Thursday, January 28, 2016

Apparently, Only Women Showed Up in the Senate after Snowstorm

According to a video put out by Now This, after the snowstorm in Washington, D.C., only women showed up to run the business of the United States Senate. The 83 male senators did not show up, as well as male staff members.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Seattle - Getting Serious About Getting People Out of Their Cars

Seattle has only one light rail line right now, and city leaders think it is time to change that. An initiative called Move Seattle includes:
  • Seven to 10 “multimodal corridor projects” — that is, travel corridors that incorporate designated space for bikes, buses, and other mass transit.
  • Seven new “bus rapid transit” corridors that will hustle riders in and out of the city in designated lanes, separate from car traffic.
  • Easy access to buses that arrive at least every 10 minutes, throughout the day, for three-quarters of city residents.
  • A build-out of half of the city’s perpetually underfunded bicycle master plan, including 50 miles of protected bike lanes.
  • One hundred blocks of new sidewalks, new crossings at 225 intersections, and safe walking and biking routes to all of the city’s schools.
  • Reducing traffic deaths to zero by, among other things, dropping speed limits on residential streets of 20 mph, and 30 mph on arterial streets.
Time to create a climate that supports all our citizens of earth, not just those who can afford to adjust.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

G.O.P. Presidential Hopefuls Align with anti-LGBT Figureheads in the U.S.A.

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the “Free to Believe” broadcast, organized by the Family Research Council, an anti-LGBT hate group, and Vision America, was delivered to more than 160 churches in all 50 states. The broadcast, featured speeches from some of the most prominent anti-LGBT figureheads in America, as well as taped remarks from almost the entire GOP presidential field, including Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Marco Rubio, and Rick Santorum.

Rick Santorum praised the Family Research Council, calling Tony Perkins, the FRC president, “our good friend.” Perkins purchased Klansman David Duke’s mailing list for use in a Louisiana political campaign he was managing. In 2010 he wrote on the FRC website, “While activists like to claim that pedophilia is a completely distinct orientation from homosexuality, evidence shows a disproportionate overlap between the two. … It is a homosexual problem.”

Rick Scarborough, head of Vision America, the other co-sponsor of the broadcast, Scarborough has said that AIDS is God’s judgment for an immoral act.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Women Very Underrepresented in College Coaching

Looking at the 2014-15 college sports year, only five of the 17 women’s Division I team championships were won by teams with female head coaches. Overall, 40.2 percent of head coaches in women’s NCAA athletics last school year were women, and that number falls to 38.9 percent at the Division I level.

The percentage of female head coaches in the sport has actually been declining over the last five seasons, both overall and most severely at the Division I level. In the 1996-97 school year — the first season in a streak of three consecutive national championships for Pat Summitt and the Tennessee Lady Vols — 62.3 percent of head coaches in women’s Division I basketball were female. That number rose to 66 percent in 2009-10 but has declined ever since. Last season 58.6 percent of Division I head coaches were female, and basketball has by far the highest percentage.

If that doesn't look like a problem, imagine if 74% of the coaches of the men's soccer teams were women, 63% of the men's tennis teams are coached by women, and 57% of the men's volleyball teams are coached by women. Does that seem fair or even realistic in our sexist society?

Monday, January 18, 2016

Richest 62 People Have More than Half of the World Combined

The wealthiest 62 people now own as much as the combined wealth of half the world's population, some 3.5 billion people.

Hopefully as hierarchies start to fall, we will see a great change in that condition. People who want to build hierarchies continue to ways to be successful, at least financially.

According to Oxfam, since 2010, the wealth of the poorest 3.5 billion fell 41 percent, while the wealth of the richest 62 people has risen by 44 percent.

Friday, January 15, 2016

The Rich Get Richer, Everyone Else Gets Poorer

According to Esquire Magazine,  56 percent of Americans have indicated that they have less than $1,000 in their checking and savings accounts combined, as reported by Forbes. Almost a fourth of Americans (24.8 percent) have less than $100 to their name. Meanwhile, 38 percent said they will not be paying off their full credit card balance this month, and 11 percent said they would make the minimum payment—meaning their debt only increases for years.

As people who support hierarchies continue to work hard to make them stronger, we see bigger discrepancies in wealth. Also, many people vote against their own interests when they are lured into voting that way because of another hierarchical issue, like equality for non-heterosexuals and the rights of women to control their bodies.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Bundys - Clueless about Public Opinion on Federal Lands

A bipartisan poll released yesterday confirms that a majority of people who live in the west oppose giving federal land to private individuals or turning it over to states. Only in Utah, whose population is mostly Mormon, do people think they individually should control federal land.

