Clare McCullough

Essays

Comparison of the Public Policy of Sweden and Germany

Sweden’s social democracy and Germany’s social market economy have many similarities in policymaking and differences in their value structures. Whereas Sweden allows for direct influence from the worker on its bureaucratic structure, Germany has more of an emphasis on self-regulation and decentralization of power. Their different histories are indispensable in understanding the core values of these democracies.
Sweden’s basic principles of social democracy can be encapsulated in a quote from Sweden’s former Prime Minister, Tage Erlander, “it is a mistake to believe that people’s freedom is diminished because they decide to carry out collectively what they are incapable of doing individually.” (Tilton, 1990) Sweden has long been a pioneer in the promoter of social justice through the use of a strong corporate market and socialized distributive policies. In fact, their emphasis on collective bargaining as a means to reinforce the general welfare of its workers is illustrated by the fact that around 70% of people in Sweden are in a union (Lecture notes 9/18). According to Tilton, The Swedish commitment to the working class’s full participation in society is indicative of their framework of viewing everything through its social utility. Maximum social utility, in the eyes of the Swede, is best created with an equalized background conditions; they see the public sector as expanding their freedom of choice instead of a limiting factor. (Tilton, 1990)
Germany is made up of different, more conservative values; it is classified as a social market economy. A core principle of its federal system is that decision-making processes should be made through the most local level possible. This concept called subsidiarity, is prevalent in many Christian democracies. Rather than direct social justice, Germany’s ethical society traditionally bases a lot of emphasis on their welfare state, social partnership with interest groups, and fair competition. (The German Polity) Germany relies on the private market a lot more than top-down public distribution system than Sweden. This is indicative of their goal to avoid any major concentration of power. They value compassionate conservatism; its welfare state is very strong and is seen as a 3rd way between socialism and laissez-faire economic liberalism. (Lecture notes 9/27)
The way both countries see equality and democracy can be shown through the welfare states, economic thought and electoral systems. Sweden defines equality as an equality of consideration. This egalitarian principle makes sure that they do not see economic efficiency as a zero-sum situation in regards to social policies. They have a framing with which they allow for “expenditures on their education and health should be seen not as burdens upon production, but as investments in human capital” (Tilton, 1990). This economic equality is heavily based on Keynesian thought towards equitable distribution of wealth and government distribution through progressive tax policies. They are both a political democracy as well as an industrial one. Democracy is carried out through committees, consultation, and underneath a magnifying glass held by the people themselves. (Heclo & Madsen) According to the Economist, “Sweden gives everyone access to official records” this fact shows the conditions of democracy. Absolute transparency of Sweden’s government makes the people’s home more democratic.
Germany has a different view of equality than Sweden but a similar approach toward democracy. They do not put as much emphasis on government intervention so much as showing a preference for subsidiarity and self-regulation. Welfare is one of the most important issues for the German citizen, they see the welfare state bringing them social peace and prosperity. Their equal prosperity is achieved with a bargaining approach (139 The German Polity) In fact, their multiparty system ensures that there are many views being represented through coalition governments although sometimes there is not a clear winner. There is an emphasis on democracy in the workplace as seen in the works councils. The German Polity describes Interest groups as a “a vital factor in the policy making process” (166) Parties also play a huge role in institutions due to the split ballot and multiparty system. They have a strong committee system, in which Business interests and other interest groups have a large say in decision-making since the government is required to consult them if they are relevant through the Remiss system just like Sweden. But Germany takes a step further in allowing interest groups sometimes implement policy. This is the notion of social partnership coming into play, but negotiation and compromise is no stranger to Germany.
Individualism being a zero-sum game in contest with the collective good does not necessary ring true for these countries. Their view of the proper role of government and the individual is unique to each of them however. Sweden’s famous reference to its government as the people’s home has continued to dominate the role of the government. Sweden has a strongly centralized state where they center on full employment with a comprehensive welfare state. The public sphere controls a lot of property but industry can be a mixture of both public and private, the gradual socialization is indicative of their social democracy. Sweden is a venture capitalist country with a large regulatory structure. Most of the jobs in Sweden are in the public sector. There has been a gradual socialization of property rights. Property rights are seen as a bundle, the gradual socialization of property parallels the idea that the expansion of the public sector extends their freedom of choice. (Tilton, 1990) They see taxes not as a public overreach but an opportunity to pay for public services. The logic of Sweden is seen like this, If private capital resists public welfare and equal democratic organization of economic life, then government intervention maximizes prosperity and democracy.
The German Federal system is specifically geared to prevent centralized power which is why Germany gives a lot of power to the Lander regions allowing them extensive autonomy including a veto power. This distributed sovereignty is in place so that their future would be different from their fascist/communist past. Multiparty coalitions mirror the German value of solidarity. The individual gets two votes to pick their representation, both a party and a person to represent them. The market economy of Germany is also regulated for social ends, but not to the extent of Sweden. Germany’s generous welfare state is supported by social partnership programs instead of the government. Companies are social institution’s stakeholders since that is where the worker spends most of their time. Although its Federal system checks the National government the Chancellor is the center of executive authority (Lecture notes 9/25). Like Sweden, they believe that market mechanisms should not distribute gains, but instead of the government they use social partnership.
There are policies that mirror the core values of each country; the electoral system and how they treat their workers seem to be the most deterministic. Consultation with special interests hold a special weight in both these systems. Sweden’s emphasis on collectivism has created the nickname of the people’s home for its unitary system in which egalitarianism and full employment are their central goals. Equity does not exclude efficiency is their motto. A solidaristic wage policy is available thanks to the strong union presence in the country. Their social policy is universal, meaning that everyone has equal consideration. Economic system is undoubtedly Keynesian with government pressure to drive and organize the economy for more equal distribution. This social democracy’s market is largely subsidized by public welfare, for example, Sweden has an extensive paternity and maternity privileges. Government intervention is meant to maximize prosperity and expand options for its people. In making policy, the Swedish Rigstag has something called the Remiss system, this system is also present in Germany. Their integrative democracies allow for the voices of experts, interest groups, workers, and the employers to all be heard equally. Their unusually concentrated industrial structure emerges as a result of these policies.
In fact, Germany’s interest groups sometimes implement policy (Lecture notes 9/25) But the government lays down the goals of the social partnership. According to the German Polity, “60 percent of bills are modified through the Bundestag’s committees” (222) Consultation with committees hold a lot of weight although that said they only have the ability to propose amendments not modify the documents themselves. The works council is an important policy that enforces equality and democracy in the workplace. Workers are able to sit down with their employers and have a say in how they are treated. Policies are generally pro-business but it is a “Compassionate Conservatism”
All in all, in comparing the two ideologies of social democracy in Sweden and Germany’s social market economy we can see similarities in policy-making procedure but not in execution. They both have extensive welfare states and hold economic equality in the same regard as political equality.
Bibliography
Conradt, D. P., & Langenbacher, E. (2013). The German Polity. Plymouth, UK: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc.
Heclo, H., & Madsen, H. (n.d.). Policy and Politics in Sweden Principled Pragmatism. Chapter 1.
Tilton. (1990). The Political Theory of Swedish Social Democracy. 257-269; 276-280.

