The Brutality of Being a Cop

If we want to fix the problem of unarmed black men being shot by police, we must do more than fight racism. There are racists police. There are racist people in every profession. Police officers have to deal with things on a daily basis that almost all of us could not deal with. They do it for society.
However, their main goal is to get home alive each day. They are trained for the situation of what to do if they feel threatened. That is to shoot and shoot to kill. People have to realize that and acknowledge the danger of appearing armed.
This is not to blame the black men either. Anger of how they are treated is justified. The problem comes from prejudice.
However, the most prejudiced police officer does not want to shoot a black man. Even if they are confident that they will be exonerated, life as they know it is over.
That is not to say that there is not a problem. It begins with bias. Recently I heard Paul Bloom on the Art of Charm discuss empathy and bias. He described how babies like people similar to them and are against those different. It is a survival technique ingrained in animals and humans. However, it does not work in modern times.
So combine this with learned bias. Society, statistics, and a large variety of things tell us that a black male is dangerous. Now Bloom talked about how with adrenaline our bodies revert to depending on bias.
So in a dangerous situation, a police officer feels the need to kill so that the self and others are not killed. They train to do so. I believe it needs to be that way.
We must identify this bias. Police officers and minorities. We need to teach people to respect the police. Even more important, we need to change the culture of the police so that minorities do not have rightful resentment towards being targeted and stopped more than white people.
We need to get rid of what divides us. This means, ultimately, socioeconomic factors. As separate races and as a whole, we are not doing enough.
This all begins with not looking for the easy answer and someone to blame. That is all too many people are doing on both sides. Let’s look to cities that are successful and mimic what they do.

Sundress Reading Series presents Andrea England, Minadora Macheret, and Clay Matthews

I enjoyed and recommend Clay Mathews’ Pretty Rooster chapbook!

The Sundress Blog

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Join us on February 26 at 2PM at Bar Marley for the February installation of the Sundress Reading Series!

Featured readings will include:

andrea-englandAndrea England is the author of two chapbooks, INVENTORY OF A FIELD (Finishing Line Press) and OTHER GEOGRAPHIES (Creative Justice Press). She has been a finalist for Four Way Books Levis Prize and Intro Prize, and has been awarded residencies from the Vermont Studio Center and SAFTA. Currently she lives and works between Kalamazoo and Manistee Michigan, where she works as an adjunct and serves as a board member to the non-profit organization, Friends of Poetry. More information about Andrea England and her poetry can be found at andreajengland.com.

minadora-macheret


Minadora Macheret is a graduate student at Kansas State University, where she received the Graduate Poetry Award and Seaton Fellowship. Her poems received the Isabel Sparks’ Poetry Prize. Her work is forthcoming from The Deaf Poets…

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Abortions

I do not understand how fundamentalists do not see how they filter the Bible. They look for the tidbits that they want. They say the Bible is to be believed and not interpreted. However, when you show them passages that is contrary to their believes, they interpreted them.

For example, there are passages that support abortion. One where God commands that it is okay to kill a woman carrying an innocent child. Another where a man may take his wife who he feels has been unfaithful to a priest and that priest can give a harmful substance to a woman with a child.
Exodus 21:22-25 which state:
22. And should men quarrel and hit a pregnant woman, and she miscarries but there is no fatality, he shall surely be punished, when the woman’s husband makes demands of him, and he shall give [restitution] according to the judges’ [orders]. 23. But if there is a fatality, you shall give a life for a life, 24. an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a hand for a hand, a foot for a foot. 25. a burn for a burn, a wound for a wound, a bruise for a bruise
Exodus 21:22-25, which reads:
“When men strive together, and hurt a woman with child, so that there is miscarriage, and yet no harm follows, the one who hurt her shall be fined according as the woman’s husband shall lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine. If any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.”

“O daughter of Babylon, you devastator! Happy shall he be who takes your little ones and dashes them against the rock!” (Psalms 137:8)

Most of these examples are taken from this article: http://www.prochoiceactionnetwork-canada.org/articles/bible.shtml

I am not saying abortion is right or good. I’m just saying that Bible contradicts itself. As if people writing the Bible threw in some of their own beliefs. I don’t think you can defend these passages without interpeting them, but aren’t we suppose to take it as the word of God period?

The Bill of Life

Faced with a big repair bill for my daughters car, I was doing a lot of self-pitying. Instead of fixing that car, I wanted to spend the money on my classic car- my savings for it is what will end up paying for the car or having some furniture that is not a hand-me-down. Something that says I am successful.

But in giving my daughter a ride home, just driving and talking with her just made me thankful. that I could help her but that I could just be near her. Suddenly I just felt very thankful and it felt like money well spent- that she gets to be in my life (we are not estranged, she is just in her twenties and living her life.
To have her in my life sure made that bill seem insignificant.

(picture of my car that I want to fix up (from 1980s)

Abortion from Hugs

Sex is not something you can’t live without, but it is a strong drive. There is not something analogous to it because our species need it to survive and thrive. There is judgment in prolifer’s zealousness to end abortion.

