Saturday, September 26, 2015

Democratic Debates

Democrats, time to untwist your underoos and spread the so-so news that the first debate for the lefties will finally happen on October 13th, 2015!  So far, the Republicans have been permeating the air with their campaign speeches and debates, and ironically, even the Donald has taken over the leftiest of lefty networks, MSNBC.  After a while, a Democrat could get confused and think the only person running for President IS Trump.  Well, that's not about to change, but there will be a few debates, and we are getting ready to finally get a peek-a-book at the Democrats.  Who's running for the Democratic ticket again?  Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, right (YOU know what I mean by this, Mr. O'Malley.  I know you do, and you're nodding with disdain, aren't you?)?  A good deal of people are feeling a little like the DNC did not expect anyone to know there was anyone other than Clinton running, but on a side note, I have been hard pressed (no pun intended) to find a media outlet that doesn't seem a little jittery in the britches to see what Sanders says during the debates.

Since there will not be many Democratic debates, rally the people for the shows.  Let's watch them hard, people!

Friday, September 18, 2015

Bernie Sanders on the Issues

Because presidential candidate Bernie Sanders believes highly in democracy, we should not be surprised that much of his campaign springs from the democratic process. Volunteers who believe Sanders should be the next president campaign, host, promote, and work hard hoping to help get Bernie elected to the White House.

With that said, discusses all of Bernie Sanders' platform stances very comprehensively, and the website has been built collaboratively by volunteers who hope Bernie Sanders becomes the next President of the United States.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Nurse Beauty and the Woman's Curse

The women of the view had some words about Miss America Pageant contestant, Miss Colorado's Kelley Johnson, who chose to speak about nursing for the talent portion of the contest.

What struck me about the women's chattering was that they could not see the talent in nursing as opposed to, say playing the violin or singing opera.  Years ago, I read one of the Bronte books, (can't remember which), and I was totally in love with the way in which women of the time took to educating themselves with the only option for them being to become married.  They couldn't own property or become scholars.  They learned to play instruments, sing, recite poetry.  They studied history and were well-read.  These pageants are ancient relics of a time when women needed to beautify themselves and showcase their talents ostensibly.  So this woman clearly went to nursing school and may not have developed a talent (including the art of the monologue, though I thought her monologue was nice) which people find entertaining, but she had a skill that she shared.  Her talent wasn't the public speaking.  Her talent was nursing, and she did her best to articulate that.  But did she win?  Was she pretty enough?

Pretty enough is the litmus test many women feel they must pass for life passages which have very little to do with finding a mate in life, and in fact, real humans, man or otherwise, are perfectly capable of being attracted to and loving someone who isn't perfectly "pretty."  When it comes to occupations, we tend to set up the boys for decent occupations without realizing that we aren't so sure what to tell young women.  They should do something think-y or become teachers or nurses, but if they do something think-y, they may get themselves in over their heads.  So why do you think we have women who become strippers or pageant contestants? 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Bernie Sanders on Income Inequality and Democracy

Real Median Family Family Income --Bernie Sanders makes the case that people are making less money today than they did in previous years.  Watch the video to see why people are paying attention to Bernie Sanders' campaign.  The video has snazzy background music and awesome infographics.

Bernie Sanders on the Idolatry of Money

"Money has to serve, not to rule" --Pope Francis

Senator Bernie Sanders spoke at Liberty University, expressing his concern over the income gap in the United States.  Sanders spoke from a core in his being built from the origin of human rights.  Pope Francis says we have "created new golden calves," by idolizing money.  Sanders quoted Pope Francis' assertion that "There is a need for financial reform along ethical lines that would produce in its turn an economic reform to benefit everyone."

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Sandra Bland's Message

   Listen to Sandra Bland's message, because she's voicing a message that is obviously not sinking into our social fabric.  I'm still not over Trayvon Martin's death, because all of the evidence surrounding Trayvon's death, to me, seemed painfully obvious that Trayvon did nothing to instigate any sort of attack, let alone his own death.  We forget these deaths as a society so easily.  What ever happened to Kendrick Johnson, for example, the young teen found dead in a rolled up gym mat under suspicious circumstances?  I see an underlying theme to these cases, and I think a good number of people really misunderstand what some of the primary issues are.  Of course, social advocates such as Sandra Bland do an excellent job at attempting to clarify them, people become uncomfortable, defensive, and fidgety with a subject we all need to address with completely open minds.

