Wednesday, June 6, 2018

What is Trump Trying to Hide in Migrant Detention Centers?

Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley posted a video showing he was denied entry to a detention center in Brownsville, Texas, for migrant children who have been separated from their parents when the families were trying to enter the United States. 

Merkley said in the video, "I think it's unacceptable that a member of Congress is not being admitted to see what is happening to children whose families are applying for asylum. I decided to come out here, go up to the door and ask to be let in."

The Trump/Pence administration has not disclosed how many children have been separated from their parents as a result of Trump/Pence's new "zero tolerance" policy. But a U.S. Customs and Border Protection official told a Senate panel that the 638 adults referred for prosecution from May 6 to May 19 had been traveling with 658 children, according to The Washington Post.

Trump has stated that people from Scandinavian countries, who are mostly white, would be more welcome to immigrate. The race hierarchy is one of many supported by Trump/Pence.

Judge Who Gave Brock Turner a Lenient Sentence Recalled

If the elite white male establishment refuses to hold members of its group accountable, it is refreshing to note that in many cases, other people will.

Judge Aaron Persky – who gave Stanford swimmer Brock Turner an extremely lenient sentence after he was convicted of assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated/unconscious person, penetration of an intoxicated person and penetration of an unconscious person – yesterday became the first California jurist recalled from the bench in 86 years.

Persky was concerned that prison time could have a "severe" impact on Turner's life as the reasoning behind the lenient six-month sentence. Turner ended up only serving three months due to good behavior. 

But speaking of severe impact, the victim, Emily Doe, then 23, read an emotional 7,000-word statement during the sentencing detailing the impact to her life and the horror of the 2015 attack, including taking a shower at the hospital after two bicyclists spotted her being assaulted by Turner and chased him down. Her statement, published in full by BuzzFeed, quickly went viral. It was viewed by more than 10 million people within four days.

Betsy DeVoss: No Discussion of the Role of Guns When Addressing School Violence

Betsy DeVoss, Trump's appointment as Education Secretary, said yesterday that the White House’s school safety commission will not focus on the role of firearms in gun violence at schools.
“That is not part of the commission’s charge, per se,” DeVos said during a Senate Appropriations Committee hearing after being pressed by Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the panel's ranking member.
"I see,” Leahy responded. “So, you're studying gun violence but not considering the role of guns."

White males, on top of our country's hierarchies, have used violence or the threat of it, to control everyone else for centuries. Guns are an important part of that violence, and guns have been embedded in their culture and mentality in order to keep white males on top. The power and control of white males (the group running the NRA, showing up at gun shows, profiting from violent video games, and mass shooting people they don't know) might be lessened if we discuss guns as causing any sorts of problems in our society.

Jaelene Hinkle: Hierarchical Religion over Civil Rights in Professional Soccer

Professional soccer player Jaelene Hinkle used her Christian religion as an excuse to snub LGBTQ Pride Month recognition from her NWSL’s North Carolina Courage team. She refused the call-up, citing “personal reasons.” In a recent interview with the "700 Club," the devout Christian athlete explained that her decision was motivated by her desire not to wear the USWNT’s special LGBTQ Pride Month jersey.
In hierarchical religions, god is made in the image of a man on top of a hierarchy, and usually orchestrated in the United States by white males who present themselves as representing their deity. Here is another example of a person who chooses to put hierarchies over the civil rights of people in the United States.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Freedom Riders: Where are They Now?

In a moving article in the New York Times, Maurice Berger tells us about the lives of Freedom Riders, as portrayed by the journalist and photographer Eric Etheridge. These men and women courageously went to the south in the 60's to try to force those states to adhere to federal anti-segregation laws. Mug shots of the young activists are paired with pictures of them now.

These portraits serve as inspirations for those of us still working to break down hierarchies of many types.

Saturday, May 19, 2018

UN Vote: Other Countries Can See Through Trump

In a humiliating blow for Donald Trump,  the United Nations General Assembly voted by 128 to nine to declare his decision to recognize Jerusalem at the capital of Israel as "null and void."

