Category Archives: Politics

Uninformed Mayor Puts OKC on a Diet

I live in the heart of Oklahoma City, in a district called the Asian District. It’s barely the Asian District anymore as the generations of vietnamese who came to OKC as refugees are getting older and their American children are moving off to nicer neighborhoods.

There are no sidewalks in my neighborhood. I have heard gunshots on my street corner. The street I drive to get home–a snow route no less–is crumbling and patches can’t keep up with it. I work for the state so I did not get a raise this year. The city just forced its school superintendent and board chairman to resign.

But what does our distinguished Mayor, Mick Cornett want to make this city’s priority? Losing weight.

That’s right Mayor Mick Cornett has challenged Oklahoma City residents to lose 1 million pounds this year. And how does he propose that we do this? Why, by going on a diet of course!

Look at that website! He’s actually promoting weight loss companies, even diet supplements that he has no idea what they contain or how they could be harmful! That’s just what Oklahomans need, Mayor Cornett. More misinformation.

It physically pains me to think about a city being run by someone who would make this sort of a health declaration without doing his homework. How could a politician influence his community to do something that is actually detrimental to their health?

Here is my message to Mayor Cornett: Diets Don’t Work. And the BMI is a joke.

Mayor, you really want your city to be healthy? Why not start by promoting the retail sale of local Oklahoma grown products? The Oklahoma Food Cooperative is nowhere on your list of ‘diets’ and if you want the city to eat healthy, why not start with eating fresh.

Why not fund and expand fresh farmer’s markets? There are only two in the city year round–one all the way in Edmond and the other at OSU-OKC. Why not have one in Midwest City and expand the downtown farmer’s market to be year round.

Why not promote the safety of city parks? Why not fix my street, build a sidewalk and make my neighborhood safe so that I can go for walks after work? Why not build hiking and biking trails?

Mayor Cornett, stop perpetuating the myths. Obesity is not an epidemic. Dieting is the epidemic and you need to educate yourself before you promote ideas that can lead to a lifetime of suffering.

Want Oklahoma City residents to exercise and eat healthier? That’s great. Urging them to diet and promoting weight loss programs and products whose validity is questionable at best? That’s just an uninformed, irresponsible politician capitalizing on the diet-craze for personal gain. Shame on you, Cornett.

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Filed under environment, fat, Health, Media Literacy, Politics, Self Image, Size Acceptance

On politics and gender

And why I am voting for Hilary Clinton.
In my African American Women class back in college, my professor told the story of a conversation between Frederick Douglas and Ida B. Wells. Frederick Douglass, you probably know was a well known advocate for African-American rights and social justice. Ida B. Wells had the same mission but also fought for women’s rights and women’s suffrage.

Although Douglass was always a staunch supporter of women’s rights, he is rumored to have once told Wells that they must fight for a man’s right to vote before a womans and that the higher cause was the rights of African American men over women of any race.

I don’t want to demonize this statement into something its not. There are a lot of valid reasons for him to have said this. I understand how hard it is to be an activist and want to see change in all areas and being able to only focus your energy on one.

But there are a few not-so-valid reasons for this sentiment too. And it is the sentiment that still prevails today. Sure, women can be equal as long as men go first.

Today, the world is changing. Rapidly. Benizir Bhutto is an example of that. Think of it–a FEMALE leader in a fundamentalist muslim world. That is an incredible triumph, even in the face of her tragic death.

And here we sit. America. Land of the free. Leader of the world. Where all freedom originates and radiates to the rest of the world. Yeah, not so much. America is being left behind because we refuse to face the fact that we too have become a fundamentalist nation. I wouldn’t even go so far as to call it solely religious fundamentalism. There are a lot of different ways in which America is an extremist.

And yet, here we sit as a first world, developed country to have never put forth a woman as a leader in our top two positions. That is, to put it nicely…embarrassing.

And then of course the questions come:

Don’t you want the right leader, regardless of gender?

Of course, I do. But show me anyone in our political system that is truly the ‘right’ leader. Show me a ratio of good to bad that comes out of the “good ole boy system.” Our system is corrupt and we know that. We need change. But just walking around the halls of Congress declaring that, isn’t going to make it happen. We need a leader who can play the game but has an established agenda of righting this country’s wrongs.

But you don’t want the wrong woman giving the country a bad impression of women as leaders do you?

Could a woman ever really live up to the expectations of this country? Haven’t you seen it already? Hilary is too hard/harsh, Hilary is playing the victim, Hilary isn’t strong enough to lead. There is no right way for a woman to act in this country without someone finding a way to criticize her womanhood. Can you imagine someone questioning Barak’s masculinity every time he opened his mouth? Doesn’t happen. As far as I’m concerned if we can show the world that a woman is capable of being elected, that is as much victory as I’m willing to hope for. I realize that the next four years with Hilary will be hell as she is scrutinized at every step because she is female. It won’t go well. But at least it’ll happen.

But she voted for the war!

Yes she did. She was wrong and I realize that she won’t admit it. She’s a politician, still, after all so why act surprised about that? But the bottom line was that Congress, the United Nations, America and the entire world was LIED to by Bush and his machine. That’s no litmus test to me.