This Isn't Just About White People Hurting Black People

   One of the common sentiments I see people bleating redundantly in response to these pleas for justice is, "Well, more white people, statistically are victims of crime by black people than the reverse," or, I hear people bleating, "What about XYZ case where a black man shot and killed a white man.  How come that wasn't in the news?"  Okay, so firstly, making a competition about which group of people is more dangerous is, well, dangerous to society, but these arguments are missing the point. In every case someone attempted to refute the #blacklivesmatter movement by posting about a black person killing a white person, I've found that the perpetrator was swiftly incarcerated and the victim was swiftly vindicated.  I keep thinking about Trayvon Martin because this was a young man who walked nearly a mile to the store and ended up dead, with no weapons on him, within 50 feet of his apartment.  The police tested him, the victim, for drugs, and soon afterward, his every deed as a teen was unearthed as to criminalize him.  The majority of the public defaulted to automatically criminalizing Trayvon.  Many people didn't even scratch their heads even once at the possibility that Trayvon wasn't a hardened criminal.  So we come to a weird catch-22 about the justice for black victims:

Statistics about Black Crime Perpetuate Unreasonable and Societally Dangerous Stereotypes

     Take Sandra Bland, for example.  I get that Sandra Bland was irritated and that the best advice for people stopped by officers is to comply and be as respectful as possible, but I'm sure you can converse with a lot of decent police officers who can attest to the vast array of annoyed individuals who attempt to argue their way out of traffic tickets, who sometimes use profanity, or who sometimes throw mini temper-tantrums at the idea of a ticket.  Police generally don't force them out of the car on that reason alone (unless they are confrontational to the point that seems unsafe).  In fact, Sandra Bland didn't even use profanity when the officer asked her, "What's wrong."  She was brutally honest, and clearly irritated.  Her situation was clearly escalated by the police officer who arrested her, but she was in a jail cell alone for a traffic violation.  This woman was being charged with an assault on a public officer:  a felony.  A felony takes a person's right to vote from them.  A felony makes it difficult for a person to get, keep, and maintain adequate employment.  A felony is a major festering wound on a person's record.  This officer attempted to royally interfere with Sandra's ability to be successful in life with this charge, and remember, she was supposedly not under arrest until he was already apprehending her, which is certainly a confusing catch-22 in our justice system, isn't it?

    So, Sandra Bland would be (and is) another blip in the crime statistics vault on the dangerous crimes of black people.  The most profound thought nugget coming from this is that when someone posts one of those statistical info graphics about how criminal black folks are, consider the fact that maybe, just maybe, a good number of them are being provoked and charged with crimes which are incredibly unreasonable, and so, that only adds to the invisible racist undertone of people's minds. Truly, a considerable number of black people being accused of crimes are actually the victims themselves.   Judges see assertive black women as rebels and criminals and young black men as thugs or gang members without really considering the human context of the individual.  Obviously the public is quick to criminalize black victims, as we see in the Trayvon Martin Case.

     There is something to these movements and demonstrations.  We can't continue minimizing these acts and cries for societal change.  We have to acknowledge these issues and admit it:  something is seriously wrong.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Bernie Sanders and the Socialist Issue

 What a great way to break the blogging hiatus by cracking the socialism code and discussing Bernie Sanders.  Years ago a cool libertarian debater almost broke my core with facts, cool rebuttals and sincere debate.  Since then, I've described myself as politically bi-polar, ebbing and flowing between the political ideology of Libertarianism and Socialism.  Now that Bernie Sanders, a self-proclaimed socialist is garnering a lot of attention (at least on the Internet), I can freely talk about socialism without fear of cultural persecution.

One of the debate jabs my Libertarian friend of yesteryear used (it was a Navy shipmate, that's why I don't interact with this person any more), was that the idealism of socialism was one of hyper-idealism.  He thought liberals and socialists had a super-idealistic view of the world and humanity, but that thought plagued me, because I believed then and still do believe that the same argument could be made for libertarians.  Without much regulation and with the government out of our infrastructure, schools, and any facet of our lives, would we be putting a lot of faith in ourselves and others to self-regulate?

I feel as though we teeter on a balance between asking the wealthy to be in charge of us or asking the government to be in charge of us.  For that reason, our economy and nation depends on a balance between conservatism and liberalism.  We need to execute both ideologies during the right times and with as little corruption as possible.  A purely capitalistic approach is feasible, but we'd have to accept and address the fact that our great nation has blundered.  It's still a relatively new nation, so perfection is not necessary.  We can't close our eyes to the fact that we have created great inequality in our nation, and until we address it, we can't set our citizens into the fight for prosperity without the necessary opportunities to achieve it.  To be blind to our past mistakes while proclaiming to be the best nation is to be narcissistic, and such a mind-set will squash our progress and growth.  We set ourselves up for failure.

Socialism has become a bad word, yet we've had socialistic policies for ages. Much of the conservative to liberal dialogue evolves from the fact that we don't have equal socialistic opportunities, and because of that, our social safety nets have become stifling:  food stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, the Earned Income Credit.  Without great access to education, parental leave, decent starting wages, and medical care, the lowest income people are getting the bulk of the entitlement dollars without a great deal of means to elevate themselves out of those situations.  So we have socialism, but the socialism we have creates a great deal of stress and anxiety, because hard working people cannot gain access to health care or education, yet they often make just a little too much money to get the help afforded to the lowest income people.  So then we become divided, hyperbolizing the stereotypes of the poor as primarily a lazy, addicted, unmotivated lot.

While Bernie Sanders, an open socialist, models much of his political ideology on the social structures in Europe, if he becomes president, our economy will not change significantly due to the checks and balances of our nation.  He will preside over a much more progressive agenda, though.  He would work toward a more efficient socialism, especially because he aims to dismantle the corruption which stitches our government to the elite.  Whether we aim to be a more social economy or a more libertarian economy, we must attack corruption and lopsided power.