in 2012 did the Australian Parliament approve a motion to formally apologize to Peter Norman and rewrite him into history

Thursday, December 17, 2015

New Orleans Confederate Statues Coming Down

Today was another significant milestone in the trend to change honoring racist history when it comes to the Confederacy. The city of New Orleans will remove four Confederate statues. Councilwoman Susan Guidry said the statues would be stored until a place could be found to display them in proper context.

And Lee Circle may soon be called something else. The ordinance the council approved called it by its original name: Tivoli Circle.

The four statues were erected between 1884 and 1915, after Reconstruction and during the era of Jim Crow. While three depict figures deeply influential within the Confederacy, the fourth, the Battle of Liberty Place, honors an 1874 insurrection of mostly Confederate veterans who battled against the city's police and state militia.

Disneyworld – Go For Safety As Well as Fun

Just think, in Disneyworld and other Disney properties, you can really enjoy a fantasyland different from being outside its gates. 

You can now be assured that some gun nut won't shot you and everyone around you. You can even rest your mind that some kid whose parent wants him to be a gun nut won't pull out a toy gun on you.

Disney Parks have installed metal detectors and banned the sale of toy guns and costumes for anyone over the age of 14, as of today.

Republicans and the NRA insisting that we have to have guns everywhere has finally affected the fun of Disney. At least Disney is a private corporation and can say no, not like everyone else in this country who have to live their lives knowing the person next to them could be angry and packing.

Wheaton College Suspends Professor for Proclaiming There is One God

In hierarchical religions, we are used to hearing that one religion has the best and possibly only way to their image of "God."

Now Wheaton College in Illinois has suspended a tenured professor for stating that Christians and Muslims worship one God. Apparently there is now more than one "God, and the people who worship the right "God" can even better claim the top of the religious hierarchy.

Larycia Hawkins, the suspended professor, is the first African American women to become a tenured professor at the evangelical college.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Canada Welcomes Refugees Declaring They Honor Their Diversity

As people who want to continue to build and maintain our hierarchies are working hard to keep refugees out, Canada is truly opening its arms. Maybe next they will declare that we should move the Statue of Liberty a few hundred miles north.

In the United States, several Republican governors have tried to stop Syrian refugees from coming into their states after the deadly attacks that have been blamed on Islamic extremists in Paris and California.

They forget that the ancestors of most Americans are immigrants, and those whose ancestors aren't immigrants welcomed those who were.

Saudi Arabia Holds a Women's Conference without a Female in Sight

How would men in Arabic countries feel if women held a conference on men's rights and men were not in the room? How would men feel if women passed laws saying men could not drive or leave the country without a female present? How would men react if women decided men could ride a motorcycle or bike only if fully veiled and accompanied by a male relative?

Taken in 2012, but resurfacing and going viral currently, a picture of a women's rights conference in Saudi Arabia is a wonderful example of laws in Arabic countries. No where is there a woman in sight.

Instead, row upon row of men in traditional keffiyeh and white thobes and one single Westerner in a flannel shirt appear. The conference was reportedly held at the University of Qassim and was apparently attended by representatives of 15 countries.

According to the article, "Religious police in the Gulf Kingdom which is governed by Sharia Law only recently lifted a ban on females riding motorbikes and bicycles – as long as they wear the full-length veil and are accompanied by a male relative. It is illegal for Saudi women to travel abroad without male accompaniment. They may only do so if their guardian agrees by signing a document know as a 'yellow sheet' at an airport or border crossing."

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Female Boxer Honored by Parade in New Mexico

Today in Albuquerque thousands of residents lined the streets downtown to celebrate hometown hero, Holly Holm, who took down Ronda Rousey in November to win the UFC Women’s Bantamweight Championship.

New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez stood in the back of a vintage pickup with a sign that read, “Welcome Holm.” Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry was behind her in a vintage red Chevy truck.

Look at pictures of Ms. Holm and Ms. Rousey. They both are so muscular and fit. What beautiful bodies. Why in this country do we encourage women to be anorexic? Come on now.

Russia, Largest Producer of Organic Food?

Russian President Vladimir Putin may be difficult for the west on many fronts, but he has an idea for fulfilling a real need in the west. In a message released to the media on Thursday, he has told the Russian Parliament that Russia should become the world’s largest supplier of organic foods.

