Sunday, March 11, 2018

Though School Shooters Tend to Be White, Children of Color Will Suffer From Guns in Schools

Sherrilyn Ifil, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) outlines in an article in Time that although the perpetrators of mass school shootings have been almost exclusively white, there’s little doubt that arming teachers will lead disproportionately to the killing — by teachers — of children of color.

"For the sake of other children on the verge of being pushed away, this moment should be a reckoning to think long and hard about what really works to help them, to keep all children safe. But to invest instead, as our president has insisted, in turning those teachers into armed guards patrolling our classrooms would be the final act of hostility and abandonment of our nation’s children. And we will know — from the outset — that the children who will be the foremost victims of this effort will be children of color."

Next Step After #MeToo – Barbara Kingsolver's Strong Advice

"‘Don’t say that to me, don’t do that to me. I hate it.’ I armed my daughters with these words to deal with harassment. Let’s no longer mollify powerful men."

Worth reading for everyone who even has a thought about the #MeToo movement, from Barbara Kingsolver.

"Let’s be clear: no woman asks to live in a rape culture: we all want it over, yesterday. Mixed signals about female autonomy won’t help bring it down, and neither will asking nicely. Nothing changes until truly powerful offenders start to fall. Feminine instincts for sweetness and apology have no skin in this game...Watching the election of a predator-in-chief seems to have popped the lid off the can. We’ve found a voice, and now is a good time to use it, in a tone that will not be mistaken for flirtation."

Lower Groups Pay for Parental Leave, Wealthy Take More Assets

Some conservative lawmakers, along with first daughter Ivanka Trump, are contemplating a scheme to use Social Security funds to help new parents take paid time off from work. People who take parental leave, according to them, would agree to delay social security benefits.

While the wealthy and corporations continue to take much more than their share of the benefits of government compared to what they pay, the average person might have to bear the brunt of having a country that catches up with most of the rest of the world with parental leave.

Shihka Dalmia explains why what may look like a good idea on the surface, is actually not.

Afterall, if hierarchy-conservative lawmakers are supporting a bill, we know that the top of the hierarchy will eventually benefit.

White Men With Guns – Keep Women and Non-Whites Down

He says that it shouldn't surprise us that mass shootings have increased as the power of women and non-whites has increased.

Their 'right to bear arms' was the right of white men to exercise authority over black men and women by violent means if necessary, and their right to a “well regulated Militia” was the right to do so in large groups.

Friday, February 23, 2018

"Boys Are Broken, and I Want To Help"

Michael Black, in an op-ed in the New York Times, states that "America’s boys are broken. And it’s killing us."

"The brokenness of the country’s boys stands in contrast to its girls, who still face an abundance of obstacles but go into the world increasingly well equipped to take them on."

Black says that girls in today's society benefit from decades of conversation about the complexities of womanhood. However, boys have been left behind as no commensurate movement has emerged to help them express what it means to "be a man."

Black ends by saying, "I would like men to use feminism as an inspiration, in the same way that feminists used the civil rights movement as theirs. I’m not advocating a quick fix. There isn’t one. But we have to start the conversation. Boys are broken, and I want to help."

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Are We At the Beginning of A Me-Too-Type Movement With Guns?

With Donald Trump in office and the do-nothing Republicans standing out like a point-to beacon in support of assault rifles in everyone's hands, are we going to actually do something about all the guns available to mostly angry male mass shooters in this country?

First National Bank of Omaha said Thursday it won’t renew a contract with the National Rifle Association to offer an NRA-branded Visa credit card. It has been receiving complaints from customers amid an intensifying national debate on gun control.

If we can identify the gun supporters as those who also support so many more hierarchies, maybe the root of their desires to power over everyone else will surface.

Missouri AD Gets Hit With Slander Law Suit For Insulting South Carolina Coach

Apparently the white male athletic director or Missouri sees no problem in spewing insults to one of the most celebrated women in basketball history.

"It wasn't a great atmosphere," said AD Jim Sterk. "It was really kind of unhealthy, if you will. We had players spit on, and called the N-word, and things like that. It was not a good environment and unfortunately, I think Coach Staley promoted that kind of atmosphere, and it's unfortunate that she felt she had to do that." 

So find the most vulnerable person, in his opinion, to blame, who happens to be black and a female.

Kudos to South Carolina coach Dawn Staley for suing Sterk for slander, particularly after officials can find no substantiation to Sterk's claims concerning rude behavior or instigation by Staley. The SEC, meanwhile, reprimanded Sterk today for his comments and fined him $25,000.

Trump - Use Position to Try To Make Teachers Carry Guns

Donald Trump today suggested rewarding teachers who are trained how to use firearms and have a conceal carry permit with bonuses.

Being on top of our government, and wanting to promote hierarchies, including the use of firearms to control people particularly among males, Trump wants to use his power to make other people be like him. Typical of people on top, they believe everyone wants or needs to be like them, even if others don't know it.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Republicans: Do Anything to Support the Top

Even when the top of the hierarchy becomes more ridiculous than imaginable, those at the top and their supporters keep plugging away to keep the top as viable as possible.

In his opinion piece in the Washington Post, "The Cowardice Among Republicans is Staggering," Michael Gerson points out the degree to which the top will put its head in the sand:

"The nearly uniform cowardice among elected Republicans is staggering. One is left wishing that Obamacare covered spine transplants. The Republican-led Congress is now an adjunct of the White House. The White House is now an adjunct of Trump's chaotic will."

