Do The Oppressed Support the Oppressors?

“Contrary to the ‘rugged individualism’ myth Americans fancy about themselves, we are, in fact, wholly dependent on each other. “

An opinion by guest blogger Faizeh Al-Zarqa.  This was originally posted one year ago, but is as relevant today as it was then.

A couple weeks ago, we were watching Samantha Bee and she was showing a clip of Rep. Louis Gohmert rambling on in his usual nonsensical way, and she made some jokes and said something to the effect of “Thank goodness there’s no one crazier than Louis Gohmert!” At that moment, I turned to Drew and said, “Except Steve King.” I had barely finished saying that when she rolled the clip, and Gohmert was relinquishing his time to his colleague and friend Steve King, who went on to say more ridiculous things. In case you don’t remember who Steve King is, he’s the representative from Iowa who loves to say (in seriousness) racist things. Last fall, I watched, live, as he stated that all good things and societal advances have been made by white people. He argued with the other people on the panel when they tried to correct him. He is someone who truly believes white people are superior to others, and more importantly, a whole lot of people think he is a good representative for them.

Science has shown us again and again that when a person or group in power must relinquish any portion of that power, even to make things more equitable, they will often perceive that loss of power as persecution and/or oppression. The interesting thing is that often, groups who have been the minority groups are so socialized to accept the power of the majority group that they will often perceive that loss of power as unjust as well. Our brains are malleable and fascinating! One study on gender equality in the classroom showed that when the teacher purposely made time talking in class equal between genders, both groups perceived that the women were talking 90% of the time and the men only 10%, even though they each had the floor 50% of the time. Typically, men and boys take up about 80% of classroom talking time.

Anyway, back to Steve King. Clearly, he represents a lot of people who are either in agreement with his racial viewpoints, or not bothered by them. Clearly he is able to walk the halls of the capital and make friends with others who are either in agreement or not bothered by them. This is not just your racist uncle you have to try and ignore on holidays.

While it may feel good to punch nazis, that response does nothing beyond giving these people another way to feel persecuted. I would suggest another method- ostracizing them. Stop working with them. Stop tolerating them. Stop f***ing voting for them. Contrary to the “rugged individualism” myth Americans fancy about themselves, we are, in fact, wholly dependent on each other. Denying people our resources and company because they don’t deserve any goodwill will probably not get them to practice self examination, but it will force them to bury those destructive and evil views where they will only eat at the holder of said views.

Faizeh Al-Zarqa is a dancer and dance instructor who also raises awareness of social issues, some that are often missed. In the Kingdom of Caid in the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), she has served as Regent, Minister of Arts & Sciences Officer, Kingdom Chatelaine (administrator for newcomers), Regent, and Queen.

The photo Diversity and Unity is by Frerieke from The Hague, The Netherlands. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

An opinion of a poster to The Loveshade Family Blog does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole family.

Donald Trump Mouth and Brain

To me, Donald Trump being president of the United States is not a Republican/Democrat issue. It’s an American issue, and ultimately a world issue.  There are so many problems here, but for now I’ll focus on one: sounding like a president.

I’ve listened to every president, Republican and Democrat, from the 23rd on (starting with Benjamin Harrison).  They all had one thing in common: all of them sounded like they could be president of the United States.  With one exception: Donald Trump.

Admittedly, when Donald Trump is reading a script written by someone else, Trump sounds like a president.  But when Trump speaks words that actually come from the mind of Donald, we have what’s in the caption.  And more.  We have narcissism, paranoia, immorality, lies, and, in this speech, almost incoherent rambling.

Yes, we’ve had elements of all the above in other presidents.  But none of them came close to The Donald.  Donald Trump, by speech and actions, continually violates the values of the conservative Republicans and Evangelical Christians who supported the man, or veers off into incoherency. I keep hoping that the Republican Party and Evangelical Christians will return to their own values and stop supporting a supreme commander who is supremely unqualified for what is arguably the most important position in the United States of America.

In my opinion, the president of the United States should at least be able to communicate effectively and intelligently without having to use someone else’s words.

In the words of Donald Trump, “And hopefully the brain attached to the mouth.  Right?”