“Not only can we ourselves eat it, but also taking into account our land and water – which is particularly important – resources Russia could become the world’s largest supplier of healthy, environmentally friendly, high-quality food that has long been missing in some western producers,” Putin stated.

In January 2015 Putin signed a food bill into law, that includes a new article establishing liability for the violation of mandatory requirements for the labeling of food products that contain GMOs.

Could this be another way that we will decrease the highly-advertised unhealthy corporate processed food chain? Time will tell.

Wealth Hierarchy Would Look Better If It Were A Pyramid

Turns out that the wealth hierarchy in America no longer looks like a pyramid. It more resembles the Seattle Space Needle.

The real split is not between the 1% and the 99%. It is between the 0.00001% and everyone else.

The richest 20 billionaires in America have a combined net worth of $732 billion. That's more than the bottom half of the American population, or 152 million people. The richest 400 Americans have a combined net worth of $234 trillion – equal to that of the bottom 61 percent of the U.S. population, or about 194 million people.

And the Republicans still are working hard to make the split even wider. Just look at the tax cuts for the richest Americans and for corporations that Paul Ryan proposed this week.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Gun Control – You Tell 'Um New York Times!

Guns, violence, and threat of death have always been tactics of hierarchies to keep people in line. It is time for people who want to keep hierarchies alive and kicking, causing so many of us to no longer be alive and kicking, to stop being the decision-makers when it comes to guns.

 In a strong and bold opinion piece, the New York Times today said, "The attention and anger of Americans should also be directed at the elected leaders whose job is to keep us safe but who place a higher premium on the money and political power of an industry dedicated to profiting from the unfettered spread of ever more powerful firearms."

"It is a moral outrage and a national disgrace that civilians can legally purchase weapons designed specifically to kill people with brutal speed and efficiency."

"Certain kinds of weapons, like the slightly modified combat rifles used in California, and certain kinds of ammunition, must be outlawed for civilian ownership. It is possible to define those guns in a clear and effective way and, yes, it would require Americans who own those kinds of weapons to give them up for the good of their fellow citizens."

Pope Francis: Fundamentalism is a Disease

For years, we have said that in hierarchical religions, "man" is not made in the image of God, but God is made in the image of a man on top of a hierarchy. We have the quotes around the word man, because even though we are using the phrase, the phrase was coined when man supposedly did represent everyone, as the top of the hierarchy is supposed to represent everyone in hierarchies.

Now Pope Francis is saying the same thing, but naming it Fundamentalism.

"Religious fundamentalism must be combated. It is not religious, God is lacking, it is idolatrous," says the pontiff.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Great List of Hierarchies

Jerry Anderson, in a piece in the Daily Kos, provides us with a wonderful summary of Republican projects, which means a list of all of the people they want to see stay lower on the hierarchies they support. He also provides interesting perspectives and commentary about their methods.

Let's see, there's blacks, college students, women, old, poor, gays, homosexuals, immigrants, working Americans, latinos. He also calls out who the top-of-the-hierarchy groups are that Republicans want to prosper - corporations, wealthy, run-away capitalism.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Women in Combat - Gender Hierarchy Suffers Bullets

Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said today that all jobs in combat units will be open to women, a landmark decision. Carter said the important factor in his opening all jobs to women was to give the military access to every American who can add strength to it.

After all diversity is our strength. Finally, women who choose to be in the military will be given equal opportunity.

There have been so many excuses over the centuries to justify why women aren't entitled to the same opportunities as men. Put women on a pedestal, say they are too weak to play full-court basketball, say they can't think clearly enough to make major decisions, whatever. Another excuse – women can't be good soldiers – has bit the dust.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Are We Actually Going to Start Holding White Males Accountable?

Dallas, Texas, mayor Mike Rawlings said on Saturday,
I am more fearful of large gatherings of white men that come into schools, theaters and shoot people up. But we don’t isolate young white men on this issue. 
Mr. Rawlings was speaking in opposition to other Southern political leaders who don't want Syrian refugees in their area. He said that he is more afraid of white men with guns than Syrian refugees.

Are we as a society finally going to stop giving the top of our hierarchies, white males, a pass as we treat their violence and support of guns as an "isolated incident"? This way of viewing white males is characteristic of how hierarchies work, where we have many ways to keep top groups unaccountable for their actions that affect everyone else or society as a whole. For lower groups, like black males or Muslims, a few are thought to represent everyone in that group when the hierarchy is strong.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Corporate Welfare to Walmart

The American people subsidize Walmart by 6.2 billion dollars a year by providing services to its employees. Walmart gets away with making huge profits by paying workers so low that they can't live.

