Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Atlanta March Against Monsanto in Pictures

The Atlanta March Against Monsanto in Pictures
All pictures were taken at the World Food Day Event held on October 12, 2013 at the Capitol.

Urban Farmer guest speaker

Friday, October 11, 2013

Government Shutdown Continues Funding "Essential" Programs, Not "Non-Essential" Ones

The U.S. Government has shut down.

The government can not decide how to fund everything it has signed up for, so it has shut down.
Unfortunately that does not mean that every aspect of it ceases to run, but that it has determined which aspects of itself are least important, and therefore can be dropped the easiest in case there were a shortage of money.

The programs that have been suspended due to the lack of money available to the United States Government were called "non-essential", and the ones that continue to get funded during a government shutdown (like the senators paychecks) were called "essential" before 1995 when it was changed to"non-excepted" and "excepted"- terms meaning the same thing as the previous ones but are less hurtful to the ears.

Here we will continue to use the original terminology since it is the best insight into how the system views it's people.

Who are considered "essential" to government operations?
  • Congress. 
  • National Security
  • Federal Prisons
  • Disaster Relief
  • For a more complete list, click here.

Who are considered "non-essential" to government operations?
  • Women, Infants, and Children: Support for the WIC program is stopped. 
  • Immigration: The verify system mandated to check if a potential employee is legal to the country or not comes to a halt. People can't get hired.
  • Veterans: Veteran pay stopped. Their service was not essential enough the first time around to be carried over until now?
  • Parks and Museums: You can no longer walk around the woods that are sanctioned as parks.
  • For a more complete list, click here

Maybe what would be best is a complete government shutdown where it comes to an end and lets the people live exactly how they want to live and manage their existenece the way they want to instead of the way they are forced to.

The lists above show us our obvious disconnect with a reality outside of the insignificant pieces of paper that we call dollars, and an obvious disorganization of priorities.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Why Bras are Unhealthy and Oppressive

Bras are unhealthy and I find them to be oppressive.

What are the health risks for wearing a bra?
  •  Stifled lymphatic system in breasts causing a build-up of toxins. Prime cancer environment. 
  • Weakened muscles and tendons in breasts from never being used. Cause for sagging. 
  • Back pain and posture issues. 
  • Increased breast temperature, leading to problems with hormones. 
  • Restricted circulatory system, leading to lack of nutrients supplied to breasts. 
Beyond the health issues, I personally find them to be oppressive. Some women find them the opposite, and that is purely a personal preference. 

Bras feel oppressive to me because they are covering up the shape of who I really am and camouflaging them to blend in with every other bra-wearing set of breasts. It pulls them up slightly for more optimal viewing, and turns them into what a woman's breast should look like-- even if it isn't comfortable.

There are women who find bras to be the opposite of that view, and I think that for women who actually enjoy wearing bras that is a great thing and worth discussing. Some women see bras as a great way to express their sexuality and their individuality, and all the power to them for that. 

Which side of the bra debate do you fall on?

Friday, October 4, 2013

Beauty Pageants: Another Way Women Oppress Themselves

Oppression by one group of people over another is cruel and intolerable, but oppression by on group of people over themselves is something that seems puzzling and worth questioning and investigating.

The US beauty pageant circuit is a multi-billion dollar industry that is mostly run by women, for women, and is commonly understood amongst contestants and their families to be positive for women. The more realistic truth about beauty pageants is that it is probably holding back women's equality and their potential bright and meaningful futures that as a society we should want our women to have.

These pageants are women's unintentional way of oppressing themselves and the young, impressionable women involved not only by teaching and instilling shallow and almost meaningless values that work against women's progressivism in them, but also by the absurd amount of money that is spent each year (or rather wasted each year) on an event that does little more than teach young girls that their worth is in their appearance and that being liked, pretty, and popular is more important than education and other actions which could lead to a more productive, fulfilling, and world-changing life.

Entry fees cost $50-$200 on average, dresses cost $600 on the lower end and upward of $3,000 on the higher end. Then there are the traveling and hotel expenses, prop expenses, swimsuit and "outfit of choice" expenses which can range up to the thousands of dollars, and then of course the expenses of the fancy accessories, shoes, makeup, hair, spray tanning, and nails.

