13
Sep
14

this is feminism

This is not.

Beyoncesofa

Five points if you can tell me why.

I’ll give you a hint: one is about a woman fighting through incredibly adverse circumstances to become one of the best athletes in the world and possibly history, the other is about a woman taking pride in her own objectification.

Shoot. I might have given it away.

08
Sep
14

Bigotry

The Biggest Bigot, and Other Colorblind Lies | Dog Whistle Politics | BillMoyers.com.

Click the link above, and take the time to watch the Jon Stewart clip. It’s worth the 10 minutes.

It is perhaps a little bit more complicated than Jon (and Bill) might make it sound.

Yes, it’s absolutely terrible that upstanding citizens (such as those described here and here) are held and questioned and handcuffed and frisked and sometimes even arrested because they are walking down the street (or opening their own front doors) while being black.

Yes, it’s wrong that blacks are incarcerated at much higher rates than when whites commit  the same crimes.

But let’s compare these three things:

arrestsbyrace

 

For example, “Violent Crimes” are committed by Whites 58.7% of the time, by Blacks 38.9%…

incarcerationrates

Yet Blacks account for 62.1% of the total incarcerated…(and whites 10.7%)

and, according to the Wikipedia article on demographics and race in the United States, Blacks make up just 12.6% of the population.

One could look at Blacks being 12.6% of the population and committing 38.9% of the violent crimes and say that the police are correct in being racially biased — statistics do seem to indicate that a random black person walking down the street is approximately 3 times more likely to commit a “violent crime” than a white person.

One could also look at the incarceration rates, and see racial bias, where a black person is almost 6 times more likely to be incarcerated than a white person.

Not good, no matter how you look at it.

I suppose it’s simplistic to propose these solutions:

Blacks should try to limit their perpetration of crimes to the proportion of their population percentages. (Of course this is ludicrous. Besides, wouldn’t it be better if everyone just tried to commit fewer crimes? There, I’ve solved it. See how easy it was?)

How about, also:

White (not just policeman, but everyone) people should stop assuming if someone is black that that someone is a criminal.

And then, to top it all off (and maybe this is where it needs to start):

Judges should sentence convicted criminals according to the facts and statistics rather than perceptions (that is, racism).

 

I’m only being slightly facetious. I don’t really have any answers. I think it’s a very complicated issue, and we can poke all the fun we want (even though they are all ridiculous and need to be poked fun at), none of this helps us find a solution.

 

It would be nice if we could start with a clean slate. A country which had never practiced slavery; a people who had never been enslaved. A country where your willingness to work hard and apply yourself and strive for achievement and success were the measures by which you were “judged,” rather than by the color of your skin. A country full of citizens who recognize that, while it’s noble to have pulled yourself up by your own bootstraps, some are born without even a pair of boots, and that we all benefit from a more or less level playing field.

I know how lucky I am. I wake up in a comfortable bed every morning with a feather pillow under my head. When it’s chilly I can turn on my furnace and it works. When I need a drink of water I turn on a faucet and fill a glass. My refrigerator and cupboards are full of good, healthy food, and when supplies get low I have the means to replenish them. My children have had access to excellent schools and music lessons and summer camps and summer jobs. We are in so many ways among the luckiest people on the planet, as I imagine are many of you reading this. And still we as a culture hate and discriminate, strike out violently, mistrust each other. Is there a society that does this better to which we can look?

Just as horrifying as the above stories are the stories of people who stop to help someone in need, only to have been tricked and then beaten, robbed, kidnapped, raped, shot. We can keep heading further down this road, where everyone lives in fear of everyone else (civilian or police), no one is helped, nobody trusted. Or we can do something.

But what?

***

And I should have said this in the first place. Shooting ANYONE who has their hands up and is saying “Unarmed. Don’t Shoot” is unconscionable, and should be punished accordingly. If they don’t do this right, everyone’s watching — those with the guns, and those without. This is something that can be done, and better be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

02
Sep
14

another statistic Americans can be proud of; not

minimum_wage_median_wage

Right up there with this one:

infantmortality

This one’s interesting:

us health care costs

 

 

(transl: We spend twice as much but don’t live as long.)

I actually had someone tell me yesterday about a doctor they have whom they really like, but who has closed his practice to new patients because of Obamacare. The reason she gave is because Obamacare patients don’t pay enough. Well, I’m not an Obamacare patient; plus, is it at all possible that doctors are getting spoiled by exorbitant fees? Only Daughter had her foot wrapped in an elastic bandage once and I got billed for ~ $180 for “in office foot wrapping” — this was in addition to the over $100 office call fee, and probably took him about 90 seconds.

So this:

office-visit

seems interesting. I imagine, in an American-centric way, that doctors and their facilities in the United States might be a bit better than those in Chile; but Canada? France?

men&womenincongress

 

Sigh.

I’m sure there are more to belie the claim that the US is “the greatest country on earth,” but I’m finding this activity to be a bit disheartening, so am going to knit, or watch Orange is the New Black, or something.

 

 

31
Aug
14

What the 1% don’t want the rest of us to know

And it’s not just that they make a wholehelluvalot more money than we do.

It’s not too early to start our own Progressive movement.

Firstly, we all need to stop protecting the rights of the 1% just in case that clever gadget we thought of and are going to get around to getting a patent for as soon as we have time ends up becoming the Thneed That Everyone Needs and earns us a bajillion dollars that we want to make sure we can hand down to Junior, even though by then he’ll be spoiled and entitled and lazy.

Secondly, we need to realize that there are worse things than a social safety net. Actually, we need to realize that the benefits of the social safety net make society better for everyone — whether we “need” it or not (we do), it helps us.

I wish people would talk more specifically about the literal costs to us caused by our relatively low tax rates — pay to “play” (sports, drama, music, chemistry class),  constantly deteriorating roads and the resulting depreciation of our vehicles; medical costs despite having what would be considered by many to be enviable health care ($1,100+ for each of Only Daughter’s 2 CAT scans this summer; $385 for Second Son’s cavities filled — and this is WITH dental insurance), college tuition — $7,605 per year, average public university in US in 2010; $4,524 in Canada; in France you can expect to pay an average of €452 per year — yeah, that’s right, €452 (that’s around $585) for MEDICAL SCHOOL.

(I actually love it when people compare us to France, making France sound like such an awful alternative. Yeah, there are all those vacation days and maternity leaves and universal health care; I TOTALLY see what the problem is. And that’s not even taking into account the wine and cheese.)

Anyway, these two will say it way better than I do.

 

30
Aug
14

better feminism

Rather than Beyoncé and her cohorts pole dancing  for 15 minutes and then standing in front of large letters that proclaim their feminism, and getting a lot of credit from women who should know better — like Jessica Valenti — for being “flawless” — The Emperor Has No Clothes!!!, these:

 

And he’s right — we have to stop labeling this a “women’s issue” — this is everyone’s issue.

 

27
Aug
14

true feminism

 

https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=10204250744971795

 

So it’s not just me!

27
Aug
14

date-rape-drug-sensitive nail polish

We should not need this.

We do, but we shouldn’t.

Lacie gets it.

Sigh.




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