But we come to the rescue by giving them our tax dollars that go to big companies like Walmart.

Kind of like paying for privately-owned male sports teams to make huge profits and pay huge salaries to a few players, when we provide these for-profit enterprises tax-payer-paid places to do business (stadiums).

Welfare for the rich.

Ex-Mormons Not Supporting the Mormon Religious Hierarchy

Many ex-Mormons are deciding not to support the sexual orientation hierarchy that the Mormon church is expounding. People are leaving in droves, which contributes to the fall of hierarchies masquerading as religions, such as the Mormon church. Really, it is good when hierarchies expose themselves, as it makes them easier to see so that people who don't support hierarchies have a much clearer choice to make. The noble causes used to disguise hierarchies become less powerful.

The church instructed leaders that Mormons in same-sex relationships are to be treated as “apostates,” which means that they are subject to excommunication. Children being raised by two moms or two dads, the edict held, should be banished from the church until they become adults and can renounce their parent’s union.

Sen. Sherrod Brown: White Men are the Terrorists of the United States

When we wrote our op-ed in the Washington Post about white males and gun violence, we received many negative emails and were even featured as the lead story on Rush Limbaugh's diatribe. We were in the forefront of discussing how people in the top group of hierarchies are let off the hook and not held accountable, and how the top group is assumed to represent everyone.

In other words, our society does not commit terrorism in the United States, white males in the United States commit terrorism.

But now, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown (D) let people know on Thursday that most terrorist acts that have occurred in the United States since 9/11/01, have come at the hands of  “white males.”

“They are generally white males, who have shot up people in movie theaters and schools. Those are terrorist attacks, they’re just different kinds of terrorists,” he continued.

“The federal government and local communities have done a pretty good job at keeping us safe. Not keeping us safe from crazy gunmen coming into schools and movie theaters sometimes but certainly keeping us safe from foreigners attacking this country.”

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Honoring Wisdom

If our country really honored wisdom, here is what we would have:
From "Stone Soup," by Jan Eliot.

Jan's comment: "This is one of my favorite Stone Soup cartoons of all time. The dollar amount needs an update, but Val still nails it."

Stone Soup Classics every day at

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Happy Veterans Day!

Happy Veterans Day to everyone who served, including Harriet Tubman.

Tubman offered her services to the Union Army, and in early 1862, she went to South Carolina to provide badly needed nursing care for black soldiers and newly liberated slaves. Working with General David Hunter, Tubman also began spying and scouting missions behind Confederate lines. In June of 1863, she accompanied Colonel James Montgomery in an assault on several plantations along the Combahee River, rescuing more than 700 slaves. Her deed was celebrated in the press and she became even more famous.

With the end of the war, Tubman returned to Auburn, NY and married a Civil War veteran. Although her service in the Union Army was much publicized, she had great difficulty in getting a pension from the government, but was eventually awarded a nurse’s pension in the 1880s. (as presented on the Harriet Tubman National Historic Park Facebook page).


Thursday, November 5, 2015

Religions Teach Children to be Less Generous

We learn hierarchies in many ways, including religion. Particularly in hierarchical religions, there are "in" groups and "out" groups, and people not in one's religion do not deserve what those in one's religion deserve.

It is not surprise then, that research is showing that children from religious households are actually less generous than kids from a secular background.

"It’s sometimes claimed that secular families are dysfunctional and rudderless because they lack the security of religion. But sociologist Vern Bengston, who has run California’s Longitudinal Study of Generations since 1971, says this isn’t true: “Many nonreligious parents were more coherent and passionate about their ethical principles than some of the ‘religious’ parents … The vast majority appeared to live goal-filled lives characterized by moral direction and sense of life having a purpose.”"

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Starbucke - Drive-Thru Order Using Sign Language

The Starbucks near the Florida School for the Deaf and Blind is now able to take drive-thru orders using American Sign Language (ASL). Rebecca King, a resident of St. Augustine, has posted a candid video of her experience.

Hierarchies are breaking down all over, including the abilities/disabilities hierarchy.

Seattle Leads Way in Campaign Finance Reform

Voters in Seattle, Washington on Tuesday approved a first-in-the-nation "democracy voucher" in a ballot initiative that might inspire other cities to follow in the model of campaign finance reform. 