Donald Trump’s speech 5 July 2018
Snopes fact checking of the posted image frrom that speech
The presidents speak from the 23rd on

Thanks to Fred Milton Olsen for sharing the image on Facebook which is how I found this.

An opinion of an individual member of The Loveshade Family does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole family.

School Says Girls Can’t Say No

Girls were not allowed to choose who they danced with at a school dance. (This photo is a substitute for the original which was removed by the publisher; this photo does not depict the school; see details below).

A Utah girl told her mother she couldn’t refuse if a boy asked her to dance at a Valentine’s Day event at her school. The mother complained to her Kanesville Elementary school principal because telling a sixth grade girl she couldn’t say no to a boy is a terrible message. The principal said that’s the policy, and the preteen girl had to do what the boys wanted.

It applies to both boys and girls. What happens if they say no, will they be punished? None of the preteens can say no. Is this 2018 or 1958?

Schools decision to refuse girls right to say no if boys ask them to dance, challenged by pupil’s parent

Photo source.
An opinion of a family member of associate of The Loveshade Family does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole family.

9 Incredible Benefits of Breastfeeding

Mary Cassatt, 1898 – Louise nursing her child

An opinion by guest blogger Jessica M

Breastfeeding is the most natural way of taking care of your little one. It’s an incredible method of nourishing your baby, and its benefits extend beyond the basic nutrition. There is no denying breastfeeding is not compulsory, and the decision to breastfeed or not is a personal choice. It’s a decision that will most likely draw opinions from close friends and family.

In spite of the benefits, breastfeeding is one of the most daunting tasks for new mothers. The challenge is compounded by the fact that some people are completely uncomfortable with it. Some even discriminate against mothers who breastfeed in public. Whether you hate breastfeeding in public or are a new mom who doesn’t like breastfeeding, appreciating these benefits will completely change your mind. Here are some incredible benefits of breastfeeding:

1) Breastfeeding keeps SIDS at bay

Sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) can be caused by a cascade of events that lead to sudden unexplained death before the baby’s first birthday. According to a review of the most recent research studies, both exclusive and partial breastfeeding reduces the risk of SIDS. The longer you breastfeed your baby, the better the protective effect. Although results from the most recent researches vary, there is strong evidence that if you breastfeed your baby for any length of time, they will have a reduced (about 50%) risk of SIDS. Besides, some studies have shown that not breastfeeding your baby subjects them to risk higher than that from maternal smoking.

2) Breastfeeding improves mother-child bonding

There is no denying the process of breastfeeding is astounding. When your baby suckles at the breast, it signals your brain to release a hormone called oxytocin. This hormone also know as the love hormone signals your breast to release the milk and the milk let down encourages the baby to keep feeding.

Ever had a crush? The feeling that you get is precipitated by this hormone. When the baby is suckling, good amounts of oxytocin are released. This hormone makes you experience a gush of affection and love for the baby. Therefore every time you breastfeed your baby, the surge of love helps you to bond perfectly with your baby.

3) Breastfeeding helps you lose baby weight

This is an incredible benefit celebrated by all moms. When you breastfeed your baby, you shed an extra 500 calories per day. Some studies have shown that moms who breastfeed exclusively shed baby weight more quickly than those who don’t. Who would hate losing up to 500 extra calories a day?

However, if you adopt unhealthy choices such as poor dieting and lack of sleep, don’t expect breastfeeding to help you lose weight.

4) Breastfeeding boosts the baby’s and mother’s health

Many moms are aware of the health benefits breastfeeding offers for their baby. In fact, most of them breastfeed for the sake of their babies. But did you know breastfeeding benefits the mom too? For instance, breastfeeding lowers the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. The longer you breastfeed your baby(s), the lower the risk of breast and ovarian cancer. Studies have shown that, for every 12 months of breastfeeding, the risk of breast cancer is decreased by 4%. On the other hand, it boosts your little one’s immune system. Breast milk has plenty of health-promoting and germ-fighting components.

5) Breastfeeding aids the uterus to shrink down to pre-pregnancy size.

As aforementioned, when the baby starts breastfeeding, it causes the mother’s body to release oxytocin. As the brain signals the release of this hormone, mild cramping occurs in your lower abdomen. The cramping is not comfortable, but it’s a positive sign that the uterus is healing.

