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.