Essays

Forgotten AIMs

By Clare McCullough

Wounded knee was the site the massacre of 150 Sioux, half of which were women and children. 1890 marked the end of organized American Indian resistance to white rule. (NYT). Although the United States prided itself on its new independence, with many “triumphant” stories of its creation. Truth was, we were colonizing an already inhabited continent with many different nations. The United States, with such high albeit hypocritical, its ideals were bound to catch up with itself, and with a flux of the cold war winds; the 1960s and 70s were a time characterized by protest and national unrest.

The sovereign rights of Native Americans as a colonized people have been seldom guaranteed. After being subject to the Trail of Tears and other events that resulted in the countless attempts to assimilate the remaining tribal reservations; Native people were granted U.S citizenship in 1924. The Wheeler-Howard Act (Indian New Deal) was passed during the Great Depression. It granted a greater deal of tribal autonomy and self-government, however as the war began the government reverted to its policy of assimilation. (Koltowski) Assimilation has been the precedent for Indian-American Relations since the beginning, but unlike African American civil rights groups in the late 20th century that was not the Native’s goal. Most Native American tribes wanted to keep the reservations and their tribal land even though they were getting assistance from the government.

Regardless, an effort was made by the government to depopulate reservations and assimilate Native Americans into the United States. One-way bus fare and a promise of assistance in finding work and housing in cities were promised to reservation Indians who participated in the Relocation program of 1952. By 1980 more than half lived in urban areas. (Langston)

The 1953 Termination Act (House concurrent Resolution 108) was passed, which promulgated under a Congress that saw Native Americans as wards of the state. They were not granted the freedom of movement, contrary to the traditional visitation from tribe to tribe. Tribes were divided into categories of immediate or eventual termination. (Langston) They would lose all privileges related to treaties with the federal government, meaning that their tribal lands would be open for sale. (Koltowski) The Paiute tribe of Utah were terminated in ’54 and were not restored until 1980. Tribes were refused permits for hospitals and schools” because it would make the reservation more tenable for living. (Langston) Reservations suffer not only the highest poverty rates but also the highest unemployment and disease rates.

The Native American civil rights group NCAI was founded in 1944 (Langston). They focused mostly on issues affecting Reservations and campaigned for American Indian suffrage in states that prohibited the Indian vote. (Langston) The NCAI worked toward the 1965 Indian Self-Determination and Education act, the 1968 Indian Civil Rights Act, the 1972 Indian Education Act, the 1975 Indian Education Assistance and Self-Determination act, the 1978 Indian Child Welfare Act, and the 1978 Religious Freedom Act.

