Category Archives: Diversity

The Implicit Association Test as a B.S. Repellent

FF_raves_gates1_f[1] The Gates arrest controversy brought with it a storm of comments from conservatives as to how racism is dead and that we can now move forward with the meritocricy that has been true for a long time in this race-blind country. Yep, you betcha. The only problem with this assertion? That’s right, it is not true in any way, shape, or form.

The Implicit Association Test viewable at the linked Harvard website lays to rest the conservative “race-blind” myth.   The test reveals that racism is alive and well even though many who genuinely believe that they are free of racism, in truth, really are not.  Including, yours truly, the author of this post.  The IAT is one of those pesky reminders that we have not grown much past our Jim Crowe roots.  My test results revealed that I have a strong preference for European whites over African Americans.

Take the test to find out the truth about yourself.

iggydonnelly

41 Comments

Filed under Diversity, Life Lessons, racism, Wingnuts!

A reasonable change of perspective in an unreasonable situation.

It was quite a treat to come home last week and find I’d been offered the chance to write something for this website. It is certainly one I read and admire. As the week went on, I struggled though; most of what I write isn’t all that political. What could I possibly contribute? Then came the encounter between Professor Gates, the Cambridge Police Department, and the subsequent reaction by President Obama.

In short, I see the President’s handling of this as a great positive, a leap forward over what we endured over the past eight years. But first, a little personal revelation so you’ll know where I am coming from.

I’m a cop. I’m starting my 25th year of service at one of the largest police departments in the country. I’ve worked in our local school system; I’ve been a detective. I started our department’s domestic violence unit. I currently work on the street as a sergeant in an inner city neighborhood. I’m also the senior member of our Hostage Negotiation Team. I teach a mental health intervention class. I’ve been busy. The thought of my oncoming retirement makes me smile.

The facts of the encounter between Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Sergeant James Crowley have come out in dribs and drabs. Few, and certainly none of us, know the entire circumstance. There have been no shortage of opinions floated by folks who don’t have any perspective on the situation. Sadly, one of them was the President.

On the one hand, I can’t blame him. He stood behind a person he considers a friend, whose background he knows and respects. If one of my friends ended up in hot water, my first instinct would be to rise to their defense.

On the other, I know that folks in my profession are painted with a broad brush. If Crowley and his department are painted as bumbling and racist, the reality is that that assessment and situation will color how people approach me and the officers I supervise hundreds of miles from Cambridge. Bumbling and racism are things I do not tolerate. So, I was a little frustrated with the President’s reaction. I voted for him, how could he do this to me? Continue reading

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Filed under Diplomacy, Diversity, Ethics, Obama

PATRICK J. BUCHANAN ARGUES WHITE MEN ARE IMPORTANT TOO!

Watching Buchanan on the Rachel show last night I sat there a gasp listening to him.

Citing it was white men who ratified the Constitution and white men who died fighting for the freedom of the country and its people, that white men fought at Gettysburg and throughout the Civil War — it was white men who formed this country into the greatest nation in the world.  That indeed white men are due the credit and are entitled to the consideration.  He sounded more like what you might hear at a Klan meeting  justifying the stance of white superiority.

He all but denied the contributions of women and minorities who also fought and died, those who struggled in the same efforts to form this nation. When Rachel pointed out that all but a select few of the Supreme Court were white men throughout the history of the United States, Buchanan stated that is as it should be since it was white men who created the country.

Buchanan stated his objection to Sotomayor was she is a affirmative action selection and nothing more.  He contends President Obama passed over many others who were better qualified, that her selection was based solely on the facts she is a woman and a minority. Buchanan thinks her selection is sexism and racism in action.   His opinions aren’t, her selection is!  I disagree with him as she is well qualified due to her experience and education.

I will agree with him that yes, there have been times where better qualified white men have been passed over for less qualified minorities and women. It is the fatal aspect of the way that affirmative action has been enacted — placing the real value of the person on the color of their skin or their gender.  This is not different then the way that affirmative action was meant to correct.  In the case of Sotomayor it was a win-win in my opinion, she is more than a brown store mannequin.

But I have seen the worst possible outcomes in other cases. In those cases it would have been better to have just paid them to stay at home and still be able to claim them as one of the category that was to be filled. There was no difference by having them come to work.

Buchanan was stating his truths but he was wrong in how he was citing his facts. Minorities and women have been a valuable asset to this country. Not just adding color or babies to the building of this nation.