No, they would not be for it, but if it was not making the beast with two backs, instead of outlawing it, they would actually be trying to solve it. I will temper this by saying that prolifers are also worried about the direction of our society. There is evidence that suggest that they should be.

However, judgement and yes punishment is not the way to go. What if pregnancy was caused by hugging children. Nothing sexual, just a hug. Let’s say there was a 50/50 chance that you would get pregnant (man or woman) by hugging your own children or your newborn nephew. Your first grandchild. Or your second. or any child.

It is something you could live without. Yet, your feelings would tell you to do it. Our society and I believe our species require affection to our young. Not the same pleasure response. But a pleasure response nonetheless. Some people enjoy their children more than sex.

But my scenario takes the judgement out of abortion. Would we be trying to make law against hugging children. Would we say only married people could hugging young people. If someone slipped up and hugged a child, would we force that person to carry a baby? We would understand the drive to want to hug a child. Would there be people that would say, you can’t abort the child now. Take it as a blessing from God. Yes.

And yet, there would be a hell of a lot less judgement. You say that’s different. It is important to hug children and it is a positive, nurturing activity. So is sex. That is why we have a sex drive. And people have sex for the wrong reasons, but sometimes people hug children for the wrong reason. The single dad is lonely and their child is the only one that loves them. The aunt without children of her own is too attached to her niece and nephew to fill a need.

Without judgement and condemnation, there would be a solution to the problem. There would be a pill to take or a vaccination and everyone would know about it and it would be free. Men would think, I don’t have time to have a child, I have things to do. Those men against abortion gain their vehemence from a perhaps hidden, but deep wish that women were still the people that stayed at home and were subservient. There are women who believe this as well and could stay home and have as many children as they could afford.

You say my scenario is not realistic. So what, but maybe the touch of a children would cause the production of chemicals. Sex is just the efficient way to combine those chemicals

Not in God’s plan? God made sex between a man and a married. Who is not to say that God’s test is abortion and the answer is to stop taking sides and work together to solve the actual problem.

Switching Gears- For real this time

A few post ago I talked about switching gears without actually switching gears. I have a lot to say. I like thinking about it and laying something out. The problem is we do not change each others minds. We invigorate like-minded people and opposite minded people and keep them apart with arguments.

So then what shall I talk about. The intention was to talk about writing. I may have posts about writing and self-publishing. The problem I see is that others cover that.

And here is a hint about being a writer. You need to have a platform and on that platform, you give your audience what they want. You preach to the choir and write the way they like you to write. The other thing you need to do is connect.

I don’t know that I plan to do that. Because my plan is to write about what I know. I am a teacher of young people that have mental health and behavioral issues. So I will write about that. Actually, my plan is to steal things i write for a treatment group that i run. My focus though is not on fixing mental issues, but in presenting information that everyone needs to know.

In addition to children with mental illness. I teach children with autism. That is the main focus to my job.

Here is a funny scene:

My boss was talking about how being a special ed. Teacher you think your kid has every syndrome there is. She said I thought my child had this and that.
I agreed with her. I said I used to think that my child had autism. Then I found out I was right.

So I have read up on autism. I’m not an expert, but ive read the experts.And if I think of something worthwhile on the subject, I will post it.

Hope and Spare Change

Can Trump be what we hope for?

I don’t think so. But here is one reason rolling around in my head. We hate career politicians because they say whatever they need to to get elected. Trump is the same way- just more awkwardly so that we think he is sincere- he is actually just more bold.

Like all politicians, he has held every position on the issues. He has said something and admitted he said something just because he needed to.

In the end, he may have landed on your side (conservative, you ignorant slut). That does not mean there is going to be any really change. Especially when the houses still have to play politics. They are still beholding to the american people. (In Wisconsin, republicans have made laws and gerrymandered districts to take the power away from people, but they won’t be able to at the national level.

Changing Gears (Fail)

Changing Gears

I have to stop speaking, tweeting, and writing about politics. I must switch gears. Yes, at the same time, I must keep working to stop what I feel is the wrong direction, but I have to step away from this conflict.

Will Trump be the solution to our government?

First that is misleading. That is starting with two premises. That something is wrong with it and that it can be fixed.

I wonder if we have the expectation that government can be good. Which is weird because we know where we work is way messed up, our home life is not what we want it to be; and we are not who we want to be. Why do we think the government can be any different.

Republicans Are Right

Republicans are not wrong. We have a problem with our government. Corporations have a stranglehold on our country Politicians have to get into bed with too many people and are beholding to too many special interest groups. It is disgusting/

Many, (the ones who swung the votes his way),I think, saw Trump as a way to fix things. The alternate to him was to have things go on as before. I do not share that frustration, but I don’t think they were wrong with that idea either. If your choice is to do something or do nothing and have nothing change, then do something.

However, Trump will not be the solution because he is part of the problem. He is a corporation concerned only with the bottomline. Our government cannot act like that. It has grown so big because corporations have grown so big.

The real danger is Koch brothers and other people angering conservatives with rhetoric that will wreck us all.

To make the US government smaller, we keep the true enemy of democracy strong.