Why I just gave Bernie Sanders 25 dollars:

save the whales, social awareness
1) He doesn’t give a f***. 
How exciting is that? To have a politician (a socialist and an independent, if that scares you then keep reading, I bet your more of a 

socialist than you would like to think) who refuses to be bought by big business. A politician that is rock solid on his platform. A politician that consistently says the same thing and every bit of it is for the greater good of average Americans. He isn’t catering to anyone’s agenda. He tells it like it is every time. Sadly that’s an anomaly these days. And the number one reason why we MUST rally around this man and this REVOLUTION.

badass

2) I wanna have all of this babies.

But in an effort to skirt a scandal for one of the least scandalous politicians of all time I’ll refrain. Instead channeling my passion into advocating for the first presidential nominee (including my other-other boyfriend Barack) that has made me absolutely giddy. Giddy because he gets me. More over he gets the American people. You know the ones of us who aren’t sitting on mountains of money and influence. Yeah us.

3) Climate Change.

If we’ve had an actual conversation in the past 6 months I have probably made you more than a little queezy with one of my many horror stories about how the planet is in an absolute crisis. Everything from greenhouse gas emissions to nuclear waste is literally a ticking time bomb. I don’t know what needs to be said or shown to make people open their eyes and say what the fuck. Sweet God we have to radically change our ways, individually, nationally and globally. Every time that I think about how to mobilize the masses I envision this protest sign.

politics

I don’t know how else to express that we have 1 major problem, air, water, food. The basic elements for life HAVE to be our number 1 priority. EVERY other issue is second rung. PERIOD.

Much more to come on Bernie’s environmental platform. In a very brief nutshell in 2013 Bernie and Barbara Box introduced the “Gold Standard Climate Bill” that didn’t go anywhere. Why? Because environmental policy reform doesn’t look like profit for the big fossil fuel companies that run our government. I will be outlining that entire bill soon and how it makes real sense for Americans. Until then: he’s tough on green house gas emissions, opposes Keystone and other Pipleins, wants to BAN FRACKING, invest in research and development of alternative energy supplies, creating a clean energy rebate program for average Americans. 

For me. That’s enough. Even if he was a asshole in every other regard I’m so God Damed terrified about the environment (ahheeeemmm where we live and breathe) that I would vote for him on this issue alone. 

4) Civil Rights. 
We are 52 years past the Kennedy administration and we still have to go to the streets, the blessed internet and THE POLLS to secure the dignity and right to LIFE for all people. Fuck. This is getting really old. Yes, the Sanders campaign is strong on economic policy, i.e. picking up millions of people from the poverty line and giving them a fighting change and maybe not as boisterous about #blacklivesmatter as he could be. None the less he is still a champion for black rights, gay rights, women’s rights more so than another presidential contender.

5) Economic reform. 

This is his sticking point. The one thing that every single average American should be jumping up and down about. He’s hard on big financial institutions and he speaks to the people: Do you want a raise? Yup me too. Unfortunately the cost of living and the willingness for most businessmen  to pay their employees a dignified wage isn’t a priority for any of the other purchased politicians. Let me join him in his plea. This is basic human rights. The right of people who work full time to be making enough money to feed their families. I encourage your to listen to this story about how the CEO of Aetna realized that his companies pay scale was inhumane.

Sadly we have allowed for the rich to get richer and the poor to get well children.
SES is real. At the end of the day, racial issues, sexism, access to eduction, the national debt crisis of most individual Americans all stem back to opportunity.  Not like the illusion of the American dream, or the Romney strategy of why don’t you just ask your parents for a loan opportunity. But the right of every person to have a standard quality of life in one of the richest countries in the world. 

6) Nuclear policy. 
Uhhhhhh. I seriously get so emotional talking about the myriad of nuclear issues in our own country and globally. Bernie is real hope for the safety of our planet and our people.
He is firm on limiting nuclear power plants in this country. Issuing a moratorium on new licensure and at the very least getting the nuclear power industry off of the government’s teat. I encourage you to listen to this speech he gave after Fukushima regarding nuclear power plants in the US. 

I am also heart broken over all of the Superfund sites across the country. The poisoning— radiation— of our people, our water supply and our land. If you would like to give your self a big ‘ol cry today google it.  All around us are nuclear contaminated sites giving babies horrid forms of cancers. These are the poster children for the nuclear Superfund sites. Mind you these are the places that the EPA has distinguished as that dire. I am hopeful with a new wave political consciousness that Bernie represents that there will be a real effort to clean up our toxic waste lands and to prevent future disasters.