In a move so typical of someone on top of a hierarchy who believes he can do whatever he pleases with no accountability at all, the Trump administration issued a threat to "take names" of countries who did not support his move, and he will cut off humanitarian aid funding.

As an indication that she is little more than a Trump surrogate, US’s ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley wrote to most of the 193 UN members states warning of possible retaliation.

Richard Gowan, a UN expert at the European Council on Foreign Relations, told The Independent  the vote is still a “win for Trump in a perverse way.” He also said it is not a “win” for Ms Haley in his estimation. ”She looks diplomatically isolated and a little inept, and has undone” the work she has put in to build relationships with diplomats.

Diversity at the Royal Wedding

At the wedding of Prince Harry and mixed-race Meghan Markle, the mother of the bride wore dreads, and tennis great Serena Williams had cornrows. Black singing, and a black minister gave the sermon.

For those of us who are living in the United States with Trump/Pence and their swamp trying to nullify the diversity of the United States in favor of those on top of our hierarchies, we are happy to see the opposite here today in Britain.

Texas Republicans - Most NRA Money

Texas Republicans have received the most money from the NRA since 1998, according to the Texas Monthly. The state where the latest mass shooting at Sante Fe High School occurred has a history of being a "thoughts and prayers" state, as the Republicans in charge refuse to address gun violence in a meaningful way.

Violence and the treat of violence have been used for centuries to keep the top of our hierarchies in power, so it is no surprise that every person shown here is a white male.

One for the Environment: Returnable Beer Bottles in Oregon

Seven Oregon craft beer producers will start selling beer in reusable glass bottle in July, starting the country's first statewide refillable beer bottle program. 

Oregon’s Widmer Brothers, Buoy Beer, Double Mountain, GoodLife, Gigantic, Wild Ride and Rock Bottom breweries will be pioneering the program with some of their beers. Other breweries may join the program later.

The bottles can be reused up to 40 times, and will be specially marked.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Europe - With Trump as Your "Friend," Who Needs Enemies?

Trump and his supporters on top of our countries hierarchies are obvious to other people not in their groups, such as the people in Europe. They can see what a self-centered disaster Trump and his swamp are.

Monday, April 30, 2018

In the Age of Trump, Put Your LGBTQ Values On the Street

Phoenix is about to join other cities such as Seattle, Key West, West Hollywood, Miami Beach, Philadelphia, Long Beach, Ottawa, Vancouver, San Francisco, and Toronto in installing rainbow colored crosswalks to celebrate LGBTQ pride. The city council voted unanimously to allow LGBTQ organizations, who will also pay to maintain the vibrant colors, to give the existing crosswalks a makeover.

“The time is right to move this proposal forward to bring rainbow crosswalks … so that our city can continue to embrace and thrive in our diversity and our inclusion and in welcoming all people who wish to visit, live in, work in, build a business in or simply enjoy the city of Phoenix,” Michael Fornelli, Phoenix Pride executive director, told the Arizona Republic.

Response to Michelle Wolf Points Out Expected Privilege of the Top

"One of the defining features of the Trump White House is that its occupants demand for themselves decencies and courtesies they habitually deny to others."

Typical of those on top of hierarchies. What they do is fine and should not be mentioned. But they have the right to belittle and attack anyone they see as below them.

In David Frum's article in The Atlantic, "Michelle Wolf Does Unto the White House as It Has Done Unto Others," he points out exactly that. 

 "The people who enable this travesty to continue—can they complain when they are spoken of in hurtful ways?" Apparently so.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Tennessee Legislature Punishes Memphis for Taking Down Confederate Statues

These Republicans just can't let go of their commitment to maintaining hierarchies in this country, and anyone who opposes them is the enemy.