Two mainstream thoughts emerged. Some wanted to free Indians from reservations and the BIA’s special benefits, while the other despised the BIA as a symbol of Anglo-wardship. (Koltowski) There were the rise of both civil rights groups and power groups. According to Langston, Civil rights groups like the NCAI are different than power groups because “civil rights groups most often focused on lobbying, education, and creating legal change.” But, “Power groups responded to the limits of civil rights groups with more radical rhetoric and actions.” The American Indian Movement or AIM was a red power group started with an inspiration from the Black Panther party. They both began as a force meant to protect against violence in their areas. (NYT) AIM, in the same vein, would wear red jackets to patrol the twin cities and monitor police harassment (Langston)

The American Indian Movement’s start in July 1968 was right after the passage of the Indian Civil Rights Act and the start of self-determination policies by LBJ. It was a crucial part of the Red Power Movement in the 60s and 70s.  The group was co-founded by Mary Jane Wilson (Anishinabe) Clyde Bellecourt (Anishinabe) and Dennis Banks (Anisinabe) in Minneapolis. The mostly Anishinabe AIM had different goals than most other minority groups in America.

For the American Indian Movement, “self-determination meant using direct action to promote cultural awareness for all Indians, not new legislation to enhance tribal authority.” (Langston) AIM encouraged independence from white values and reeducation of the tribe of its traditional culture, not integration.  Nixon was quoted in 1960s after disavowing the termination policy, “the overriding aim, as I see it, should not be to separate the Indians from the richness of their past or force them into some preconceived mold of human behavior.” (Koltowski)

The Bureau of Indian Affairs was no friend to the Native American according to AIM. They participated in the 1972 “Trail of Broken Treaties” which was a caravan of eight groups of Native Americans to Washington to present a list of twenty grievances. Madonna Gilbert/Thunderhawk and Russel Means “collected documents from BIA files and left the occupation with 1.5 tons of documents that would reveal wide-spread practice of sterilization abuse among others.” (Langston) But after a week of protesting for housing, review of treaties, religious freedom, restoration of Indian lands, and increased funds for education and health care, they were paid 66,000 dollars for transport back home. (Koltowski) But before this civil disobedience, there were many other attempts at gaining attention from the mainstream media to bring Indigenous rights to the forefront of conversation.

Alcatraz has long been a symbol of impenetrability. It’s a small island in San Francisco Bay California. It came under US control in 1850 and was soon turned into a prison and housed the most notorious criminals. (Columbia) From 1969 to 1971 AIM along with other Indigenous groups occupied the island. At the end of the occupation, Federal marshals removed the 15 people who were left from the more than 100 people who had made their temporary home on the island. (Kotlowski) It became a national recreation area a year later. (Columbia)

Alcatraz galvanized Indian pride and consciousness and heralded a new era in American Indian activism. Nov 1969-june 1971. Belca Cottier (1964) was the first occupation of four hours. Group offered 47 cents an acre for the total of 9.40 for the island and drove claim stakes into the ground to mimic Lewis and Clark. Fort Laramie Treaty ((http://digital.library.okstate.edu/kappler/vol2/treaties/sio0594.htm)  gave Indians the right to claim abandoned federal property, but it has proven to be an unsuccessful strategy in court. (Langston)

Alcatraz was success in that there was more attention brought to indigenous peoples in the United States. The currents of justice seemed to be flowing in the right direction. Tao Pueblo’s claim to Blue Lake in New Mexico was recognized and Alaskan Natives Claims Settlement Act of 1971 transferred 40 million acres and a billion dollars to Alaskan Aboriginals (Kotlowski) However, success stories after Alcatraz were wrought with conflicts.

In 1972, AIM responded to the murder of Raymond Yellow Thunder (Lakota) because murders and sexual assaults of Indians in border towns when committed by whites were seldom prosecuted. His family was unable to get tribal attorneys or the BIA to investigate his death. AIM demanded another autopsy which found that the cause of death was not exposure but a brain hemorrhage from being beaten to death (Langston) They were unsuccessful in giving the Yellow Thunder family closure along with another case brought to them by Sarah Bad Heart Bull (Lakota) when her son was fatally stabbed by a white man who was released with no charges. For this case 100 AIM members went to the courthouse in Custer, South Dakota. But as Bad Heart attempted to get past the crowd and into the courthouse police officers pushed her down the steps, using a nightstick on her throat. Seeing an elder mistreated in this manner incited a riot. Officers threw tear gas and the radical members of AIM set fire to the courthouse and the chamber of commerce. Dennis Banks and Russell Means were brought up on riot charges, though they were inside when the incident occurred. Bad heart got 3-5 year sentence and served 5 months. Her son’s murderer however got two-month probation and served no time.

“Let’s make our stand at Wounded Knee, because that place has meaning for us, because so many of our people were massacred there” Gladys Bisonette proclaimed, beginning The Second Battle at Wounded Knee.

South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Reservation had a murder rate 700 times that of Detroit. (Langston)  The newly installed tribal chair Dick Wilson was seen as corrupt because of an action that allowed him to unilaterally sign away a large, mineral-rich tract of reservation land in exchange for being allowed to set up a feudal barony (Anonymous) The existing government of Pine Ridge was disliked by AIM since its laws were promulgated under the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. (Koltlowski) The tribal government motioned for an impeachment, however the BIA put Wilson in charge of his own impeachment. (Anynoymous)

Wilson had a police force which was named Guardians of the Oglala Nation (GOONs). (Anonymous) A notably corrupt organization, Half of BIA police moonlighted as GOONs and banned AIM activities. The atmosphere prior to the 71-day siege reflected the commonly committed arsons, beatings, and murders. AIM leaders were backed by traditional Sioux leaders such as Gladys Bissonette. (Kotlowski) Federal forces were used without required presidential proclamation and executive order. Of the 350 occupiers, less than 100 were men. During the occupation of wounded knee, Special Operations group of US marshals were posted on the reservation to support Wilson. (Anonymous) Nearly every AIM member was arrested after wounded knee and 185 Federal indictments were issued.