One to three of these pageants could pay for the extended education for a young girl.

The amount of money spent may seem irrelevant in the cases of families who have more money than they know what do to with, but many, if not most of the families who push their young girls though the pageant circuits are finding themselves strapped for cash and heading towards debt if they're not there already.

This means that many of the young girls will not have the money left over after these frivilous and shallow pageants to go to school, learn a skill, or pursue other avenues of their creativity and passion which is bound to be more important that winning "Prettiest Hair" or "Most Photogenic".

This is just another way we are perpetuating the past and current problems in society, and things are not going to change until we can stop cutting ourselves open just to watch ourselves bleed-- much like we seem to be doing when we waste our valuable resources, energy, and children's youth on a bunch of made up charades.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Capitalism is Violent

Oh you're a pacifist? Then you must not be a capitalist either.

You mustn't drive cars, buy products from stores like Wal-Mart, or participate in the judicial system which condones state-sanctioned murders, or back the police or military who carry around weapons to use them.
Capitalism is violent. 

What is violence?

Perhaps a standard sort of "anything that brings harm to someone else" would suffice, but what are we really talking about here?

Violence is not a thing, just like happiness is not a thing. Things can be violent, or have violent tendencies, or even degrees of violence in or about them. It is more like a scale that is present everywhere, but is just at 0 when no violence is present.

How is capitalism violent?

  • Driving most cars burns fossil fuels which harms the environment, causing direct harm to animal and plant life, and direct and indirect harm to people. 
  • Many of the products sold in stores like Wal-Mart are made in sweat shops, causing direct harm to the laborers working in dangerous and unfair conditions.
  • The judicial system cages, practices some forms of torture, and then murders some prisoners. Very obviously violent. 
  • The military- Very obviously violent. 
  • Hierarchies and the patriarchy that capitalism maintains as a fixture act in violent ways through social and personal oppression, often times acting out aggression in the form of hate crimes and social opportunities not allowed.
What other ways can you think of that show how violent capitalism is?

Monday, September 16, 2013

Blurred Lines and Patriarchy: America's Default Setting

Loved the catchiness of the song, couldn't believe the music video. Three girls topless, wearing only a g-string, and two guys, fully clothed-- wearing layers even.

Not too terribly shocking, but still appalling.
Not too incredibly surprising to see women be alright with being portrayed in such ways, but still sad and counterproductive for our culture.

Gender equality will never be a reality if people don't believe it first themselves. It starts with women realizing their worth, standing up for their own dignity and respect, and realizing that they are so much more than sex objects who are only their physical attributes.

These women saw the video above, and made their own version.

Once women start believing it themselves, real changes can start happening in our culture.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Corporate Welfare

In 2006 the U.S. Government spent almost double on corporate welfare than they did social welfare. 

In 2013, in the midst of crippling economic crisis, the "Fiscal Cliff" Deal mentioned higher taxes on the wealthy, but then was packed full of corporate welfare. You know, so that Disney, Goldman Sachs, and other companies could be given tax breaks and incentives.
Perhaps if the people at the very top all agreed to not require such high profits and earnings for themselves, the rest of the world could earn a dollar too.

What is Corporate Welfare?
Corporate Welfare is the term used to explain the phenomenon of the government granting tax breaks, money grants, incentives, or other favorable, unfair treatments to corporations as if they were people.

Who's benefiting from corporate welfare just in Fiscal Cliff Deal and how much?
Source- Huff Post, and Washington Post, and Truthout.
  •  Rum Industry- $222 million
  • Owners of Nascar- $78 million
  • Film Industry- $248 million
  • Banks and Manufacturers- $9 billion
  • Goldman Sachs- $1.6 billion
  • Disney- $150 million

They say there's no money, but that sounds like a lot of money to me. I wonder how many people could have been taken off the street, fed and clothed with that money. How many schools could have been built and houses fixed. What health care could have been provided and all that people could have been taught with that money.

All things that most likely would have helped move us forward as a whole and done more good than whatever these executives ended up doing with the money has.