The color of ones skin is only the outer aspect of a person and the real fault or value it what is maintained within. The gender of a person is not the deciding factor of one’s contribution or is more than window dressing.  My youngest son is a far better cook then my daughter but then again my daughter is the best at financial matters in the family. Gender does not limit or enhance a person’s natural abilities. The color of skin does not dictate one’s manner or actions.  In most cases it is the person that dictates their manner and action.

Racism and sexism are wrong no matter which way it goes, I do not see a minority or a woman as a threat to my future. Buchanan missed the point he was trying to make by the way he stated it.

tosmarttobegop

25 Comments

Filed under Diversity, U. S. Supreme Court, Woman Power

Dude! The word is “em-path-ic”

Excuse me my while I exercise my “pronunciation-police inner-child” – but this honorable Jon Kyle from Arizona needs to learn the English language.  There is no such word as “em- pa-thet-ic”, it is pronounced “em-path-ic”.  If you can’t say it correctly, I suspect that’s a sign you don’t have it and maybe can’t relate to it.

Boy, these dudes are just going to look bad in this whole process.  As Lindsey Graham even said, “unless you have a complete melt-down, you  [Sotomayer] are going to be nominated.”

Watch the hearings here.

It is really difficult to read her face.  She is looking very stoic so far.

18 Comments

Filed under Diversity, Obama, Republicans, Woman Power

Love doesn’t know gender

bombayqueeryearLove won a battle in Delhi, India, where The Delhi high court ruled that treating consensual gay sex as a crime was a violation of fundamental rights protected by India’s constitution, and decriminalized homosexuality.

It’s a small step as the ruling only applies to the country’s capital, Delhi, and could still be challenged in India’s supreme court. The ruling is the first of its kind in the deeply conservative country.

Sex between people of the same gender has been illegal in India since a British colonial era law classified it as “against the order of nature.” According to the law, gay sex is punishable by 10 years in prison. While actual criminal prosecutions are few, the legislation has frequently been used to harass people.

Read more here.

fnord

3 Comments

Filed under Diversity, GLBT Rights, World Politics

Hemispheric Asymmetries and Political Positions

Dr. Jill Bolte Taylor, a Harvard brain scientist writes of her stroke that she had when she was 37 years of age.  Her stroke resulted from a brain hemorrhage that damaged the left side of her brain.  She’s a neuroanatomist by training.  Prior to describing her stroke and recovery she provides a chapter on brain “hemispheric asymmetries”.

Just as a cautionary note, we all use both sides of our brains.  The right and left hemisheres should be thought of as complimentary halves of a whole and not as seperate brains.  They do have differing specializations, however.

The right side of the brain allows us to:  remember isolated moments with uncanny clarity; recognize faces; the present moment is the only time period that is recognized; there is no defined rules about the correct way of doing things; intuition and empathy are processed on the right side of the brain. From the book: “The present moment is a time when everything and everyone are connected together as one.  As a result, our right mind perceives each of us as equal members of the human family” (p. 30).

Our left hemisphere  is organized around language Language is understood and produced in the left hemisphere. The left side of our brain thrives on facts and details.  There is a constant flow of brain chatter that comes from the left mind.  The left side defines our sense of self.  Time is organized and sequential.  Academic skills are processed on the left side our brains.

After reading the book, and I highly recommend it, I had thoughts that perhaps conservatives have some degree of right hemispheric dysfunction.  Not having empathy, not seeing interinconnections amongst us all, etc. would be clues to this possiblity.

What do you bloggers think of this latter “insight”?  Is it delusion or possibility?

iggy donnelly

12 Comments

Filed under Book Reviews, Creativity, Diversity, Political Reform, Populists, Republicans, Thinking/Considering

A POOR MAN TRIP TO THE BEACH.

“I want to go skinny dipping!“, his wife was shocked as her husband stood and stripped off his boxer styled swim trunks. He look down at her seeming to be waiting for her in turn, his middle aged body naked in the sun on the white sand beach. Finally he conceded she was not so willing and turn to run into the crystal clear waters. It was cool and comfortable as the waters wrapped around his body, he dove into the bright waters. The beach was secluded not much chance of others to stumbling upon them. So why not? He had always wondered what the attraction was in swimming in the nude and now he would know!