The siege of Wounded Knee ended on May 7th 1973 when federal officials agreed to conduct a full-scale investigation of the Wilson regime. (Anonymous) “Paul Chaat Smith, an American Indian writer and associate curator at the National Museum of the American Indian, ”when exhausted, hungry rebels signed an agreement that ended the Wounded Knee occupation. There were other actions and protests, but none came close to capturing the imagination of the Indian world or challenging American power.” (New York Times)

As a Result of the Wounded knee demonstration, Violations of the Fort Laramie Treaty were examined and AIM began the International Indian Treaty Council. (Anonymous) However, there were fatal consequences for their resistance. Between 1973-1976, over 350 AIM members suffered serious physical assaults on or near Pine Ridge, 69 of which were fatal. “The FBI declined to investigate the murders and assaults because it was short of manpower” (American Indian Movement siege of Wounded Knee. The last national officer, John Trudell, resigned in 1979 after his entire family was mysteriously murdered on the Duck Valley Reservation in Nevada.

Gladys Bissonette, an Oglala Lakota elder and one of the leaders of the violent turmoil, lost her son, Pedro Bissonette who was the president of the Oglala Sioux civil rights organization when BIA police engaged in a fatal encounter for him in 1973. Gladys’s daughter Jeanette Bissonette was shot dead on the way home from Pedro’s funeral. No indictments ever occurred against the GOONs. (Langston)

Since the swell of the Red power movement in the 70s, Pine Ridge and other reservations have not escaped the plagues of poverty and alcohol, where government neglect remains. (NYT) In the end, Legal battles have bankrupted the movement and the lack of unity in leadership allowed for certain weaknesses to be exploited. (Langston) Today civil rights such as sovereignty, hunting and fishing, and voting are still issues facing Native people today. Standing Rock has been an outstanding example of Indigenous resistance.

 

 

 

 

 

Works Cited

American Indian Women’s Activism in the 1960s and 1970s Author(s): Donna Hightower Langston Source: Hypatia, Vol. 18, No. 2, Indigenous Women in the Americas (Spring, 2003), pp. 114132 Published by: Wiley on behalf of Hypatia, Inc. Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3811016 Accessed: 25-05-2017 18:51 UTC

“PRIMARY SOURCE: American Indian Movement Siege of Wounded Knee: A roadblock on the road to Wounded…” Government, Politics, and Protest: Essential Primary Sources, edited by K. Lee Lerner, et al., Gale, 2006. Biography in Context, link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/PC2687587104/BIC1?u=milw10296&xid=51c1513a. Accessed 19 May 2017.

“Alcatraz.” Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6Th Edition, Mar. 2017, p. 1. EBSCOhost, 0-search.ebscohost.com.libus.csd.mu.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=39042914&site=ehost-live.

Kotlowski, Dean J. “Alcatraz, Wounded Knee, and Beyond: The Nixon and Ford Administrations Respond to Native American Protest.” Pacific Historical Review, vol. 72, no. 2, May 2003, p. 201. EBSCOhost, 0-search.ebscoh ost.com.libus.csd.mu.edu/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=9888060&site=ehost-live.

Anonymous. “American Indian Movement Siege of Wounded Knee.” Government, Politics, and Protest: Essential Primary Sources, edited by K. Lee Lerner, et al., Gale, 2006, pp. 276-278. Biography in Context, link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/CX2687500112/BIC1?u=milw10296&xid=66604b03. Accessed 18 May 2017.

“On Wounded Knee.” New York Times, 24 Oct. 2012, p. A24(L). Biography in Context, link.galegroup.com/apps/doc/A306150420/BIC1?u=milw10296&xid=0ff2d4f9. Accessed 18 May 2017.

Essays

Importance of Principles

Clare McCullough

The first prime minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru, once said “Failure comes only when we forget our ideals and objectives and principles.” The leader of this new democracy knew the importance of keeping to our principles. A principle is a set of standards that determine the actions a person choses. Operating on principles hold you to a higher level of morality and integrity. Principles generally allow for more structure in life and thereby allow for your mind to ground itself and be used in a more efficient and appropriate way. They make up the fundamental basis of democracy, ethics, and all rules governing behavior.

For a morally right principle to become institutionalized as a norm it must become a standard of behavior. Norms are relative to culture, family, country, etc. and are often subject to change. Norms are the actions that countries are excepted to take based on the preferences of a substantial proportion of any population. Principles are an important part of government as well as pertinent to the integrity of our legacy as a human person. Unfortunately, some principles are purely symbolic and are ignored in practice. Principles are essential to uphold justice and provide the foundation of a functional society because if we agree on a set of standards it would be easier to apply the principles fairly and equally. We can assign basic rights to people and protect appropriately.