The innovative public campaign financing program has been reported to be an opportunity to give everyday voters more control over the city's elections while limiting the power of corporate and special interests.

Each voter will receive four $25 vouchers usable in Seattle campaigns for mayor, city council and city attorney with the money only being released to candidates that agree to follow I-122's rules, which include participating in three debates and accepting lower contribution and spending limits. 

The measure also prohibits elected officials and their high-level staff from lobbying the city government within three years of leaving office and enacts limits on campaign contributions from people or entities that have contracts with the city.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Margaret Spellings – State Your Position

An opinion piece in The Charlotte Observer states that incoming president Margaret Spellings must accept gay and lesbian students and support them or resign her position as the president of the University of North Carolina.

She appears to have a conflict of interest in her new job, which requires her to be welcoming to students regardless of sexual orientation. In her past positions, she has not been so.

This opinion piece suggests she be made to answer direct questions as to her intent before she takes office.

For more information concerning her stands against LGBT equality, see the Slate article below.

Middle-aged Whites Dying Faster than Most in US

Two Princeton economists, Angus Deaton (2015 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Science winner) Anne Case  concluded that rising annual death rates among middle-aged white Americans have been increasing. Deaths in this group are being driven not by the big killers like heart disease and diabetes but by an epidemic of suicides and afflictions stemming from substance abuse, alcoholic liver disease and overdoses of heroin and prescription opioids.
They came to their conclusions by analyzing health and mortality data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and from other sources. Unlike every other age group, unlike every other racial and ethnic group, unlike their counterparts in other rich countries, death rates in middle-aged white Americans  have been rising, not falling.

Primarily, they saw evidence of the declining health and fortunes of poorly educated American whites, which caused the whole group to decline.

Supposedly, these are a similar group of people who support Republican politics more often, which corresponds to the support of hierarchies. Wonder if it relates to stress from the fall of hierarchies, as the causes of death seem to be behavior. Since Republican policies usually hurt the poor, there must be some reason they vote against their best interests.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Obama - Great Comments on Weakened Hierarchies

On Tuesday, the Women's World Cup winning USA soccer team visited the White House. As an indication on how far we have come in breaking down the gender and sexual orientation hierarchies in this country, here are some comments from President Obama:

“Abby said that she wanted her final World Cup to be like a fairytale. And I’m not sure she could have written a better ending: a world champion at last, draped in the Stars and Stripes, showing us all how far we’ve come – on and off the field – by sharing a celebratory kiss with her wife.”

“This team taught all America’s children that ‘playing like a girl’ means you’re a badass. (Laughter and applause.) Perhaps I shouldn’t have used that phrase. (Laughter.) Playing like a girl means being the best. It means drawing the largest TV audience for a soccer match –- men or women’s –- in American history. It means wearing our nation’s crest on your jersey, taking yourself and your country to the top of the world. That’s what American women do. That’s what American girls do. That’s why we celebrate this team.”

Robert Reich's Questions to Republicans on the Economy

Robert Reich, on his Save Capitalism for the Many, Not the Few Facebook Page posted the following commentary today:

Tonight, the Republican candidates will debate the economy. This is like having a bunch of pick-pockets debate wallets. Here’s what I’d ask them if I was tonight's debate moderator:

Jeb Bush, you’ve proposed a tax plan that would give the biggest share of tax cuts (11.6 percent) to the top 1 percent, and only 2.9 percent to those in the middle. Do you think widening inequality is a problem, and how does your tax plan reverse it?

Marco Rubio, you say you don’t want to raise the minimum wage. The minimum wage is near its historic low, adjusted for inflation. Do you believe in having a minimum wage at all? If not, do you believe in minimum safety standards, minimum health standards, and a 40-hour workweek? By the way, if you’re elected president will you work 40 hours a week or do it as a part-time job, as you’ve done the Senate? 

Donald Trump, your tax plan is even more generous to the top 1 percent than Jeb Bush’s plan, giving them 21.6 percent of the tax cuts. Do you think all young people, on reaching the age of 22, should be given a $1 million loan from their parents?

Carly Fiorina, you have lashed out against ‘crony capitalism.’ Does the fact that Hewlett-Packard under your tenure increased its spending on lobbying and political campaigns, and that your own campaign is underwritten by some of the biggest corporations and banks in America, make you a crony capitalist?