It felt wonderful, he was a part of nature and seemed one with the universe. Odd how that piece of cloth had seem to represent all there was in life that held him back from being apart of the world. He had never thought of a swim suit as being a shield from being all there was but now he truly felt free of the restrains of a work-a-day world.
He stood looking down into the clear water and he could make out fishes were swimming around him and there were colorful coral about. He now wish he had a scuba mask but failing that he chose to duck down and open his eyes in the salty water to get a better look.
*******

Ed awoke to the sweltering heat, the couch he was laying on for a mid-day nap was wet.

His eyes were stinging from the salty liquids that leaked in as it flowed from his forehead.

It had been such a beautiful dream to be intruded into by the realities of life.

He sat up and cursed the fan that set on the coffee table at the end of the couch for its failure to drive the heat away. No air conditioning as that was a luxury he could ill afford no matter how hot it was.

The outside temperature had reach one hundred and three degrees and he did not care to know just how hot it was in the house. It was Saturday and one of two days off from his job on the loading dock of Mitchell Oil. His only want at this point was to escape the heat he had to work in five days a week. But that too was not to be.

It than occurred to Ed there was one escape to the heat, the pool his wife had gotten at the department store.

For twenty dollars it was just big enough for the two of them yet seldom did they both get in it.

He worked one shift and she another, life did not often give them a common time frame to share.

He tee shirt and blue jean cut-offs were so soaked with sweat that they clung to him like a baby Opossum in fear for its life clings to its mother. The wet material seemed more a part of his own skin then clothing.

It made him even more irritable and wanting relief so he knew what must happen the pool was calling.

****

The back screen door was sticking once again, he had not figured out whether the house was settling or the door was just warped? At this point it did not matter to him just the need to get out, caused him to lay a foot to the wood frame. The door flight open and damn near came back on him but he caught it with a hand.

The back yard was turning brown as the grass was not being watered. Ed looked to the fence, it had upset him the day he came home from work to notice the weather worn privacy fence that enclosed the back yard!

“How could that woman have brought a damn fence?” he had thought to himself. Money was so tight and this was a luxury to him.

He confronted her as soon as he walked in the door, she explained that the drunk neighbor had noticed her in the pool. He mocked and ridiculed her in her dress like swim suit with the little skirt that hid her bulging thighs. And butt that had changed shape from the High school days when she was proud of how she looked in her tight fitting Jeans. In a fit of embarrassment and anger she called a local fencing company to see how much a Privacy fence would cost? The cheapest one was a fence they had intended to haul to the dump as it was an old fence they had just replaced. Set up and material had emptied out the little saving but she felt it was worth it. He was feeling like hitting something and the thought was the drunken neighbor.

But this was one of those neighborhoods that the toss of a coin would tell if the guy walking down the street might be armed. She seemed to read his mind and told him to let it go and set down.

But now he stood in the back yard looking to see if anyone was around the fence. Though old and worn the fence did give a good level of privacy. He was assured he was alone and the thought of the water feeling good took over.

The tee shirt damn near ripped at his attempt to strip it off, if someone was watching they would have sworn that he was in a wrestling match with a Mexican wrestler. Twisting and turning in convulsions as the material slipped here and clung there. Finally all gave and it slipped over his head and he threw it at the back steps. Next was his cut-offs they gave with little effort and they too took a flight toward the steps.

He stepped into the pool and sat down, the water only came to his belly button. But was cooler then the air around him. He laid back and let the water flow over his body only his face and round belly was exposed.

He closed his eyes after resting his head on the edge of the pool.

Soon he was back in the clear water off the white sandy beach, where the beach was did not matter.

Any beach would do, he was free of the work-a-day world again in this little pool in a browning back yard of a neighborhood that had lost its luster from its once was.

tosmarttobegop

7 Comments

Filed under Diversity, Kansas, Life Lessons

Supreme Court: Strip-Search of 13 Year-Old Girl, Improper

 

 The only “non’-‘duh” moment of this opinion came from Supreme Court Justice Thomas Clarence when he departed from the 8-1 majority and indicated:

“. . . the court’s ruling put school officials in an ‘impossible spot’ because it did not make clear what kinds of rule infractions would justify a more intrusive search. ”

Read more here.

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Filed under Diversity, GLBT Rights, hate groups, Life Lessons, Populists, Radical Rightwing groups, Religion, Republicans, Wingnuts!