Aren’t you tired of legacy presidencies? Do you really want to go Bush Clinton Bush Clinton? (this is my SO’s view)

This is a valid question. Legacy presidencies are dangerous, even if you agree with the overall ideology. But a legacy is something that is passed from parent to child, not from husband to wife. Clinton has come out against her husband on many issues and aside from basic liberal ideology, I’m not worried that she’s carrying anyone’s agenda but her own.

I actually like every single one of the Democratic candidates. Its a win win situation, really. But for once, I’m not choosing the idealistic candidate. And yes, the fact that a woman is running has helped me to come to that decision, when perhaps I wouldn’t otherwise.

But here’s the reality. Eight years ago, this country elected the most calculating stupid man on the planet. And they elected his calculating cronies who could suck up power like hungry hungry hippos while we were distracted by the idiot in the president suit.

Here’s the kicker though: Four years later, this country RE-elected all of that.

As sad as that makes me for our country, that’s what we’re dealing with here. People want change, yes. And I think a lot of people are going to vote democrat for the first time in their lives this November. But these are still the people who once saw any sense in voting Bush into office, not once but twice.

This is not an argument for electability. I think those people are going to be just as wary about voting in an unknown minority as they are a well-known woman. And I think in either case, most of them will get over it. I’m talking about getting things done once the election is over.

The people who supported and voted Bush into office are still the ones that our next president is going to have to deal with. As much as I would love for Barak to show up to work on his first day and kick out all the lobbyists, all the religious fanatics or change this country’s abject fear of socialized medicine, I just don’t think that’s going to happen.

I could be wrong. And if he wins New Hampshire, he may have the chance to prove me wrong. And I’ll be thrilled if I am.

But for me, the right person for this job at this time is Hilary Clinton. We’ve got to overhaul health care and education. We have to stop the shrinking of the middle class and the marginalization of the poor. We have to end racism in our justice system. We have to change Americans’ earth-destroying lifestyles while maintaining our economy.

And we have to do all this while cleaning up the foreign policy shitstorm that the previous administration has dumped on the world. We have to bring our troops home in a way that minimizes loss of Iraqi life and we have to rebuild relations in the middle-east while putting an end to our greedy, fanatical meddling. We have to rebuild our armed forces to take on the countries that actively threaten us. And we have to be leaders in building a coalition of countries dedicated to bringing the entire continent of Africa out of the vestiges of hunger, violence, disease and corruption.

That’s a tall order. I believe that all the democratic candidates agree that these are our challenges. But Hilary is the leader that I believe can take active steps towards convincing the rest of America that these are our priorities.

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Filed under Feminism, Politics

Can a “grown-up” blog still have memes?

Normally, I’d say no but really this one is worth it.

I’m a big proponent of being aware of privilege in society. I’m not a fan of shaming people because they have privilege, but I do think it is imperative to be aware of the individual aspects of our lives that we should be grateful for and/or seek to change about our world.

Privilege is about awareness and about appreciating that politics, economics and in many cases, the luck of the draw, puts us all in positions above and below others. Being aware of privilege can only help you become a more socially conscious person.

Awareness brings action, through voting or activism to help equalize the parts of society that we can control and to collectively help eradicate bigotry through ignorance.

This little meme is pretty basic on the privileges and it focuses on class. It helps remind us of the things that a lot of us in the middle-class take for granted.

With that said, here is the meme on Privilege:

Privilege Meme
Bold the ones that are true for you.

The list is based on an exercise developed by Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka at Illinois State University. The exercise developers ask that if you participate in this blog game, you acknowledge their copyright.

Father went to college–my father put himself through college by working two or three jobs. He came from an impoverished family and had to pay for everything himself. Father finished college–duel major in physics and russian
Mother went to college
Mother finished college
–college was not an option for my mother after high school. She had $2,000 that her mother had given her. It was enough for one year of college or all of nursing school. So she went to nursing school. She was 40 years old when she went back to school to get her bachelor’s degree.
Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor.
Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers.
Had more than 50 books in your childhood home
Had more than 500 books in your childhood home–my parents read quite a bit more than that, but a pack rat my mother was not. She often tossed books or gave them away after she read them.
Were read children’s books by a parent
Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18

Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18.
The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively–unfortunately people who look like me are not portrayed well at all!
Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18
Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs–my father’s life insurance should have paid for a majority, but with travel and out-of-state expenses, costs went way above the amount we received.
Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs
Went to a private high school
Went to summer camp–I never went to camp as a kid. But in high school, I went to several academic camps–aspiring lawyers, debate and journalism.
Had a private tutor before you turned 18
Family vacations involved staying at hotels
Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18
Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them.
There was original art in your house when you were a child.
Had a phone in your room before you turned 18
You and your family lived in a single family house
Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home By owned, I’m assuming this doesn’t mean paid-off. My parents were homeowners my whole life, but they still have never paid off a mortgage.
You had your own room as a child(I was an only child)
Participated in an SAT/ACT prep course–but I did have private driving lessons. I was a year younger than others in my class so I couldn’t take drivers Ed at school.
Had your own TV in your room in High School
Owned a mutual fund or IRA in High School or College
Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16
Went on a cruise with your family
Went on more than one cruise with your family
Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up
You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family

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Filed under Politics