6) It helps you make up for lost sleep

Babies are amazing bundles of joy. But their arrival is marked with interrupted sleep for breastfeeding. Although this makes new moms tired, it brings an added benefit. The steady release of oxytocin during breastfeeding enables you to make up for the lost sleep. Oxytocin brings a soothing effect and makes you more relaxed.

In most cases, new moms fall asleep while breastfeeding not because they are exhausted but because of the release of the hormone. Those 10 to 20 minutes nap helps you recover some of the lost sleep. Besides, even if you don’t sleep the calming feeling leaves your body rejuvenated.

7) Breastfeeding is cost and time saving

Did you know breastfeeding brings numerous financial benefits? Many new moms don’t realize this fact because they take it to be a normal event. Breastfeeding is free and time-saving. You do not have to rush to the nearest store; the milk is readily available.
If you want to see that breast milk is tremendously cost-effective, compare it to artificial milk. The cost estimate for artificial milk is roughly $1800/year, this without the extra preparation costs. This amount can be put to good use like buying the best formula for treating spitting up and gas.

Also, if your baby is well breastfed he/she will fall sick less often. This will translate to reduced healthcare cost. Parents who don’t breastfeed their babies miss work about six times more due to baby illness than those who breastfeed well.

8) Breastfeeding is environment-friendly

Breast milk is the most natural and organic food for your baby. It produces no waste, reduces the carbon footprint, and above all it’s a sustainable means for feeding your baby with no negative impact on our environment.

9) Breastfeeding is a reliable way of birth control

In most countries around the world, breastfeeding is a renowned, natural method of birth control. When utilized effectively, this method can yield up to 98% success. This birth control method is called Lactation Amenorrhea Method (LAM) and relies on four pillars to succeed. The principles include:

  • The mom must be exclusively breastfeeding
  • The baby must be less than six months old
  • The mom’s menstrual cycle has not resumed
  • The baby is not sleeping more than 6 hours at night and 4 hours in the day.

If the mentioned conditions change, you must seek an alternative method of birth control.

Wrapping it up

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologist and the American Academy of Pediatrics are among the numerous medical authorities that strongly advocate breastfeeding. This is mainly attributed to the health benefits that both the baby and the mother get. You and your little one are inimitable; the decision to breastfeed or not is hinged solely on your personal preference. However, if you take into account all the incredible benefits we’ve highlighted, nothing is going to stop you from breastfeeding your baby.

*****

About The Author:

Jessica is the mother of one, a Chief, and a lover of the great ideas. You can find her journey through motherhood on her blog Take Care Baby (https://takecarebaby.net/)

An opinion of a poster to The Loveshade Family Blog does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole family. Nothing in this article should be interpreted as medical advice; consult with a physician before making decisions on baby care and contraception.

The Second Amendment is Dead

Image from http://awselby.com/?p=331

Image from http://awselby.com/?p=331

The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, born 226 years ago today, is dead.  Defunct.  And it has been dead for a long time.

Many of you will say it’s not dead.  It’s never been revoked, it’s still in the Constitution, and it’s still the law.  And I would agree.  But as it existed originally, and from a practical point of view, it’s deceased.

The Second Amendment harkens back to the American Declaration of Independence.  No less that President Abraham Lincoln believed that the Constitution should be interpreted through the Declaration’s principles, according to Abraham Lincoln and the Second American Revolution by historian James M. McPherson.  And that says it is “the Right of the People to alter or abolish” a despotic government. “It is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.” It is “the Right of the People to alter or abolish it.”

To throw off a hostile government, and to provide guards for the future, means having and using arms.  The right to bear arms goes back much further, back 100 years to the English Bill of Rights of 1689.  And in the 21st century in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Supreme Court proclaimed the right to bear arms was “clearly an individual right, having nothing whatsoever to do with service in the militia.”

While the nation’s founders did not state a constitutional right of the people to “throw off such Government” once they founded a government, they did continue the tradition of giving people, including individuals, the right to bear arms.  In 1791, the Second Amendment passed which says, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

So why do I say the Second Amendment is dead?  At its acceptance, and by the traditions that preceded it, it gave people the right to bear arms against a government.  From a practical point of view, that means people having arms that could be used to defeat a nation.