Moral actions are justified by the principle that the person acted upon. A person needs to accept universal application, or the norm, of whatever basic truth one acts upon. Principles guide order. A logical chain of reasoning is necessary for a principle to create foundations. There are Primary principles that are universal and secondary principles that apply in cases of exception. According to Aquinas, Natural law states that the basic ethical principle is as follows, “Good is to be done and pursued and evil is to be avoided.” If Principles provide a foundation for being a good person then, they are the single most important thing in your life.

 

Poetry

Tree

When the conditions are right

Love grows like trees do

building itself out of light

And air

And water

Its hands plunging into the dark soil

When it is still only an acorn

In its rayless hole

With no mind to guide it upwards

it reaches for the sun

Then, particles of light

Fall onto the green

Shaky leaves

which

exhale oxygen

But

People forget to tell you that,

As the love grows

it changes

From that smooth sapling

Into a wide,

tree

With roots that seem to reach

The center of the earth

The bark thickens

And the tree’s growth

creates the stretch marks

Criss-crossing its surface

Your tree is no longer smooth

No longer young

But the scars

In the scars you can

See all that eaten light

Essays

Meatless Mondays

Clare McCullough

If you’re a vegetarian or a vegan in America, it’s a little more challenging to find something tasty and filling to eat. Which of course makes sense; animal products are a huge part of our lives in American culture. Americans eat on average 5.3 pounds of meat a day. (Black)

America loves our meat, but have you ever wondered where that meat came from? I have and in learning about the issue I came face to face with a lot of realities that were hard for me to accept.  One of those realities was how much harm our meat-eating habits were doing world-wide. And, so I propose a grass-roots campaign to spread awareness of the environmental impact of animal agriculture and help curb the rising obesity epidemic. By using targeted reduction of even just one day, our rational consumption changes the narrative for both the health of our bodies and the environment. We need to take into account the full costs of our individual actions on a massive scale.

Animal Agriculture is a huge contributor to climate change, According to WorldWatch, “livestock and their byproducts account for at least 32,000 million tons of CO2 per year, or 51% of all worldwide greenhouse gas emission.” Which is more than all of the transportation sector combined. Yep, that’s the cars, trucks, boats, and planes all put together. We’ve been focusing on wrong areas, instead of transportation, we need to turn our attention to our diets.

Animal agriculture is one of the largest emitters of greenhouse gasses. There are a lot of people on the earth, and to support all of them and still preserve our environment, we need to cut back on energy exhaustive practices- think about how much energy goes into making a burger- grow the cow’s food, feed and hydrate the cow, deal with its waste, give it antibiotics, ship the fat cows, grind the meat, wash, cut, clean, package, ship, and cook. The long processes that go into making that hamburger emit a lot of CO2 and all the while these cows on the farms are emitting upwards to a 150 billion gallons of methane globally per day. (IBT) And if we were to reduce methane, we would see results of a more relieved climate almost immediately (UN)

Going meatless on Mondays would also help decrease obesity. More than 30% of adults in Wisconsin are obese and the effects of obesity are very serious; it is related to heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.(CDC) These diseases are preventable, and by doing whatever we can to help, and utilizing Marquette’s deep commitment to the well-being of the whole human family, we can make a difference by cutting out meat for one day a week. Though many people have the conception that vegetarianism is unhealthy, that is clearly untrue.

According to AND, vegetarians are at lower risk for developing: Heart disease, Colorectal, ovarian, and breast cancers, Diabetes, Obesity, and Hypertension (high blood pressure).  Eating a healthy vegetarian diet is typically higher in fiber and lower in fat content. By promoting a vegetarian lifestyle we promote a healthy and sustainable lifestyle. But obesity isn’t the only thing that Meatless Mondays would help curb.

the environmental impact of animal agriculture. We need to take care of this earth, since it’s the only one that we have. It is certain that its destruction, would mean our destruction.

And, though I know that Climate change is a bit of a political point, and there are people who deny it, I would still like to bring up facts that often come up in the scientific community about it. Global warming is caused by heat getting trapped in the atmosphere and in effect, disrupting weather patterns and increasing the overall temperature of the earth. The safe level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere at its maximum, is 350 parts per million. In 2014, we passed 400. As a result, the sea level is rising due to the ice sheets of Greenland and the Antarctic melting. Oceans are acidifying. “Climate change will destroy, damage, or permanently change every single ecosystem” (Sierra Club)

All of the effects that scientists had warned us about are starting to become a reality, and according to NASA, the result of climate change on the Midwest will entail, “Extreme heat, heavy downpours, and flooding will affect infrastructure, health, agriculture, forestry, transportation, air and water quality, and more. Climate change will also exacerbate a range of risks to the Great Lakes.” One of the ways we can combat Climate change is to start Meatless Mondays since climate change will affect all of us and it’s a small price to pay to prevent the destruction of the planet.

