Guns for Hands

Photo credit: Paul Tong

Photo credit: Paul Tong

Since the tragedy in Newtown, the NRA has been- literally and figuratively- up in arms. They recently aired an advertisement issuing a stand-up-and-fight mantra following their press conference. Their solution to mass shootings of the young and defenseless? Put weapons into the hands of supervisors. The Whitehouse children have armed guards, so why shouldn’t the remainder of young Americans? In a general, idealistic sense, this proposal seems rational. If an armed person were to enter a classroom, a teacher would simply pull an AK-47 from their cabinet.

Putting guns into teacher’s cabinets is similar to the nuclear arms race. If implemented cautiously, it could in theory work, having a stockpile against a stock pile. But, a mentally insane person is not going to rationalize shooting children in the first place, let alone thinking “OH, well now since schoolteachers have guns too, I probably shouldn’t enter the school with a gun unless I want to get the first bullet.” Arming teachers will not dissuade the mentally insane from entering schools with guns because doing so isn’t a rational act in the first place.

Can every teacher, coach and supervisor be trusted with a gun? Personally, there are quite a few people holding these occupations who I wouldn’t trust with a gun. There would need to be some state issued training. Teachers couldn’t simply be handed guns if they didn’t know how to use them. But even if they did, there is also a question of an instructor’s mental sanity. So not only would schools be required to provide a shooting course for their teachers or professors, but also a mental background check of sorts. Even then, who is to say that school shootings from within wouldn’t occur? Do you give the principal the biggest gun? Like the nuclear arms race, creating weaponry is only perpetuating mass destruction.

The next problem facing gun control and mental sanity is how to determine whether someone is stable enough to own a gun. If I was once an alcoholic, if I suffered from extreme anxiety or depression, would I be mentally sane enough to own a gun? Would this defer me from having a job within a school system since I would be unable to brandish a gun? Mental sanity may be the next question. If so, the mentally ill may be the new communists. The fight on gun control may be coined America’s second cold war.

I am one of many Americans who have had a friend who has been a victim of a senseless shooting or suicide. Restricting arms is a serious and personal issue for many. You cannot simply fight senseless violence with more violence. Even the NRA cannot argue that someone mentally or emotionally unstable has a right to hold or own a gun.

The only completely logical way of dissuading massacres such as in Virginia Tech, Chardon, Newtown and Colorado (just to name a few in recent years), is to tighten gun control, which the government and congress are in the midst of. There are currently eight out of 23 executive actions involving mental sanity as well. The question is whether the blame falls upon the weapon or the person pulling the trigger. In my opinion, both must be blamed and restricted in order to dissuade such horrific events to continue across America.

The Huffington Post Article : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/01/16/obama-gun-control-proposals_n_2486919.html

NRA Press Conference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZb8EXUrQTo

NRA Advertisement: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqrwkiyPsto

NRA use to support gun control (Photo Credit) : http://www.newsday.com/opinion/oped/winkler-the-nra-used-to-support-gun-control-1.3865217

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Shut Up Huckabee

 

diverse

There has been a lot of attention focused on Barack Obama’s cabinet this past week. Criticism was quick to arise after a photograph surfaced showing high-powered appointees in the Oval Office, which were all men.

Mike Huckabee said on his radio show, “Now a lot of those females who supported Barack Obama are scratching their heads, and they’re saying, ‘Whoa! How come there is so much testosterone in the Obama Cabinet and so little estrogen?”

However, I happen to be a female, and I supported Barack Obama during his campaign in 2012, and I am not scratching my head.

Why am I not scratching my head? Well, I don’t believe that women are ornaments that should be appointed to certain positions just for the sake of having women in your cabinet. Which, 43% of Obama’s cabinet is made up of women anyway, in case you were wondering.

Weren’t a lot of people appalled by Mitt Romney’s “binders full of women?” Wasn’t that because he shouldn’t be trying so hard to find women, he should just be looking for well qualified people, regardless of gender? Isn’t this kind of the same thing?

I’m not upset that there aren’t women featured in this photo. I don’t even care. However, I do care, that people are treating women in politics like the cherry on top of the sunday, meaningless, but great for show. Women aren’t decoration. Women are people! So what if Barack Obama picked males to be in his cabinet, maybe they were more qualified than some women. As for Hillary Clinton’s replacement, Senator John Kerry (D-Mass), he was only chosen because U.N Ambasodor Susan Rice withdrew her name from consideration. Barack Obama is not a woman-hater, so why is the media using this picture to try to make him seem like one?

