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.