In 1791, this was entirely practical.  A person of relatively modest means could buy a Kentucky long rifle, then arguably the most effective weapon in existence.  (I’ll leave it to munitions experts to debate on whether a field gun or something else was most effective, but in any case, a person could buy one).  For something larger, you and your associates could buy and use a real, deadly cannon like members of private groups, including the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts, used.

But things have changed, radically.  There was the Civil War’s Gatling gun, which was nearly an automatic weapon; and the 1880s Maxim gun, which was.  These weapons were not readily available, and were very expensive.  The Second Amendment, in its original meaning as interpreted through the Declaration of Independence, was dying.

In today’s world, it’s all over.  None of us can go to our local gun shop and pick up a arsenal of thermonuclear weapons.  And you can’t go to Walmart to get yourself a nuclear submarine and an armed aircraft carrier.  They’re too expensive, and too illegal.  That’s what someone in the modern world would realistically need to “throw off such Government.”  Thus, by its original meaning, the Second Amendment is dead.

An opinion of an individual member of The Loveshade Family does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole family.

Presidents v. The Constitution

Then President Barack Obama and then President Elect Donald Trump (Pete Souza).

Then President Barack Obama and then President Elect Donald Trump (Pete Souza).

We live in a political era in which several Americans presidents in a row have been severely criticized, often with claims they violated the U.S. Constitution, and hit with calls for their removal.  The current one, Donald Trump, is certainly no exception.

Just in the last few days, a senator claimed President Trump had “castrated” the Secretary of State; Trump named a woman who denies climate change and who calls wind and solar power parasitic to be energy advisor; Trump’s campaign has been subpoenaed over sexual assault charges; and U.S. states are suing over Trump’s move to destroy the Affordable Care Act.

While the numbers of such battles and accusations is very high right now, battles between the president and constitutionalists is nothing new.  To put a perspective on what’s happening now, it may be time to reflect on battles that happened before Donald Trump or Barack Obama before him were elected to America’s highest office.

Even back then, Andrew P. Napolitano noted in The Wall Street Journal that Most Presidents Ignore the Constitution.

JANUS-Tête-à-Tête photo by Pete Souza. This image is a work of an employee of the Executive Office of the President of the United States, taken or made as part of that person’s official duties. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain.

The Media is a Myth

Dennis_Prager_by_Gage_Skidmore_media_danger_quote

“The news media in the West pose a far greater danger to Western civilization than Russia does.” — Tweet by Dennis Prager

People talk about “the media” almost as much as they talk about “they.” But who are “they?” And what is “the media?”

“Media” is the plural of “medium.” A medium, in the media sense, is something that’s used by one person to communicate a message to others. “The media” includes every single medium. Every newspaper is part of “the media.” So is every magazine. So is every radio station, television station, movie distributor, blog host, chat group, social network. “The media” is Twitter and Google+ and My Space and Instagram and Facebook. Everyone who communicates on paper, radio, television, film, or Internet is part of “they” and part of “the media.”

“The Media” is actually a concept that exists in the human mind. But in terms of physical reality, there is no such thing as “the media.” You can’t smell it, feel it, taste it, hear it, or see it. You can sense a part of it, like watch a television news program or listen to a radio show or read this blog post.

But what about the conspiracy of “the liberal media” or “the conservative media?” I’ve worked for “the media” for a long time. I’ve written for newspapers, magazines, books, radio, television, the Internet, and more. For years I wrote five days a week for a Pulitzer Prize winning newspaper. I don’t remember even once being told if I was supposed to be liberal or conservative. And I don’t remember ever talking to someone who worked for another medium to coordinate what slant we were going to give to the news. I was much too busy doing my job.

But Dennis Prager, and apparently many others, sees the media in the West as a vast conspiracy, a greater threat to America than Russia. Interestingly, Dennis Prager is a radio show host (media), a columnist (media), an author (media), a public speaker (media), and has his own “Prager University” which is actually his media company (media) that posts on Facebook (media), all coming from the West….

Photo of Dennis Prager by Gage Skidmore is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license. Dennis Prager’s tweet is here.

An opinion of an individual member of The Loveshade Family does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole family.

Emma Watson Can’t Be Sexy!