If people are upset by the small fraction of Obama’s cabinet that was shown being male, then why isn’t it Michele Bachmann’s cabinet? By the system of logic that would cause someone to be outraged by this, we should have all rallied behind Michele Bachmann to make her President of the United States just so we could have a female President.

Personally, I was more offended by Mike Huckabee’s remarks than I was the “lack of estrogen” in the Oval Office. I think a great deal of us aren’t shallow enough to judge a cabinet on its genitalia rather than the work that it will do. Apparently, that is something that you need to work on, Mike.

 

Photo Credit: Theconserviativetreehouse.com

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Bold Poetry

Richard Blanco has been announced as a speaker at the 2013 inauguration of president Obama. While he is the fifth poet to speak at an inauguration, he racks up quite a few of “firsts.”
Blanco is the first ever Hispanic-American and openly gay poet to ever present at a presidential inauguration. He is also the youngest. When told the news that he had been selected to present, Blanco said he was ecstatic and could hardly believe that this opportunity had been given to him.
Blanco likes to say that he is a product of three countries, “made in Cuba, assembled in Spain, and imported to the United States.” His poetry reflects his diverse upbringing in the sense that in many works he is searching for an identity with one of the cultures that he is a part of.
One of his most known works, “AMÉRICA”, discusses his dilemma as a seven year old child when it came to the clashes of his Cuban and American influences. In one section, he was taught about a typical American Thanksgiving at school and he longed to experience this like his other classmates. His mother, who always made traditional Cuban cuisine, was persuaded to mix the cultures on this day and serve both turkey and pork.

A week before Thanksgiving
I explained to my abuelita
about the Indians and the Mayflower,
how Lincoln set the slaves free;
I explained to my parents about
the purple mountain’s majesty,
“one if by land, two if by sea”
the cherry tree, the tea party,
the amber waves of grain,
the “masses yearning to be free”
liberty and justice for all, until
finally they agreed:
this Thanksgiving we would have turkey,
as well as pork.

Richard Blanco (Photo by Nick Tucci)

Richard Blanco (Photo by Nick Tucci)


Full Poem Here: http://www.richard-blanco.com/city-of-a-hundred-fires/america.php

His poems exemplify the beauty of diversity in America. Blanco deserves this opportunity to speak at the inauguration as much as anyone, but I think the fact that he was chosen makes a significant point. America is evolving into an all-inclusive culture. Four years ago we elected our first black president. Now we will hear from our first Hispanic and openly gay poet. Opportunities are no longer being taken away from deserving citizens due to their race, background, and sexual preference. This is an America that I can be proud of.

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Dear God

For those of you who aren’t familiar, there is such a thing as freedom of religion in America. Unfortunately, in the Bible Belt, it is more like, “ohhhh, you’re one of those people.”

Being a social liberal, in a conservative area, pissing off bible beaters happens sometimes…regularly. It also means that I get pissed off almost daily.

Today, a couple of girls were talking about how cute it would be to be pregnant at the same time while waiting to donate blood. I chimed in and told them that I would rather die than be pregnant. The fact that I didn’t want to help to push the overpopulation of the Earth over the edge, seemed blow their minds more than an atomic bomb.

“You don’t want kids?”

“No.”

“So you don’t want to get married.”

“Dear god no, what need is there to marry someone?”

“Well I don’t know about your book, but according to mine, unless I want to die a virgin, I have to get married.”

Boom, there’s the kicker. Whenever someone brings up “the book” as if it has legal power over all of us, I raise my eyebrow in disbelief. People that resort to this tactic already think you hold a ticket straight to Hell (in order to get there you have to catch the train on Platform 9 3/4). Anything that you say from this point on is just further verification that Jesus hates you. If they were to say, “well I believe that, yaddah, yaddah, yah,” okay, cool, but, news flash there is more than just one bible. Also, this might be really shocking to people, there is more than just Christianity. Buddha was a real person, not some fat guy that the slanty people have hanging around their restaurants. The lady wearing a scarf on her head probably didn’t plan the bombings on 9/11. Oh, and just because someone’s a jew, doesn’t mean that they are cheap.

Just thought you should know. You’re welcome small town America.

P.S, if you want to get married, just to have sex, that is a horrible idea. Do you understand that it’s “until death do us part,” or overwhelming legal fees separate us? It’s not something to jump into just because you want to get laid. Jesus Christ people!