"Charges of government overreach from the ideological fringes are making headlines, but in reality most Westerners in this poll favor greater protection and sensible use of the open lands and national treasures that define the region," Eric Perramond, a professor who leads Colorado College's State of the Rockies Project, said in a statement.

The Bundys place themselves above the law every one else has to obey, armed and occupying federal lands, believing the law doesn't apply to them. Now we see that they are assuming their opinions are shared by the entire population, which is characteristic of hierarchies, in that the top assumes they understand and represent everyone.

Friday, January 8, 2016

The More Guns Floating Around, The More People Die

Nicholas Kristof: "Most gun owners use firearms responsibly, but with more guns there are more tragedies." "The Republican presidential candidates are on the wrong side of history here. While even Republican voters overwhelmingly say in polls that they favor sensible steps like universal background checks, the Republican candidates are politicizing what should be a public health issue, and they are scaring Americans into buying more guns, which magnifies the problem and causes more carnage.

Here are other quotes and statistics from the article:

The states with the most restrictive gun laws have the lowest gun death rates (including suicides). Take Massachusetts and New York, which have some of the tightest gun restrictions in America; they have three or four gun deaths per 100,000 inhabitants per year. At the other extreme, two of the states with the most permissive gun regulations are Alaska and Louisiana, and both have gun death rates about five times as high: more than 19 per 100,000 inhabitants.

Republican presidential candidates should look at the natural experiment that occurred when Missouri eased restrictions on buying handguns. The result was a 25 percent rise in the firearm homicide rate, according to a study in the Journal of Urban Health.

In contrast, Connecticut tightened regulations on buying handguns, and gun homicides there fell by 40 percent, according to the American Journal of Public Health.

Do the Parents of Your Children's Friends Have Guns at Home?

Dede Donahue has made it a habit of asking parents when arranging a play date, "Do you keep guns in your house?" Authorities say that parents don’t believe that their children know where their guns are hidden, but a recent study says that eight in ten first graders know where their parents hide their guns.

Ms. Donahue describes one friend, Melanie, who lived around the corner, who confessed that her husband kept a gun. Melanie walked into the bedroom to find her two-year-old son Jack with the gun in his lap he had retrieved from the bedside table. Later Jack found the gun in a box hidden in a closet.
According to this Washington Post article, nearly 1,500 children die from shootings each year.

Are your children safe in a home where parents or guardians don't keep their guns locked up and away from children?

A reporter from the Washington Post found evidence of 43 times a toddler shot another person or her or himself during the first 10 months of 2015.

Guns Fine, Tampons Not Allowed

In the gallery of the Texas legislature, bringing in concealed guns is perfectly acceptable. But for women who want to bring in tampons or pads, they are not allowed. Why? Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, the senate president, reportedly didn’t want the women to have any items that could be thrown from the gallery at the lawmakers during their discussion of even more restrictions on abortion.

The gun lovers apparently think gun are not threat, but women's personal products can cause legislators much harm if hit in the head by a tampon.

Texas, you are really clueless. And blind to the obvious effects of excessive gun ownership in this country.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Football – Resources Galore but Also Serious Liabilities

As far as coaches' salaries, resources, revenue, and media coverage, male-only college football is definitely on top of the college sports hierarchy in this country. With it come many perks and fortunes, and people who think that football defines the value of a college or university.

But being on top of the hierarchy means that people don't think about liabilities that may be present in such a sport that is based on violent play, and don't want to rock the boat to discuss problems. So many people are benefiting from the hierarchy of one sport being given so much preference.

Such is the case with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a traumatic brain disorder that can only be diagnosed during an autopsy. We have news of yet another male whose brain and body fail after being exposed to such a violent sport for many years. He died at age 25.

Healthy Kids – Healthy Country

Recipes for school lunches created by local chefs, parents, and kids look good enough to make at home. Healthy and nutritious!

These recipes were winners in the Recipes for Healthy Kids competition, part of Michelle Obama's Let's Move Initiative.

Citizen's United – First Step Out?

The Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association was previously successful at keeping a ballot measure concerning Citizens United out of California saying that it would "clutter the ballot" and "could be used to shape voter turnout."

But today, the California Supreme Court cleared the way for the Legislature to place an advisory measure on the November ballot asking voters to express their views on campaign spending. The proposition asks voters whether there should be a federal constitutional amendment to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United vs. FEC, which permitted unlimited corporate and union spending for federal candidates.

The conservatives know that high voter turnout favors people who want to break down hierarchies, not people like themselves who want to conserve hierarchies. Voter turnout could impact not only this advisory, but Presidential and Congressional races of course.