But even if you don’t believe in Climate change, there are still reasons to cut back on meat. According to FAO, livestock or livestock feed occupies 1/3 of the earth’s ice-free land. And, it has so far, contributed to 91% of the deforestation of the Amazon Rainforest, one of the most ecologically diverse places on the planet. This is just one of the many immediate impacts of animal agriculture.

Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, because deforestation and converting the land to grow feed and for animal grazing. Natural predators in the regions where the land is converted are often killed since they are a perceived threat to livestock profits. According to the center for biological diversity, 30-50 percent of all species could be heading toward extinction by 2050. This loss of biodiversity has been unprecedented since the last mass extinction: The end of the dinosaurs.

The pervasive use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides that are used for growing feed contribute to water pollution and contribute to ocean dead zones. The overexploitation of commercial fishing which has depleted 75% of the world’s fisheries will lead us to, according to national geographic, fishless oceans by 2048. I will be 51 years old, and at that time, if all goes well, my kids will be going to college, just like I am right now. But they might not live in a world like I do. Their world, and mine will be vastly different. It is my wish that, when I am old, I will not have to tell them stories of how the world used to be, but show them how magnificent the natural world is, how I spent my summers camping, fishing, and hiking in the seemingly endless parks with my family. And according to Wannaveg, if just one person participated in meatless Mondays for a year, that person would reduce their meat consumption from 250 pounds to 215 pounds, which is a big difference when you factor in the reduction of over 400 pounds of manure, and the 84,000 gallons of water, 245 pounds of grain, 7,700 sq feet of rainforest, and 15.5 gallons of gas saved, and of course, 1 animal’s life.

It is our responsibility, As citizens of this world to ensure that the spill over of our climate destruction doesn’t only affect other countries but also doesn’t follow us into the future.

Black, Jane. “Oh, Meatless Mondays; the Movement has Legs, but Will it be Able to Get Past the Industry’s Talking Points?” The Washington Post, May 19, 2010, ProQuest Central, https://0-search.proquest.com.libus.csd.mu.edu/docview/304154117?accountid=100.

http://www.ibtimes.com/cow-farts-have-larger-greenhouse-gas-impact-previously-thought-methane-pushes-climate-change-1487502

Poetry

A Short Critique on the American Democracy

Clare McCullough

Bottle rockets and the

Fourth of July

Who knew freedom came in a pack

Of hamburger buns

A celebration of this great nation

Independence day with nearly 25%

Of the world’s prison population

A history of slavery and terrorism

The mandatory nonvoter forever a nonissue

ignored abused and intimidated; American citizens

For fear that their preaching of acceptance

and tolerance just might start working

Predation is a part of exploitation

We’re American, we’re free but

hypocrisy is in the make of our 1770s jeans

Its not amazing that our empathy isn’t working

Don’t listen to Ron Reagan or Bill Clinton;

poor people are not to blame

it’s the piles of money and decades of shame

Law and order are easy when money has more

Value than Eric Garner’s ability to breathe

Lee, Michelle Ye Hee. “Does the United States Really Have 5 Percent of the World’s Population and One Quarter of the World’s Prisoners?” The Washington Post. WP Company, 30 Apr. 2015. Web. 22 Mar. 2017.

Essays

Reinventing the ‘F’ Word: Feminism

[youtube=://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ma2n2O3p_k4&w=854&h=480]

AHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

When it comes to shedding light on equality and corruption in the art world, the women in the gorilla masks dominate and inspire.

With their unique approach to protest and activism, they’ve drawn attention to many issues in the current art world. Combining statistics, humor and art, they’ve created exhibits, prints and public pieces for us to see and reflect upon. The Guerrilla Girls freely showed all the ways sexism, racism and corruption take place within in the modern art world, on February 22nd, they spoke at the Milwaukee Institution of Art and Design (MIAD).

The women are anonymous but take on the names of famous female artists. Many of these artists which I found myself not familiar with. This drove home the truth of their word that the female gender is underrepresented in art museums and history. The issues that were addressed stemmed from statistics the Guerrilla Girls have followed for decades when they started in 1985 New York. Since then they have become an international phenomenon that people cannot, and don’t want to, ignore.

The Guerrilla Girls have given attention to the entertainment industry. This attention is given mostly through billboards in Hollywood about lack of opportunity and recognition in the Academy Awards. The Oscars that premiered this Spring 2017 proved them to be expanding their diversity. But awards shows are just the product of an industry that has a history dominated by white males. To witness and begin to change the under representation, we must begin with the writers, producers and financiers of the movie/art industry that create the opportunity. In awards shows, the movies are already made, the cast is already hired and the crew has already done their work. We must begin with the script writers and studios executives who create our films. The Guerrilla Girls talked about how the art industry is, and has been, all about money and power. It is time to confront the real issues that are dominating our creative fields. This world we find ourselves in needs a wake up call and the Guerrilla Girls give it to us, with powerful Guerrilla tactics.