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Please Study

While unwinding this Christmas break (Happy Holidays everyone) I was drawn to my television to watch the trash that has overthrown The Learning Channel much like how the  Nazis invaded Poland. In other words my eyes were binging  and purging on “My Big Fat American Gypsy Wedding.” Even though shows like this make me no longer want to associate myself with mankind, I suppose that there are lessons to learn. Well, in the form of study hard so you do not end up like these people, kind of way.

This particular episode of my cringe worthy guilty pleasure followed a pregnant 17-year-old, “gorger” named Amber, as she married Tommy, a Romany gypsy in West Virginia. I have two wishes after watching this episode. First, I hope that people abroad do not watch this only to ask, “what the fuck happened to America?” Secondly, I hope that young girls watch this and decide to focus on school work so that they do not grow up to have elaborate weddings that are followed by pushing out babies and an endless cycle cleaning of campers.

amber

Everything about this episode appalled me.

First of all, why are you seventeen and pregnant? There are so many ways to not get pregnant, that teen pregnancy is just ridiculous. For teens who choose to be sexually active, there is the holy trinity of condoms, birth control, and the morning after pill. Then there are the less popular, and slightly revolting sponges, and female condoms. For god sake, they have apps for your smart phone that will tell  you your peak days of fertility so you can be extra careful. And of course there is abortion. I get that not everybody likes it, but a baby at seventeen, while not impossible, would make it incredibly difficult for someone to get an education that would lead to a lucrative career,
and self-sufficiency.

What I’m saying is, if you do get pregnant as a child, because I don’t care how much life experience you have, you’re not an adult at seventeen, you don’t have to get married. In my experience as a child of divorce, and whose friends are almost exclusively children of divorce, young marriages almost never work. What happens is you get married before you get to really know the person, because you took Romeo and Juliet from your freshman English class to the extreme and insisted that Shakespeare wrote it with your love life in mind. This leads to a wedding that is “like the funnest time ever, like everyone got sooooo wasted! Did you see my dress? Fab right?” Have a fun few years because you are young and so very in love. Next you turn to hobbies because you are miserable and act like a normal fifty year old would before you turn thirty. Before you know it, you’re in divorce court and both people try to reinvent themselves. In words that a seventeen year old can understand, it’s like leaving a party before it even gets started.  Just save yourself the stress and put on a damn condom. It’s the cheaper, less tiring option.

I have such a problem with the way that women are treated on this show. There whole lives they are being prepped to be the perfect housewife, nothing more. Tommy, Amber’s fiance, told her that, “we’re always gonna do what I want to do,” after she expressed her desires for a more stable family life down the road. I’m sorry, Tommy, but did you buy her at a slave auction, did you purchase Amber off of eBay, or Amazon perhaps? No you didn’t. You are about to enter a partnership with this girl, note I said girl, because she is a child. Important life decisions need to be made together, not by some punk who thinks he is God’s gift to women. Also, the men on this show fear that if they even touch a broom, they will spend some time in jail in the near future. That is the worst cop out I have ever heard to get out of cleaning. I would say they are children, but I’m pretty sure it would be redundant to say so.

What I want you to take away from this, is to know the importance of being able to be self-sufficient. It is important to be able to take care of your self. Work hard and you won’t have to worry about cleaning a camper everyday for the rest of your life, and living by the rules of a man. However, if you slack of and can’t take care of yourself, you are going to get trapped into a situation like this.

Photo Credits: tvlistings.zap2it.com

channelguidemagblog.com

And a special thank you to TLC for airing such gems on television. Keep up the good work.

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Does Democracy Still Work in America?

Alan Wolfe asks, “Does American democracy still work?” The consensus of his book is that it does, but not in respect to the ideal liberalism that the country was founded upon.  This is the question that Wolfe, a political science professor at Boston College, set out to answer on the front cover. Wolfe asserts, with Fareed Zakaria as reference, that a democratic nation is not necessarily a liberal one. Liberalism, by definition, is fundamentally the idea that the government should be as non-intrusive as possible, holding a respect for pluralism, individualism and law. But, a democratic nation can vote for intrusion and disrespect. Yes, democracy is absolutely prevalent in America, yet it is not fulfilling liberalistic qualities, because American sentiment to government and politics has changed.

While Americans are consistently less politically active, politicians are decidedly more ideologically driven, creating a state of conflict in government based primarily on emotional sentiment to private lifestyles. Because of this, Americans are less informed, and find themselves turned off by politics all together. What is most compelling about Wolfe’s analysis is that politicians want this so that they can pass their agendas under the noses of a public that doesn’t give two shits about what happens to our country because they have been led to believe they have no affect on it.