This photo of Emma Watson is by Georges Biard (and “censored” by us). It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Emma Watson must stop claiming to be a feminist right now! I don’t care if she has been a champion for women’s rights.  I don’t care if she has a HeForShe campaign for personism or equal rights, or wrote a feminist book, or has been a UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador.

She posed for Vanity Fair in a photo that shows parts of the bottoms of her breasts.  Her feminism days are over!  Feminists cannot show certain parts of their bodies in public!  They certainly cannot appear to be sexual beings.  Men can, but women can’t.  That’s a fundamental part of feminist thought, that women aren’t allowed to do the same things that men….

Wait.

Emma Watson’s Boobs Prove Why We Still Need Feminism

I acknowledge the Vanity Fair appearance was earlier this year.  However, I believe this still, unfortunately, applies.

An opinion of an individual member of The Loveshade Family does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole family.

 

The War is Over

Exhibit in the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, Madison, Wisconsin, USA. Photo, taken by Daderot, released into the public domain.

Confederate flag exhibit in the Wisconsin Veterans Museum, Madison, Wisconsin, USA. Photo, taken by Daderot, released into the public domain.

Little known historical fact: the American Civil War, aka the War Between the States, is over.  It ended in 1865.

I say that because it appears many people are still trying to fight that war.

I remember years ago visiting the capitol of Alabama in Montgomery.  I was astonished to see both the flag of the United States of America, and the flag of the Confederate States of America, flying above the capitol building.

It was not that I had anything against the flag of the Confederacy being at the capitol.  It is a part of Alabama’s history.  Many brave and noble people lost their properties and their lives fighting for their homes, for Alabama, and for their view of America.  The war, in many ways the most costly in American history, should not be forgotten.  The Confederacy should not be forgotten, nor should its flags.  I would have been perfectly happy seeing the flag openly displayed inside the capitol building.

But Alabama has not been part of the Confederacy since 1865.  Neither has Texas.  Texas has been under the flags of six different nations, including itself.  Those fly over Six Flags amusement parks, as well they should.  But not over the capitol, any more than the capitol of California should fly the flag of Mexico.  Nor should Washington D.C. proclaim allegiance to the Nacotchtank.  They inhabited the land long before Captain John Smith discovered them at the beginning of the 17th century, and even longer before it became the capital of America.  But the flag that flies over the center of government should represent that government and its allegiance, not allegiance to another nation.

We’re now having a battle over statues of the Confederacy.  Again, I have no problem with the statutes themselves, even after I learned there were more erected during the assertion of Jim Crow laws over “negros” than at any other time.

But if they’re displayed, they should be displayed as a symbol of American history.  They should not be a sign of its allegiance.

An opinion of an individual member or associate of The Loveshade Family does not necessarily reflect the views of the entire family.

Breastfeeding Week 2017

Photograph Australian artist Joy Hester nursing her son Sweeney. In the background can be seen a painting by 'Professor' Henry Tipper (Harold Deering), a trick cyclist and amateur painter whose work was discovered and promoted by Albert Tucker. Shot in 1945, the photo is in the public domain.

Photograph Australian artist Joy Hester nursing her son Sweeney. In the background can be seen a painting by ‘Professor’ Henry Tipper (Harold Deering), a trick cyclist and amateur painter whose work was discovered and promoted by Albert Tucker. Shot in 1945, the photo is in the public domain.

It’s time to celebrate breastfeeding with World Breastfeeding Week between Aug. 1 and 7, 2017. Breastfeeding is the most natural thing a mother and child can do. And yet it’s shunned in many parts of the world. Mothers have been threatened and fired and even injured for wanting to take good care of their babies.

Breastfeeding is important for nourishment and the immune system and the bond it forms between mother and child. Even men can build a better relationship with a child held to their bare chest as skin-to-skin contact is critically important to a developing infant.

Learn more about breastfeeding and World Breastfeeding Week at http://worldbreastfeedingweek.org/.

See also “The 111 Benefits of Breastfeeding – For Babies, Moms & Everyone Else.”  This has some commercial links, but most of the links are to information from the United States Government.

An opinion of an individual member or associate of The Loveshade Family does not necessarily reflect the views of the whole family.