Miad Event and the Milwaukee Art Museum:

Poetry

A Collection of Three Poems

Chris Kresser

Atone
The game show has begun
Stop talking when you hear the bell ring
You may respond if you’ve been called
Now let them all sing

We are here to find a leader
The one who will gladly take up the cup
Not for greed, power, or lust
But for god, guns, and country

Argot spoken from golden tongues
Ensemble suits and pockets weighted
The accusatory finger pointed at the congregation
But you will find no members of the cloth here

You say you know us
You say you know where we have been
“I am you”
But I cannot see what you claim

I see hefty shoulders and chins held to the sky
I see men with opulent houses
I see women with eyes burning and wide
Absent is the eagle’s seal

Bearing no branch of olives
No strife, nor character to claim
“The fault lies in you”
Says the appointed few

But to the land you love to castigate
Your contributions show only deposits
While the starved feeble parish
On the roads you paved with promises

Where will you go, when your kin ask you to atone?

Wise Words from the 26th
Red pen marks that circle around text
Covered across the white pressed surface
Looking on with doubt
I must remind myself “It is not the critic who counts”

To mark a page is painless
To shout at the stage is seamless
To call every play is effortless
To mock the one who tries is cowardice

Without sounding preachy
During my life I have come to know
When you’re the one in the arena
It is not they who make the mark

The only one that can critique
And second guess your every step
The only one that can truly fulfill you
Is the one who continues on

Till the very last breath

The Algorithm
Attached at the hip. Spines of rigid cogs and screws
An extension of my fingers. Printed black text
Updated constantly with the news.

ANDERSON COOPER SECRETLY A MORMON
ROBERT DE NIRO DEAD IN THREE DAYS
BOMB WENT OFF IN SYRIA TODAY

The cacophonies rip at my back bones
But hey, at least now I fit the mold
Information bought not sold

I feel the dashes and dots in my brains
I can hear it coursing through my veins
All of it noise and echo chambers

Did you know this? Did you know that?
This is cool! This is bad! Error ERROR!
System hack. Upload. Reboot. Crash.

Essays

Traveling Backwards

Miriam Nei

With so many medical technological advances being made in today’s society, we seem to be regressing when it comes to rhetoric surrounding women’s healthcare. While Congress focuses on the controversial topic of abortion, albeit an important topic, they are neglecting with other issues relating to reproductive health such as sexual and reproductive education, maternity care, mental health care and access to affordable contraceptives. Our society is progressing in so many different fields and we need to start taking bigger steps to ensure progress does not slow and the protection of women’s right to health care, no matter what type is upheld.

Before the Obama administration passed the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA), health insurance companies applied what is referred to as “gender rating”. Gender ratings determined how much a person would be charged in monthly premiums, based off their gender, (Healthline) and is comparable to car insurers charging higher premiums for young teenage drivers. According to healthcare.com, before the ACA was passed, women were paying up to 50-81% more in monthly premiums than men (Healthline). Insurance companies justified this inherently discriminatory action on the basis that women live longer and give birth therefor requiring more medical care, and thus requiring more costs, than men. However, thanks to the ACA, it is now illegal for health insurers to use gender rating along with requiring basic birth control and women’s wellness exams to be covered in full under every plan (Healthline). The Trump administration has upheld its intent to repeal the ACA showing no concrete alternative to replace it. Women’s reproductive and basic healthcare is in jeopardy because of this push.
With the election of Trump came the rising wave of women flooding doctor’s offices to get intrauterine devices or (IUD’s) before their care is irreversibly compromised. Women have had strong reactions, and with good reason, even with the successes of the ACA in regards to reproductive healthcare, there are still dire issues. According to World Health Organization (WHO), about ⅓ of the health issues in women ages 14-44 are caused by sexual and reproductive problems with 222 million women not getting the contraceptive services they need. Deaths were around 300,000 from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth, most of which could have been avoided with access to proper family planning and basic services (WHO). It’s time our government and medical professionals make women’s health a priority.

Abortion already being a touchy and highly controversial subject, a turning point occurred on February 8th in Oklahoma, with two House Bills (HB) being presented that would potentially compromise women’s already imperiled healthcare options. The first bill, HB 1549, would keep women from having access to an abortion due to the fetus having a genetic abnormality, no matter how early a woman sought termination. This bill was struck down after it concluded that it was not the imperative of the government to question why a woman elected to have an abortion as long as it was before the time of fetal viability (The Intercept). This means that as long as the fetus was aborted before the state’s cutoff date (usually around 22 weeks) the government can have no say as to why a woman is electing termination.
The second bill, however, was even more alarming. Presented by representative Justin Humphrey, HB 1441 would require any woman looking to undergo an abortion to acquire written consent from her sexual partner before an abortion could be performed. (Jordan Smith) This bill would also potentially allow the procedure to be forestalled if the father of the fetus wished to contest paternity. HB 1441 has the potential to put women in extremely dangerous situations, both physically and mentally, especially for the victims of domestic abuse. With the presentation of this bill, women were essentially being told that they have no right to make a highly personal and difficult decision about their own body without the permission of a man, something that is downright archaic. Luckily, this bill failed to pass, much like a similar provision that was turned down in 1992 (Smith). The presentation of this bill alone, however, I believe is an affront to women across this nation.