5 more reasons to come. Please digest this. Please do your own research. If you feel compelled to see real CHANGE for the betterment of the American people and the planet please consider getting the word out about Bernie Sanders.  

If your on all ready aboard the Bernie train then please consider donating your time and/or money to the cause. I have set up my fundraising page with a goal of $500 dollars. Even though I was head over hills for Obama I never actually gave him a penny. Because it seemed like my teeny tiny contribution a drop in the bucket was a waste of my personal (precious) money. Bernie is different. His entire campaign is funded though small donations from average Americans. He is NOT ACCEPTING CORPORATE MONEY. Is this a disadvantage? Absolutely not. It means that his money is where his mouth is. It means that his campaign is going to be grassroots, not flashy. It means that my $25 dollars today will be well spent.

JOIN THE REVOLUTION now or later! I won’t stop bugging you to open your eyes and vote for your own best interests. 

-Reg
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I figured out what’s wrong with the world and the solution. You’re welcome.

Ever Sophia, social awareness

You know what’s wrong with our world? We’ve raised our children to be assholes. 1,000 years ago, 2 generations ago, me, you, mine and yours.

I’m 6 and a half years into to motherhood. And everyday I see things with new eyes. Everyday my baby becomes more and more like the adult version of her self and today I was alarmed.

Alarmed for the second time in 7 days. Tonight a little boy and her were playing in the pool with a raft with a rope on it. The little boy got tangled in the rope that Ev was pulling and was drug under the water for a few seconds. He wasn’t hurt just panicked. It wasn’t malicious on Ever’s part simply an accident. But the fucked up thing was when he started flipping out she swam over to him untangled him from the rope slyly and swam away. We pulled the little boy out, he was fine just shook but Ev kept her distance.

When Julius asked Ever very nicely to go apologize to the boy and see if he was okay, she refused. In a bashful way more so than in a defiant way but none the less she refused to apologize.

Parenting confession. This wasn’t the first time that a demanded apology was denied. In fact the majority of the time that’s her m.o. To stop just short of actually looking guilty and then execute a finely orchestrated dance of avoidance and refusal to apologize. Because, we all know, an apology concedes guilt.  

Maybe if today was any other day I would have reprimanded lightly and turned a blind eye. But it was today.

The day that my boyfriend texted me that his day was shit. He came home. I was fueled with a laundry list of anecdotes and condolences. To no avail my normal I’m sorry that worked sucked speech doesn’t counter you read a litany of news reports today about your fellow Black Americans being murdered by a regime that was put in place to ‘protect and preserve’ white men. The same white men shrouded in the a mythological concoction of the divine conducting themselves under the collective delusion that one man deserves life and another does not. Topped of by the nagging notion that even if you flea this country there is no place where you would be safe, safe from judgement, safe from persecution, safe from ignorance and violence. 

How do you pick up the puddle of anger and disbelief that is the light of your life from that kind of day. (A day not unlike any day before or any day to come). Welp you brainstorm. You fire out suggestions. You offer hope and the ridiculous. Here’s what I came up with:

-You can go to Cleveland to the #blacklivesmatter conference. It may give birth to the next big organized results producing civil rights movement.
-You can channel your rage into your writing, the pen is mightier than the sword after all.
-You can help organize the people of color for the Bernie Sanders campaign. There’s real hope there.
-We can move to a hippy commune, start our goat farm and never consume media again.
-Finally— just because my boyfriend is a super sci-fi nerd and often gets angry at me when I tell him that given no set of hypothetical situations would I actually travel through space with him— you can start the first Black colony on Mars.

He wasn’t really feeling any of my options, except for dissembling all of our household appliances to make a time machine or at least preoccupy his mind for the rest of his life laboring towards the absurd. Ohh and going to a former nuclear bomb site to acquire enough radiation to get super powers and then exterminate all of the terrible people in the world.

At least I got a good laugh or two.

In the midst of that my daughter refused to apologize to a little boy for hurting him. Awwwwhhhhh hell no. 

Granted this giant ball of– evil is continuing to prevail and the Earth is literally in the midst of the worst case scenario for the continuity of sustainable human life– may have exacerbated my even keeled parenting demeanor. 

Fair or not. I’ll be damned if I raise another shit head that will keep perpetuating unaccountability and disregard for other HUMANS and CREATURES as their equal. We’ll be good God damed to quote my man.

So Ever got snatched out of the pool and we went promptly home. While getting a speech littered with words about 10 years over her head. But she understood the inflection. Mama is pissed.