Shawn’s Famous Friends — PAUL SIMON

“At one point, a young guy came by saying he needed a place to stay while he was in London, so he moved in too. His name was Paul Simon. He had bad management at the time, so I introduced him to my then manager, a man named Ashley Kozack. Ashley took over his career, and it began to flourish.”  

Shawn Phillips: “There are 3 to 4 thousand extremely wealthy people who run the world. They don’t care about humanity. The last thing they want is peace. I simply try to say that if the individual finds peace, then the world finds peace. That’s the way we neutralize them.”

4 Comments

Filed under Diversity, History, Music

Shawn’s Famous Friends — THE BEATLES

Okay, I know. This is really becoming annoying, huh? Addictive personality, WHO ME? Yes me. I admit it, freely. So instead of working on that defect of charcter here at PrariePops for all to see, maybe I can try to twist it into something positive.

Those of you who know me here know that I’ve been shamelessly promoting my favorite artist Shawn Phillips http://www.shawnphillips.com/. That can’t be all bad, The Friggin Loon has started listening to Shawn. So instead of doing a disservice to him, (by making you all bitter through my own obsessive behavior) I’ll take a different approach. A series of videos featuring Shawn’s more well known friends. Gauranteed to blow your mind!  ~sekanblogger

 “I was invited a couple of times to Paul McCartney’s and George Harrison’s house. We were on a very friendly basis. Paul invited me to a session, and I ended up singing background vocals on “Lovely Rita Meter Maid”, and we saw each other socially many times after that, at the Moody Blues house, and various clubs around London. I gave George some basic lessons on sitar, before he ever actually met Ravi Shankar. It was basically the same with John and Ritchie (Ringo). Although, I never went to their houses.” 

“Very nice guys, every single one of them. John Lennon and I got along very very well. George was really the quietest one. He was quite an introvert. He didn’t really finger pick, but he was a much better guitarist than a lot of people give him credit for. When we sat around jamming, he would play things that just absolutely amazed me! It wasn’t what he played; it was the speed at which he’d play them. He never really showed off that side on any of the Beatles’ records. That guy could jam and he’d play these amazing runs.”  – Shawn Phillips

LYRICS HERE Continue reading

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Filed under Creativity, Diversity, History, Lyrics, Media, Music, Tributes

Led Zeppelin Meets Hawaii Five-O

In case you’re wondering about Top Of The Pops, It has been the British equivelent of American Bandstand for many decades, and the magazine is a sister publication.  http://www.bbc.co.uk/totp/  The song above was the theme song.

The song below was the ‘flip-side’ of a long gone curiosity, 45rpm vinyl records. ~sekanblogger  

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Filed under Diversity, Music

BIG BROTHER IN REVERSE? ~sekanblogger

  Did you ever think it was silly when you hear people say, WE’RE WITNESSING HISTORY! My first thought was always, “GEE, isn’t every waking moment ‘witnessing history’?” I know, I’m just parsing words. What they surely mean is that we are witnessing milestones, tipping points if you will.

Remember the good ol’ days of the internet, say 8-10 years ago in ancient internet times? We had these quaint things called ‘chat rooms’ and ‘message boards’? I thought that was so cool. Leaving a message that somebody on another continent could read. Wow. Not quite what Kubrick envisioned in 2001 A Space Odyssey. But to me, very cool. My Aunt and Uncle were Kansas dairy farmers who just got electricity and plumbing in the mid 1950’s.

So what’s the big milestone? The Iranian (so-called) election, or rather the way it is being exposed! A phony rigged election in a theocracy, I have no doubt that will happen again. The milestone is that we have reached the age of super-connectivity. An exponential proliferation of connectivity, made possible by; Emails, Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, del.icio.us, Digg this!, Linkedin, Reddit and RSS feeds.

Not to mention the old fashioned thing you’re reading now, a blog post. Many blogs are networked to ALL of these, making them accessible practically everywhere. And, here’s the Big Brother part, the proliferation of cheap mobile devices that access any or all of these in virtually real-time.

No longer can an oppressive nation publish strictly controlled press releases and suppress the truth for any period of time. Even though the Iranian govt has tried, the networks have just become overwhelming! Just as electrical grids are re-routed when one connection fails, modern networking has proved to resistant to attempts to block and disrupt the flow! I believe that the 2009 Iranian farce elections should be held as an epic moment, just as Tienamen Square is now.