Chris Christie, as governor of New Jersey you’ve presided over a state economy that has recovered only 62% of the jobs lost in the recession while the rest of the country has regained 132%. New Jersey is also 46th out of 50 states in growth. Will you be as bad for the U.S. economy as you’ve been for New Jersey?

Rand Paul, you’ve proposed a “flat” tax, which would lower the tax rates paid by the wealthy and increase the tax rates paid by lower-income Americans. The one deduction you’d keep is the home mortgage interest deduction, three-quarters of whose benefits go to those earning over $100,000. How exactly will your plan reverse inequality?

Ted Cruz, you want to abolish the IRS. How would you collect taxes?

Ben Carson, you have said ‘we live in a Gestapo age,’ that the United States has become ‘very much like Nazi Germany,’ that Hitler couldn’t have accomplish his goals ‘if the people had been armed,’ and that Planned Parenthood is ‘like Nazi Germany.’ What does Nazi Germany have to do with how you’d fix the U.S. economy?

What would you ask the Republican candidates about the economy?

Feel Better About Yourself - Watch G.O.P. Debate

According to an article in The New Yorker magazine, people who watch the Republican debates within three minutes feel better about themselves, if they have low self-esteem.

Is it because most of the Republican platform is based on continuing hierarchies, and other people can see right through the fact that they are clueless at the top? Perhaps so.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Same-Sex Marriage and Guns

Here is a great comparison from Alternet. If claiming top-of-the-hierarchy exemptions from baking a cake for a same-sex marriage because it means participating in the marriage, why doesn't the same logic apply to someone who sells guns in that they are participating in a murder?

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wildlife Bridge in Washington

The state of Washington is building its first wildlife bridge, allowing animals to cross I-90 near Snoqualmie Pass. Great to see, as many of us start to dismantle the hierarchies between humans and animals.

"If we prevent them from moving, we're blocking their ability to find food, we're blocking their ability to find places to live when conditions change, like the large wildfires we saw last year, and we're blocking their ability to find new mates and have some genetic diversity in the population. The I-90 wildlife overcrossing and the newly completed undercrossings are monumental step forward for wildlife on the move in our region," remarked Jen Watkins, coordinator for the I-90 Wildlife Bridges Coalition.

Wildlife bridges are common in Europe. In fact, there are over 600 in the Netherlands alone.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

In U.S. - Toddlers Shoot People Weekly

In 2015 so far, at least 13 toddlers in the United States (aged three and under) have inadvertently killed themselves with firearms, 18 more injured themselves, 10 injured other people, and 2 killed other people.

And the gun lobby, headed mostly by top-of-the-hierarchy white males who are hell bent on keeping our hierarchical society alive at any cost, doesn't care. They want their guns to keep control as they see it, and for them to feel powerful in the old ways of hierarchies. Power over – not power among and between with realistic compassion and caring for everyone.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Freedom Caucus - Who's In It?

Wikipedia lists 36 members of the Freedom Caucus - the group of Representatives who is holding the Republican party hostage to its extreme hierarchy-building agenda.

Looking at the individual websites of the members of the Freedom Caucus, we see:

     34 White Males
       1 White Female
       1 Latino male who came from Puerto Rico but is now a Mormon.

Not too much of a cross section of the American population, wouldn't you say?

How Far Right Will They Go?

As the Hierarchy Conservators (political and social conservatives who want to conserve hierarchies) are now objecting to Paul Ryan as the next Speaker of the House, the question is, "How far right will they go?" They are accusing Ryan of being too far to the left.

The Republicans, as by far the most strong supporters of hierarchies, have had to move farther out as they try to balance the majority of Americans who want to see the lessening effect of hierarchies.

In a party that supports hierarchies, we are now seeing a struggle to demonstrate just how extremely they support hierarchies. The stand against Planned Parenthood is just one example of their efforts to keep hierarchies alive and well, in this case, the gender hierarchy desiring women to be barefoot, pregnant, and dependent upon men.

Monday, October 5, 2015

ACLU: Catholic Hospitals Receiving Federal Money Should Offer Services to Women That They Need

"We’re taking a stand today to fight for pregnant women who are denied potentially life-saving care because doctors are forced to follow religious directives rather than best medical practices,” said ACLU of Michigan Staff Attorney Brooke A. Tucker in announcing a lawsuit against Trinity Health Corporation, one of the largest Catholic health systems in the country. “Catholic bishops are not licensed medical professionals and have no place dictating how doctors practice medicine, especially when it violates federal law.”