Really stewing. Weighing all of these things that I know to be true about me, her, the universe. Then concluding that the time has come. You see I wrote this paper entitled The Reality of Tiger Mom a year ago and can’t seem to shake it from my mental reservoir of solid parenting advice. (You should probably read it, I think it’s pretty fucking interesting but I’m biased). Here’s the part that always sticks out in my mind, uncoincidentally Ever has arrived at the age of understanding and I’m 8 months late to the Tiger Mom game.

” ……As the author’s hypothesis predicted Chinese immigrant mothers in this study highly endorsed the authorative caregiving style (Cheah et al., 2009, p.316). They were also found to support independence in their young children more so than their American counterparts. A major cultural difference of note is the Chinese concept of the age of understanding begins at six years old. Cheah et al. explains that before this time that the mothers are, “…lenient, warm, and affectionate towards infants and very young children” (Cheah et al., 2009, p.316). After the age of six children are held to a new standard and stricter discipline is imposed. This concept is the product of Confucian belief (Cheah et al., 2009, p.312.) At the age of understanding and beyond highly authorative mothers balance their goal-oriented demands with early self-regulation (Cheah et al., 2009, p.317). Importantly, Chinese mothers emphasize an awareness of the child’s impact on others through reasoning and induction (Cheah et al., 2009, p.317).

The children’s outcomes at the time of the study correlated to the widely held authorative parenting style outcomes. The Mainland Chinese parents that used this style did so in part by encouraging early self-regulation and emphasizing the child’s autonomy (Cheah et al., 2009, p. 318).

Consequently,
‘These children’s abilities to regulate behavior and attention was related to lower levels of children’s difficulties including emotional symptoms,conduct problems, hyperactivity, and peer problems, as rated by their preschool or day care teacher’ (Cheah et al., 2009, p.318)………”

I give Amy Chau a pretty serious analysis the good and the bad for the record. But at the end of the day being the doting, lackadaisical parent that I am in my heart of hearts is doing my daughter a great disservice. And yes it may have taken me seeing her stone cold reaction to potentially drowning a peer to make me realize that.

We came home. She went in her room after being grounded from electronics (my former stand by for punishment that is actually effective). Still the mash up of how is it possible that there is so much hate and ignorance exists in this world and how to actually effect change did back flips in my mind. 

In the room for round two (yes I know this isn’t parenting book protocol but to my credit Ever is alarmingly intelligent and pretty accustom to my rants) of my verbose speech on how you aren’t going to be a jerk. It went on and on. The take away,
“You will be kind, you will be nice to your friends and strangers. You will show remorse. You will be considerate. You will be empathetic and sympathetic. Peppered with that is the expectation and do you understands. The finally if you are not I will gladly punish you until those reactions become instinctual in you.”

End scene. Almost.

J and I silently went over the facts that the base line issue is the extreme privilege that my child experiences. “She is soo spoiled” seems like a slight misdemeanor charge given all of the terrible issues that can potentially intersect the parenting experience. But oh contraire. She is so spoiled removes her from reality. Yes, there is innocence in being young and naive and I don’t want to entirely spoil that. However, when I busted out the Save the Children commercials tonight the first thing out of Ever’s mouth was, ” Why don’t they have cars? They need cars? And how come those babies are just bones, ohhh that’s what happens when you don’t eat”. Seriously she has no clue. I’m not trying to bring down the white American land of obesity and hate crime hammer on my 6 year old but I sure in the fuck am putting the breaks on the, “Ever is the center of the universe campaign”. Gigs up kid. 

 

Between the State of the Union speech that I gave and the queue of youtube videos about homeless shelters in Michigan, slums of India and cleft palates in Uganda I made Ever fill a grocery bag with toys that she had to give away.

IT WAS THE MOST DEVASTATING THING THAT HAD EVER HAPPENED TO HER. She was violently sobbing. Had snot careening down her face. She meagerly filled the bag with dress up items that she had out grown and books that were less than thrilling. Nope go fill it up more. Pick two stuffed animals. She did an all right job. It was torture for her to give up one small bag of the mountain of useless objects that she plays with. What an allegory for the state of things on our planet in 2015. 


Our night ended with a few more gentle talks about what will go right next time. With a splash of any time that I see you being mean to your friends you will fill up another bag of toys. Tears ohhhh the tears. Tears at the thought of all of the toys that she will lose for being bad. Well Ev you don’t have to lose any more toys if you’re nice plus you could always decide to share.

At the end of the day (literally) I can now honestly say that I don’t believe that children are born innocent and blank canvases. They are born human. There is a primal human desire in everyone of us to sustain our status quo. At the most basic level that’s nutrition and safety but when you are born into swaddling blankets and a world bending over backwards for you the stakes are a little higher. I talk about in that paper about how American parenting philosophy changed drastically after WWII. It is ever changing and settling into a whole new disturbing land of entitlement. What are we gonna do about it? Write it out? Build a time machine? Make your kid give away a bag of toys? It’s my best idea yet.