The Iranian people were not allowed to be counted in their own country, dismissed as mere ‘motes of dust’. They will not be dust to the rest of the world. Their voices have become a swarm on every network possible. The age of governments hiding their deeds behind ‘iron curtains’ is over. We, the citizens of the world can be the antithesis of the Owellian Big Brother. Let North Korea’s people be heard next!

WHO'S WATCHING WHO?

WHO'S WATCHING WHO?

Okay, enough playing politics for NOW. For more about networks – Continue reading

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Filed under Diplomacy, Diversity, Elections, Evolution, hate groups, History, Media, New Technology, Political Reform, Populists, Religion, Research, World Politics

Practice for the New Millennium by the Dalai Lama

The Practice:

1. Spend 5 minutes at the beginning of each day remembering we all want the same things (to be happy and be loved) and we are all connected to one another.

2. Spend 5 minutes breathing in, cherishing yourself; and, breathing out cherishing others. If you think about people you have difficulty cherishing, extend your cherishing to them anyway.

3. During the day extend that attitude to everyone you meet. Practice cherishing the “simplest” person (clerks, attendants, etc) or people you dislike.

4. Continue this practice no matter what happens or what anyone does to you.

These thoughts are very simple, inspiring and helpful.

The practice of cherishing can be taken very deeply if done wordlessly, allowing yourself to feel the love and appreciation that already exists in your heart. 

dalai2

“I was six when I saw that everything was God, and my hair stood up, and all,” Teddy said. “It was on a Sunday, I remember. My sister was a tiny child then, and she was drinking her milk, and all of a sudden I saw that she was God and the milk was God. I mean, all she was doing was pouring God into God, if you know what I mean.”  J.D. Salinger -(Teddy, 1954)

I would like to ask a question. This is the same question I ask every new minister at our church. Do you believe that men like Ghandi and the Dalai Lama will be punished in the afterlife, for no other reason than not being called a Buddhist or Hindu? ~sekanblogger

21 Comments

Filed under Diplomacy, Diversity, Life Lessons, Religion

Dan Froomkin Fired???

297540-babin25.gif

Popular blogger at the Washington Post, Dan Froomkin, was given his walking papers today.  He was told that his widely viewed blog White House Watch “wasn’t working any more.”

I personally find this action by the WAPO deeply disturbing.  Every time I would post to Froomkin’s blog, he’d include my remarks, and comment on them.  He was the epitome of what blogging is supposed to be about.  I think he loathed G.W. Bush even more than I did, which is truthfully hard to conceive.

I think I will boycott the Washington Post website from now on…  Please join me in this protest.

Iggy Donnelly

9 Comments

Filed under Cheney, Diversity, Economics, GLBT Rights, Other blogs, Radical Rightwing groups, Religion, Republicans, Wingnuts!

BLACK MESSIAH by The Kinks

Since it’s Juneteenth, and the Senate formally apologizes for slavery, well…. all us crackers may as well admit it. The picture in the hall at your local church is all wrong. THE MESSIAH IS BLACK! Read lyrics, listen to song, comment. ~sekanblogger

 Everybody got the right to speak their mind
So don’t shoot me for saying mine
Everybody talking about racial equality
‘Cos everybody’s equal in the good Lord’s eyes
But if I told you that God was black
What would you think of that
I bet you wouldn’t believe it

There’s a self made prophet living right next to me
He said the Black Messiah’s gonna come and set the whole world free
He looked at me with his evil eye and prophesied
And he really believed it

He said a Black Messiah is gonna set the world on fire
And he no liar, ‘cos he has truly heard the word
Everybody talk about racial equality
But I’m the only honky living on an all black street
They knock me down ‘cos they brown and I white
Like you wouldn’t believe it

They say a Black Messiah is gonna set the world on fire
A Black Messiah is gonna come and rule the world
Everybody talk about racial equality
Everybody talk about equal rights
But white’s white, black’s black and that’s that
Everybody got the right to speak their mind
So don’t shoot me for saying mine

Everybody talking about racial equality
You hear everybody talking about equal rights
But white’s white, black’s black and that’s that
And that’s the way you should leave it

Don’t want no Black Messiah to come and set the world on fire
A Black Messiah is gonna come and rule the world
Everybody got to show a little give and take
Everybody got to live with a little less hate
Everybody gotta work it out, we gotta sort it out
Everybody got the right to speak their mind
So don’t shoot me for saying mine

10 Comments

Filed under Creativity, Diversity, Humor, Lyrics, Music, Religion