Wolfe’s purpose of writing his book was to mobilize Americans to become interested in and educated on current affairs in order to shape the country they want by choosing representatives that signify their philosophies. He urges Americans to become active in their government and be a part of Democracy to create the country that they are proud to represent and live in. 

At Not Your Coffee Bitch, we aim to answer to this battle cry.

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Success: Cosi Responds to Energy Efficiency

stock-footage-background-of-bright-lights-in-motion

Late last month, I posted regarding COSI, a renowned Science Center in Columbus, Ohio. I urged them to look into energy efficiency and conservation involving their lighting system. Here is the response I received:

Dear Calley-

Thank you for your suggestions regarding lighting in our Adventure exhibition. We are always trying to improve the experience for our guests at COSI, so I have passed your information along to our exhibition design team for consideration. If they have questions I am certain they will be in touch.

Thanks again!

Sincerely,
Chuck Clark
Director of Guest Relations
614.228.2674 x2420
cclark@mail.cosi.org

—-

Thank you for furthering and supporting this important cause.

Check out the letter I sent here: https://notyourcoffeebitch.wordpress.com/2012/11/27/activism-in-action-bitch-fights-for-a-more-energy-efficent-museum/

-CN

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Supreme Court Takes On LGBT Rights: Bitch’s Predictions

Today (Friday, December 7th, 2012) the Supreme Court announced that they’re going to be hearing two cases this March.

One is a challenge to constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act, and the other is a challenge to California’s Proposition 8 ban on gay marriage.

For those of you who aren’t savvy when it comes to LGBT rights legislation or just need a quick refresher, the Defense of Marriage Act (or DOMA) is the federal act, passed in 1996, that defined marriage as the legal union between one man and one woman for all federal purposes (including insurance benefits for government employees, immigration, or filing joint tax-returns), while Proposition 8 is a 2008 state constitutional amendment that banned gay marriage in California.

These cases mark the Supreme Court’s first entry into the gay marriage debate, and while the SCOTUS currently stands (or rather, sits) at a count of 5 conservatives to 4 liberals, it’s my prediction that the ruling will actually stand 6-3, invalidating both DOMA and Proposition 8.

The justification for this prediction is comes down to looking at the the past records of one conservative justice (Anthony Kennedy) and the motivations of another (Chief Justice Roberts)

Despite often being clumped in with the conservatives, Anthony Kennedy in many ways has been the flag bearer of LGBT rights in the last 16 years.

In fact, Kennedy wrote the opinions for the most significant pro-gay rights cases in history, Romer v. Evans (1996), where the court held that a Colorado constitutional amendment preventing gays from attaining protected status under the law was constitutional, and Lawrence v. Texas (2003) where the court held that states could not ban consensual homosexual sex as illegal sodomy.