Maybe even take stock of your own bag of toys and tricks. Maybe you have a little to give. If you can’t get past the devastation of sharing may you at least be kind. 

passing as racially tolerant

social awareness

A few weeks ago a former acquaintance, that’s all it really takes to be facebook friend, posted a rather foul infographic that was well racist in short. Ignorant, intolerant and a really poor reflection of his judgement in reality.

Here it is:
 

Where to start? Maybe that our public education system has systematically failed this country. In so far as not giving 38,100 Facebook users the ability to think critically.

Or maybe with the comment, “You won’t get these kinds of stats from the MSM”. That’s the main stream media to save you the googling effort. Could it be because some journalists have integrity and fact check their sources? Weird.

Of course Mr. TheHannaChannel (a religious extremest and total asshole, see for yourself) would insinuate that Eric Holder (a Black man as made obvious by the photo) thinks that Black Americans are almost unanimously violent criminals. It’s a cute play on peoples simplicity. Awhhh look, pretty pictures, stick figures, confident assertions, better blindly believe them.

I as I often do, was moved to correct him.

[Side track for a sec– J and I are constantly having this discussion.

R: “Oh my God babe, so and so said/did/posted this idiotic thing, can you believe it?”
J: “And then did you tell them everything that was wrong with them and they got pissed off? ”
R: “Well yeah, but….. ”
J:”You are not going to change people, give it up.”
R: I scowl and sulk mostly.

Does sitting idol and watching trash perpetuate across the internet make me an accomplice in ignorance? Maybe, okay completely, my rants are more for me than you. I’m mostly okay with that.

I do have this brilliant bit of data (presented by the ever incredible This American Life it’s a GOOD listen) to support that minds can be changed, though my delivery is rarely as cajoling as the research dictates. Maybe I’ll get finer in time…. maybe.]

Back to the story. To this f-ed up post I responded,
“Here’s the issue Blacks make up 12.3 percent of the American population. Don’t be a sucker for b.s. misconstrued statistics.”

To which the following slew of shit followed:

To be fair Patrick Middleton, your not alone in offering that little pledge to make everyone feel better. We can all get on the better jobs and more education band wagon now can’t we. These are are social theories (save healthcare) that every American politician adds to the top of their campaign platforms. Well except for this…fucktard…that would like to be the next GREAT American president, the one and only Rick Santorum.

Did you catch where he calls Obama a “snob” for wanting all Americans to have access to Community College. Yeah.

Let me give you the benefit of the doubt Pat, maybe in your heart of hearts your a decent person. Maybe you don’t actually believe that “black privilege = murdering whitey”, BUT we would have no other way of judging your actual perspective because you keep posting shit like this above and countless others.

Following was this lovely insight into the real issue. Tell me more, dear enlightened one.

It was going well wasn’t it. You were using multiple syllable words, “statistics are multifocal”— G-damn someone give this man a diploma. Well and then you FUCKING LOST ME, “African Americans commit nearly 85% of crime in America and commit nearly 5 times more violent crime than do Caucasians. [It gets better] This validates the actions of SOME [brownie points for putting that in caps bro] but it certainly increases their chance of having negative interactions with police.” WOW (caps lock).

He does go on and offer some of the standard right wing nut job olive branches: let’s stop the criminal tendencies, let’s get cops to stop MURDERING THE DISPROPORTIONATE FUCK OUT OF YOUNG BLACK MEN, I mean change how they conduct themselves. Tip of the hat.
 
Over dinner I tell J, I got in a semi-internet fight today, wanna read. He does and responds with the following:

Now let’s do what takes some actual effort and look at the statistics from the National
Crime Victimization Survey from 2010 that is cited in the infographic (despite that the FBI have published this reports up until 2013).

Here’s the synopsis (yes I read the entire thing and took notes like a good little scholar):

The study is put out every year by the federal government to track and report information about VICTIMS. There is no information about the RACE OF THE PERPETRATOR. Every single chart and topic in the report discusses the demographics of the victim. The methodology (that it very clearly lays out in the Methods section go figure) explains that this information was gathered from a “representative sample” of American crime victims. They interviewed 73,283 individuals representative of the 18.7 MILLION acts of violence committed against Americans. Let’s give the nay sayers the benefit of the doubt. Let’s say that every victim of crime in 2010 had 2 crimes committed against them. That brings us to 9.35 million victims. At that rate this sample is 127 times smaller than the actual population. That’s a pretty shitty sample size. Which gets better, I’ll explain later.