Tennessee lawmakers on Tuesday approved a last-minute amendment to remove $250,000 allocated to the city of Memphis as punishment for the removal of Confederate monuments, which was approved with a 56-31 vote. The amendment was introduced as a result of Memphis officials’ decision to remove two controversial statues on public property last year.

Defending the amendment, Rep. Andy Holt, R-Dresden, argued that "bad actions" have "bad consequences."

Rep. Raumesh Akbari, D-Memphis, called the amendment "un-Christian. This amendment and the explanation is hateful, it is unkind, it is un-Christian and it is unfair," she said. Rep. Antonio Parkinson, D-Memphis, called it the most "vile, racist" effort he had seen and said Republicans viewed Forrest "as if he was God."

Monday, April 16, 2018

Beyonce - At Coachella, Did Not Give in To White Expxectations

In his New York Times opinion piece, "Beyonce and the End of Respectability Politics," Myles E. Johnson states that at Coachella, Beyonce rewrote the book on black respectability politics. She could have decided to play to the majority-white audience, giving them what they might have wanted to hear. Instead, she came with a show that did not make it easy to forget cultural differences.

"All black people should follow her lead and refuse to shrink blackness. Black people often negotiate how much of ourselves we should show to make others comfortable. Black people often feel the need to edit parts of our culture and upbringing for the sake of appearing respectable."

Hierarchies will continue to be broken down, as we all refuse to change to make the top feel more comfortable.

Monday, April 9, 2018

George Will: Felons Should Not Be Disenfranchised For Life

George Will, well known conservative columnist, has now come out favoring the right for felons to vote.

In an opinion published in The Washington Post, Will states that in Florida, with a low threshold for felonious acts, someone who gets into a bar fight, or steals property worth $300, or drives without a license for a third time can be disenfranchised for life.

Republicans have pushed this type of legislation, and why? George Will points out that more than 1 in 13 African Americans nationally are similarly disenfranchised, as are 1 in 5 of Florida’s African American adults. Because African Americans overwhelmingly vote Democratic, ending the disenfranchisement of felons could become yet another debate swamped by partisanship, particularly in Florida, the largest swing state, where close elections are common: Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s margins of victory in 2010 and 2014 were 1.2 and 1.1 percent, respectively. 537 votes made George W. Bush president.

Republicans are acting typically of those on top of hierarchies – any measures used to allow them to gain what benefits them are fine and acceptable.

Addressing Sexual Harassment Toward Servers in Restaurants

People on top of the hierarchy, particularly men as they play power games with women, have often felt it their right to sexually harass women. Servers in restaurants are one group who may encounter that harassment frequently.

An article in Mother Jones states that the #MeToo movement has helped unearth instances of sexual harassment and impropriety at dozens of restaurants across the country. The article provides a few practical ideas on where restaurants can start to try to address the problem, including a color-coded system that quickly replaces harassed female servers with managers or big hunky men.

Servers in 43 states are paid as little as $2.13 an hour on what’s called a “tipped minimum wage.” Because they supposedly make up the rest of their wages on customer tips, “they have to tolerate whatever a customer does to them, because their customer is paying their bills, not the employer,” explains Saru Jayaraman, head of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United. 

Just 33 percent of restaurant businesses are majority-owned by women. Women make up just 19 percent of chefs and 7 percent of head chefs. And one reason is financing. “Getting loans and getting people to invest in your company can be harder if you’re a woman—particularly if the people lending the money unconsciously or consciously have specific biases against a female-run business,” New York Times‘ food writer Kim Severson says.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

America's Top High School Science Students Are the Children of Immigrants

According to an article in Time, 33 of the 40 finalists of the 2016 Intel Science Talent Search – the leading science competition for U.S. high school students – were the children of immigrants.


Specifically, 30 out of the 40 finalists had parents who worked in America on H-1B visas, the option that is no longer available for expedited processing due to a recent policy change from the Trump administration.

Stations Owned by Sinclair Preaching Propoganda

Here are the stations that Sinclair Media bought and will be required to parrot pro-Trump propaganda.