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.'"