According to The Intercept, Humphrey justifies HB 1441 by stating he believes men are “excluded from these kinds of decisions” despite the male-dominated Congress. Women have a right to make choices about their own bodies, but without their needs being represented there would have been violations for their right to healthcare.
Humphrey states he understands that women feel their body is their own, but in a recent statement, women are actually what he refers to as a “host”, stating women should not decide to go back on being a good “host” once she’s pregnant (The Washington Post).

Where we stand today, not only is the rhetoric surrounding women’s health care is at best subpar. We as a society need to focus more on general and preventative health care. Also, we should encourage healthy decisions through sexual and reproductive education, and ensure that women have access to the proper care they need and most importantly are represented in government. It is time for a revolution within the healthcare community.

References

Theintercept. “Oklahoma Lawmakers Want Men to Approve All Abortions.” The Intercept. Jordan Smith, 13 Feb. 2017. Web. 01 Mar. 2017.

Somashekhar, Sandhya, and Amy B. Wang. “Lawmaker Who Called Pregnant Women a ‘host’ Pushes Bill Requiring Fathers to Approve Abortion.” The Washington Post. WP Company, 14 Feb. 2017. Web. 01 Mar. 2017.

Bustreo, Flavia, Dr. “Ten Top Issues for Women’s Health.” WHO. World Health Organization, 8 Mar. 2015. Web. 01 Mar. 2017.

Written by Rose Rimler | Published on June 13, 2016. “Should Women Pay More for Healthcare Services?” Healthline. Healthline Media, 13 June 2016. Web. 01 Mar. 2017.

Opinion

Women’s March on Washington 2017

The Woman’s march on Washington was a collection of identities that intersected in one purpose; rallying for Civil Liberties. Joining together for the freedom that was promised to us as our birthright. America is our home; she is our adopted mother. During President Trump’s inauguration speech, he promised to put America first.

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But his rhetoric is indicative of a single type of America, a single story. The American that is of European decent. The one that is rich in money and intolerance. The one who has gotten what was promised to him from the moment he was born. That is not the Common American. She is one of many faiths, ethnicities, abilities, orientations, occupations, genders, and other many cultures. We are proud, intersectional, and we are strong.

The America that I know is one that is made stronger by our differences. The lines that divide us; we use to build the strongest foundations. We have grown from 200,000 in 1963 (History) to 470,000 in 2017 (NY Times). Arm in arm we march and we lend our voices to each others life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.

We marched for that America.

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Martin Luther King Jr. was a preacher who was viewed as more of a threat to our society than the disease of segregation, than intolerance, and especially the domestic terrorism that has been waged and still is being perpetrated against the most vulnerable of us. In my eyes this domestic terror starts with hate speech, and that violence has no place in this nation.

During the hearing of Dylann Roof, a young man who shot nine black Americans in the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Chruch on the basis of their race; a victim’s family member said this “We are the family that love built, we have no room for hating” (CNN) Our strength in the face of violent hate and after losing so much, is forgiveness.

But, we must remember the pain of extrajudicial killings from police officers; the deaths of Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Freddie Gray, and countless unnamed others whose justice was denied without police accountability for their fatal actions. Remember that the change we need doesn’t come from a single person, it comes from a movement, it comes from a place of love.

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We have not come to denounce each other, we are here to grow in our understanding of each other. To show our solidarity to all others who are also living their nonviolent struggle for peace. I am here to say that Black Lives Matter, Islamophobia is Anti-American, we stand in solidarity of our water protectors in Standing Rock as well as all those people still suffering in Flint MI. Among so many others we stand in solidarity. We must answer the hate by filling the world with more love. I’m hoping by standing out here that the other side will see the validity and soundness of our arguments and appeals. They will gather around the firmness of our truth and our love.

But as Gandhi once wrote back in 1918 in the Indian times, “Prejudices cannot be removed by legislation… They yield only to patient toil and education.”

Donald Trump attended Fordham University and the University of Pennsylvania (BS). And in places of such learning, it saddens me that some lessons didn’t stick with President Trump. With his prosperity, he went to turn over the earth, instead of building bridges and he built walls around his home.

He forgets that we are not opponents on either side of an ideological war. We are not authoritarian soldiers coming to take everything that he holds dear. We have no guns, no tanks, no swords; We only have our pens, our voices, and our want for peace. Especially for those backs that this country was built on. Those who are still searching for the freedom that they came here to find, and who’s justice has been denied for far to long.

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To invoke the words of Martin Luther King Jr, just before he was shot like so many of ours today. I have been to that mountaintop, He saw America for all that she could be. He was dismissed as a radical by many but as he states in his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” He is a radical of love. He lived the revolutionary moment that existed in his mind. And like him, I have seen that shining city upon that hill.

You are here because you have seen what I have. You have heard the words of our new president and you know that those words do not represent America, our shining city that exists in all of our minds. We have seen a world were people are heard and believed and protected from those who would do us violence. Looking at the past of America; we know that intolerance will fail as all things tended with hate do. Progress is achievable because when we rise with love in our hearts; we win. 

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[youtube=://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5M1WJ48_wac&w=854&h=480]

“There is nothing more American than peaceful protest”

— Russ Feingold

 

 

http://www.history.com/topics/black-history/march-on-washington/videos/martin-luther-king-jr-leads-the-march-on-washington

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