My next issue is that any good researcher should admmitley acknowledge that all of their data represents reported and documented crimes not actual crime committed. According to the internet consensus over 3 million violent crimes go unreported every year. That puts a wrench in your cut and dry bold faced image huh.

Screen Shot 2015-05-31 at 10.15.12 PM

Here I am scrolling though this puppy with my calculator, prepared to move the decimal place and divide by hispanic origin, until “! Interpret with caution; estimate based on 10 or fewer sample cases, or coefficient of variant is grater than 50%”. Here’s a little stats 101 for those of us who haven’t used math in more than a decade. The coefficient of variant is the relative variability of the population studied. In this particular chart that means the race, sex and hispanic origin of the victim. You find this by dividing the standard deviation by the mean. If you were to attempt to publish any research with N=10 or fewer and C.V = 50% the first peer that reviewed said research would laugh you out of town.

Seriously you couldn’t turn that in to any high school math teach with out getting a D and a stern talking to about how maybe you should actually try next time. To their credit the Department of Justice Statistics clearly explains the following on page 13, “In general an estimate with a smaller standard error provides more reliable approximation of the true value than an estimate with a higher standard error”. It goes on to say very clearly,

“Readers are cautioned not to draw causal inferences based on results presented”.  

Whoops http://www.facebook.com/TheHannaChannel. Maybe you’re not the best at reading comprehension. OR MAYBE YOU PULLED ALL OF THESE NUMBERS OUT OF YOUR ASS AND SLAPPED THE NAME OF THIS REPORT AT THE BOTTOM BECAUSE YOU KNOW THAT YOUR AUDIENCE ISN’T ACTUALLY INTERESTED IN THE FACTS. 

Really this infographic should look like this:

I DUNNO

*BASED ON THE CITED REPORT WE DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT THE RACE OF PERPETRATORS OF CRIMES IN 2010 AND NOTHING ABOUT THE AMOUNT OF POLICE MURDERS OR EVEN SHOTS FIRED.

In fact as a friend pointed out we actually don’t know shit as a country about police murders or shots fired. This Washington Post article by Wesley Lowery puts it rather succinctly. The conclusion: “There is no reliable national data on how many people are shot by police officers each year”. The only data is self-reported and unreliable. There have been a few dedicated researchers that have scoured the internet everyday for a year to gather the best estimations that we have on police shootings.  One effort found in 2011 that there were, “1,146 police shooting of those 607 were fatal in 2011”.

Again being more than generous lets say that police kill 500 civilians yearly  (justified or otherwise). From 1999- 2011(years referenced in the infographic) (thats 12 years) there would by approximately 6,000 police killings. The infographic states that there were a total of 3,281 police killing in those 12 years white and black combined. Maybe we should assume that the other 2,719 police killings were of other minority populations? Or maybe we should assume like everything else on this infographic that it is completely illogical and mathematically unsound in the least. 

Memes that would have actually been useful and accurate based on this 2010 report:

-The rate of total violent crime dropped by 13% in 2010, which is 3 times the annual average decrease.

-Even more impressively, between 1993 and 2001 violent victimization fell by half (granted most of that was in the mid to late 90’s. thanks Clinton).

-From 2001 to 2010 between 6% and 10% of violent crime was committed with a fire arm. That means that guns weren’t involved in 90% of crime. So maybe the one stick figure pointing a gun to the other stick figure’s head wasn’t the most representative choice.

ninja

I’d like to think that most violent crime is a duel between ninjas (the robbery and rape stick figures weren’t as cute for some reason???).

-How about this one that hits close to home:

In 2010 females knew 64% of their violent offenders. Compared to males that knew 54% of theirs. Sounds like something that I wrote about here.

-Or this dose of gender equality for you:

In 2010 for the first time since this report collected these statistics the victimization by sex leveled out. That means that men and women were equally the victims of violent crimes. At 15.7% for men and 14.2% for females in 2010.

Let’s compare that to a corrections.com report about incarcerated offenders in 2010. There were 113,000 female offenders incarcerated verses 1,500,000 male offenders incarcerated. Let’s assume that that’s a reasonable representation of who is committing crimes. That’s over 13 times the number of male criminals than female. Here’s a fun little inference for you men are were increasingly more violent toward women since 1994 when there was less gender equality in violent crime victimization. Now that’s something to write home about.

gender

In conclusion, fuck this stupid infographic and everyone that has the audacity to defend it.

*I debated long and hard about editing out people’s actual names and decided not to. As an adult with a voice you need to be accountable for what you put on the internet. By all means stand by your position as I will mine, but don’t be mad if your words end up on a bigger platform. Accountability folks.