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Drop in US Tourism - Rest of World Understands

If Trump/Pence supporters can't understand the negative effects of their policies, people in other parts of the world certainly do. After all, drastic "America First" policies put everyone else around the world in the lower groups on the world hierarchy being enforced by Trump/Pence and Republicans.

Travel spending has dropped by 3.3 percent, or $4.6 billion, and 40,000 jobs have been lost, according to the network, which cited the latest data from the National Travel and Tourism Office.

Tourism Economics President Adam Sacks told the New York Times that it's "not a reach to say the rhetoric and policies of this administration are affecting sentiment around the world, creating antipathy toward the U.S. and affecting travel behavior.”

Monday, January 22, 2018

West Point: First Same Sex Marriage for Active Members of Military

We are making progress in breaking down hierarchies, even when we can believe we aren't sometimes.

Believed to the the first active-duty same-sex couple married at West Point, Capt. Daniel Hall, 30, and Capt. Vincent Franchino, 26, were married in a ceremony at the military academy last weekend. The ceremony was performed by a Unitarian Universalist minister at Cadet Chapel at the United States Military Academy.

The men met at West Point in 2009, when Hall was a senior and Franchino was a freshman. They survived the "don't ask, don't tell" phase of military service of the United States. Both are Apache helicopter pilots.

#MeToo Isn't Enough, Now Women Need to Get Ugly

"We’ve spent so much life-force on looking good but not too good, being professional but not unapproachable, while the guys just got on with life. And what of the massive costs of permanent vigilance, the tense smiles, declined work assignments and lost chances that are our daily job of trying to avoid assault? Can we get some backpay?"

That is a quote from the article in The Guardian by Barbara Kingsolver entitled, "#MeToo Isn't Enough, Now Women Need to Get Ugly."

In a powerful opinion piece, Ms. Kingsolver includes topics steeped in hierarchy such as football and religion. "Nothing changes until truly powerful offenders start to fall. Feminine instincts for sweetness and apology have no skin in this game. It’s really not possible to overreact to uncountable, consecutive days of being humiliated by men who say our experience isn’t real, or that we like it actually, or are cute when we’re mad."

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Larry Nassar – Complains Because He Is Not Used to Being Held Accountable

With his lofty position as a man and a physician, Larry Nassar, accused sexual abuser of top-level gymnasts, is not used to being held accountable. He is complaining that he is.

Today, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina released a letter Nassar had written accusing the judge of grandstanding and conducting a "media circus" by allowing so many of his victims to testify, which he said was negatively affecting his mental health.

Poor guy, can't stand to see the consequences of his actions. Thinks he should be spared because of his position on his hierarchy.

The judge responded to Nassar sitting in the witness box, "You may find it harsh that you are here listening, but nothing is a harsh as what your victims endured for thousands of hours at your hands."


Friday, January 5, 2018

Time's Up on Sexual Harassment

As reported in the New York Times, 300 prominent actresses and female agents, writers, directors, producers, and entertainment executives have formed a powerful initiative to fight systemic sexual harassment in Hollywood and in blue-collar workplaces nationwide.

Included in the initiative are a legal defense fund, backed by $13 million in donations to help women with less financial resources; legislation to penalize companies that tolerate persistent harassment; a drive to reach gender parity at studios; and a request that women wear black on the red carpet at the Golden Globes.

With the name Time's Up, an open letter was signed by hundreds of women in show business, running as a full-page ad in the New York Times, and in La Opinion, a Spanish-language newspaper.

We are making progress in the fight against ways that the top of the hierarchy, in this case men, keep women in less powerful positions.

Monday, January 1, 2018

Pence "Postpones" Visit to Middle East

If people who want to build hierarchies in the United States refuse to see what they are doing and remain clueless at the top of their efforts, other people around the world are not so clueless.

Vice President Pence's planned trip to Israel has been indefinitely postponed, with Israeli officials citing “various scheduling difficulties,” The Times of Israel reported today. Israel’s Foreign Ministry on Monday published its list of foreign dignitaries expected to visit in January, and Pence was not included.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced he would not meet with Pence in light of the decision. Other regional leaders condemned Trump’s announcement, saying it would undermine peace efforts in the region. The United Nations overwhelmingly voted in December to condemn Trump's Jerusalem decision.

Evangelicals: Supporting Hierarchy Conservator Leaders is Priority

"Eighty percent of white, self-identified evangelicals in Alabama voted for the disgraced and disgraceful losing pedophile Roy Moore," Ed Simon points out in his Newsweek article, "How Can True Evangelical Christians Glorify the Godless Trump?"

He also reports that the Public Religion Research Institute reported that over the past five years the “percentage of white evangelical Protestants who said that a politician who commits an immoral act in their personal life could still behave ethically shot up from 30 to 72 percent. The percentage saying such a politician could not serve ethically plunged from 63 to 20 percent.”

Now that hierarchies are slipping, we are seeing diehards make whatever rationalizations required to keep hierarchy conservators in power.

As to how to address these hierarchy conservators, Simon states, "Writer and scholar Burke Gerstenschlager writes for our current moment that 'In the midst of Propaganda and Gospel, we must resist … with love where there is hate. Resist with kindness where there is abandonment. Resist with grace where there is cruelty. Resist with justice where there is impunity. Resist with knowledge where there is ignorance. Resist with truth where there are lies. Advent is our season.'"