Roberts, on the other hand, is going to be dipping his feet into his first major LGBT rights case as a supreme court justice. While Roberts is also usually clumped in with the conservatives, it’s usually justified. However, Roberts I think is forward looking enough to realize that these cases are both going to be incredibly historical cases, the LGBT equivalents to Brown v. Board of Education, and with the Healthcare ruling last year, I think Roberts has shown that he cares more about his legacy as Chief Justice than he does being a party line voter.

~~~~~~

So here is the prediction: It’s going to be a 6-3 vote on each case (or at least a 5-4 vote, if Roberts yields to his faction), invalidating DOMA and Proposition 8

Kennedy will write the opinion(s) as LGBT rights cases have largely become his legacy, and he will continue to use the rationale he used in Romer v. Evans, where he states that discrimination against homosexuals is not rationally related to a legitimate state interest. (Which is, not coincidentally, the language that the lower courts have used in their opinions invalidating the two pieces of legislation)

Scalia will write the dissent(s) (which Alito and Thomas will join) where he’ll say that there’s nothing in the Constitution about equal protection of marriage and will say that if the LGBT community wants constitutionally protected marriage, then they should pass an amendment changing the constitution rather than interpreting the constitution outside of its intended bounds (this is the same originalism argument that he used in Lawrence v. Texas, the very case I talked about earlier that Kennedy wrote the majority opinion for)

It’s hard to see the court’s decision to hear these cases as anything but a great thing for LGBT rights advocates everywhere. Even with the court composition as it is, it’s hard to imagine a situation in which the court upholds either of the two laws being presented, especially with Kennedy on the court. LGBT rights is his legacy, and the cases coming before them have been sent up the lower courts who have consistently found the challenged legislation illegal, using the exact same language Kennedy has been using for over a decade.

I imagine there will be a lot of happy couples in California and across the United States come this June (when the opinions will be released)

Independence is Sexy (to some)

A man doesn’t want a powerful and independent woman as a wife? So women should be more sexy? Isn’t it possible to be both Suzanne Venker? women1-e1353938704696

I want to applaud Suzanne Venker for serving as the devil’s advocate to the feminist movement. She is in fact, a strong and independent woman for representing martial living, which is currently deemed out of style and over-rated in the minds of many people, including myself. Perhaps an article such as this would be mainstream half a century ago, but her editorial describing women’s “war on men” and her book How to Choose a Husband (And Make Peace with Marriage) are leaving many women upset, as it has been rapidly circulating around the internet this week. So why are people, especially women, upset? Venker’s argument glorifies the submissive and docile woman, riding the coattails of the Fifty Shades of Gray franchise.

A submissive woman in the house is not needed, especially today. Women, especially mothers have to organize a family’s schedule. In this way, women are nurturing and strong. I am not a mother, but I’ve watched mine and have concluded this: mothering is not for the faint at heart. There is no reason for a woman to be primarily submissive in the household except for to potentially please a man. This opens the door to male dominance and possible domestic abuse, leaving women feeling be-little by gender stereotypes and there lack of “femininity”. No wonder women are angry about Venker’s argument.

History tells us that women have been suppressed from the polls and the work force, submitting to the housewife role in the past. Today, women enjoy the right to vote, the right to be in control of their bodies, and the right to work out of the house in the same positions as men, with nearly an equal salary. Femininity is not a submissive trait, but one of strength and righteous.

That being said, there is really no war on men. There has been an exciting advent for equality that has overall, been successful and should be celebrated. Because of social advancement, women are more confident and independent. If that’s not attractive, I don’t know what is. I would like to argue that there are many men who appreciate powerful and strong women. As a woman, I appreciate a powerful and strong man. Venker’s editorial posses a problem of conflicting character types, not gender equality.

Women have been sold a script that women being feminine is weak…the same qualities you are going to use in the workplace aren’t the same as in a marriage. – Suzanne Venker

http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2012/11/24/war-on-men/

http://video.foxnews.com/v/1993123442001/is-it-war-on-men-or-are-women-just-not-women-anymore?intcmp=related

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activism in action: bitch fights for a more energy efficent museum

If you feel strongly about this cause, please copy and paste this memo on http://www.cosi.org/contact-usand feel free to add your name.

It will take only a couple seconds of your time and will ensure COSI takes this memo seriously.

Excited, as always,

– CN

To: COSI Columbus

11/26/2012

Memo: You can revamp the “Adventure” exhibit with more efficient lighting

Attachment: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121115152659.htm St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. “Scientists discover ways to optimize light sources for vision: Tuning lighting devices could save billions.” ScienceDaily, 15 Nov. 2012. Web. 17 Nov. 2012.

Sources: http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/stories/2010/07/12/daily6.html

Seven years ago, the beloved “Adventure” exhibit at your interactive science museum was closed down to the dismay of many families because of the lack of funding. Allegedly, the lighting for the exhibit was costly. Although the attraction has recently been re-opened, it might be a good idea to look into different lighting technology to ensure that it remains.

There is a new technology in lighting, somewhat similar to florescent in the sense that it flickers very fast, in fact faster, than florescent lighting. But this flickering in new lighting technique actually resonates with the human brain, creating the most pleasing experience for onlookers with the most efficiency. By implementing temporal lighting to your old exploration/adventure exhibit, you could be a pioneer in using a system that may end up, as the article title states, saving America billions of dollars, as well as saving crucial tax funds for your museum.

It turns out these faster flickers are not only more cost effective, but also very pleasing to the human eye. For this reason, you might also be able to draw more people to re-visit the exhibit. If people feel as though they are learning, viewing something aesthetically pleasing, and becoming a part of history by witnessing the future of technology, you will have customers running back through the doors. Membership could soar.

If all goes well and COSI saves money from the new lighting, it may be a good idea to expand exhibit by exhibit, slowly implementing new lighting. This way, the cost and construction would be gradual and most cost effective. From pursuing temporal lighting first in the “Adventure” exhibit, COSI may be pursuing a step in advancing as a renowned science center by channeling the advancement philosophy of the museum into it’s technology.

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