Abortion to save the life of the mother is not the only issue. Patients with cancer whose disease might be made worse should they become pregnant or for whom treatments might pose terrible risks to a fetus cannot have their tubes tied. And emergency contraception or even a discussion of it even post-rape is off limits too. 

Both Catholic and Non-Catholic women are impacted by restrictions imposed by the Catholic church. Nationally, Catholic hospitals account for one in nine hospital beds and in some states as many as 1 in 6. Ten of the 25 largest hospital systems in the U.S. are Catholic. In the past decade mergers have led to a 16 percent increase in the number of Catholic-sponsored hospitals. In some communities there is no other option for emergency care.

Guns - Tennessee Tragedy, Males at it Again

In an argument about looking at each other's puppies, an 11-year-old boy shot and killed an 8-year-old girl.

Why did the father teach his son that shooting guns are the way to settle arguments? Did he teach him that shooting guns make him a "man?" Does shooting more than one person make him even more a "man?"

Men and boys ARE the mass shooters in this country, not women and girls. We do not have a "society" problem, we have a problem with our men and boys. We can do better. Males are not born to cause so much pain and suffering; we teach them to.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

WIth Hierarchies Falling, Watch Out With Whom You Associate (Pope Francis)

After such a positive visit to the United States, now the efforts of Pope Francis and his staff are being greatly clouded by the fact that he was in the presence of Kim Davis, the Kentucky woman who has refused to marry same-sex couples.

According to Ms. Davis's lawyer, the pope granted a private visit with her, and she has said that she is honored by the pope's support of her cause.

But the Vatican has stated that the private visit did not happen, and that she was part of a group of people he blessed with his presence.

Who is telling the truth? Moral is, if you don't want to end up on the wrong side of history, then it is a good idea to avoid association with people like Ms. Davis who are so insistent on keeping hierarchies alive.

Gun VIolence - Stop Listening to Gun Supporters

An artist working on a mural was shot and killed in Oakland as he was painting under the freeway Tuesday morning. The shooting of the man while working on a community art project has caused an outpouring of grief and disbelief.

Gun deaths are expected to surpass automobile deaths in the United States in 2015.

All you gun advocates, what is your answer? Our answer: we need to stop listening to you. Your ideas obviously do not work.

Friday, October 2, 2015

Young Men - Not Doing Well

In the former East Germany, young women are faring much better than young men and are leaving for better opportunities elsewhere. The young men aren't as ambitious to obtain a good education and job, and are being left behind, leaving a shortage of women.

A recent book in the United States suggests that educated women may need to look for men to date who are much less educated, as men are not keeping up with women. The rate of women graduating from college much exceeds that of men, and the trend will probably only result in a widening of the gap in years to come.

Men have been used to being given special privilege on top of our hierarchies. Now that hierarchies  are flattening, women, who have always had to work "twice as hard to be considered half as good" keep working while the men don't know quite what to do.

Being on top of our hierarchies is beginning to show great disadvantages.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Dangerous Tactics

Thomas Friedman has written an article about the potential results when hateful words cross red lines. We've had some presidential candidates try to build their own hierarchies through comments about people who are not in the dominant race or religion.

Friedman is suggesting we see the movie, "Rabin: The Last Day," so that we will pay attention, and be careful not to ignore or rationalize the divisive, bigoted campaigns of Trump and Carson. The movie chronicles the incitement campaign leading to the assassination of a Prime Minister.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Gun Control Results

A recent study shows that states with the most gun control laws have the fewest gun-related deaths. The study uses data from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As typical of groups that demand a position on top, such as the NRA, we can predict that the facts will be explained away so that they can maintain their control and keep whatever policies benefit themselves.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Voices from Below

It's an enlightening experience to listen to people in lower groups – that is, lower than our own group. If we acknowledge that we may feel uncomfortable, and then relax and just be comfortable with being uncomfortable, we can smile as we hear new perspectives. We may relate to some of the observations and feelings because we have seen them when the players are changed and we are in a lower group.

For those of us who haven't used a wheelchair:

For those of us who aren't black. The question, "Why is it that white crime is seen as an isolated incident but black crime is a representation of my entire community?" describes a typical scenario across many hierarchies.