Posted in Almost Dorothy

Almost Dorothy on Martin Luther King

“True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.” –Martin Luther King

Edward Snowden and I are on our way to America (or back to Russia) to bring justice for all. Maybe this is an illusion but I like to think I can make a difference just like I can make spaghetti and just like Edward Snowden can steal secrets. It’s no secret that racism exists and that it is taught to us by our parents and reinforced through social interactions and the media. What is a secret is that there’s a large percentage of the population that believe race doesn’t matter when it comes to dispensing justice for all. This fact remain: there is a disparity when dispensing justice in America.

According to the Center for  American Progress:

1. While people of color make up about 30 percent of the United States’ population, they account for 60 percent of those imprisoned. The prison population grew by 700 percent from 1970 to 2005, a rate that is outpacing crime and population rates. The incarceration rates disproportionately impact men of color: 1 in every 15 African American men and 1 in every 36 Hispanic men are incarcerated in comparison to 1 in every 106 white men.

2. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, one in three black men can expect to go to prison in their lifetime. Individuals of color have a disproportionate number of encounters with law enforcement, indicating that racial profiling continues to be a problem. A report by the Department of Justice found that blacks and Hispanics were approximately three times more likely to be searched during a traffic stop than white motorists. African Americans were twice as likely to be arrested and almost four times as likely to experience the use of force during encounters with the police.

3. Students of color face harsher punishments in school than their white peers, leading to a higher number of youth of color incarcerated. Black and Hispanic students represent more than 70 percent of those involved in school-related arrests or referrals to law enforcement. Currently, African Americans make up two-fifths and Hispanics one-fifth of confined youth today.

4. According to recent data by the Department of Education, African American students are arrested far more often than their white classmates. The data showed that 96,000 students were arrested and 242,000 referred to law enforcement by schools during the 2009-10 school year. Of those students, black and Hispanic students made up more than 70 percent of arrested or referred students. Harsh school punishments, from suspensions to arrests, have led to high numbers of youth of color coming into contact with the juvenile-justice system and at an earlier age.

5. African American youth have higher rates of juvenile incarceration and are more likely to be sentenced to adult prison. According to the Sentencing Project, even though African American juvenile youth are about 16 percent of the youth population, 37 percent of their cases are moved to criminal court and 58 percent of African American youth are sent to adult prisons.

6. As the number of women incarcerated has increased by 800 percent over the last three decades, women of color have been disproportionately represented. While the number of women incarcerated is relatively low, the racial and ethnic disparities are startling. African American women are three times more likely than white women to be incarcerated, while Hispanic women are 69 percent more likely than white women to be incarcerated.

7. The war on drugs has been waged primarily in communities of color where people of color are more likely to receive higher offenses. According to the Human Rights Watch, people of color are no more likely to use or sell illegal drugs than whites, but they have higher rate of arrests. African Americans comprise 14 percent of regular drug users but are 37 percent of those arrested for drug offenses. From 1980 to 2007 about one in three of the 25.4 million adults arrested for drugs was African American.

8. Once convicted, black offenders receive longer sentences compared to white offenders. The U.S. Sentencing Commission stated that in the federal system black offenders receive sentences that are 10 percent longer than white offenders for the same crimes. The Sentencing Project reports that African Americans are 21 percent more likely to receive mandatory-minimum sentences than white defendants and are 20 percent more like to be sentenced to prison.

9. Voter laws that prohibit people with felony convictions to vote disproportionately impact men of color. An estimated 5.3 million Americans are denied the right to vote based on a past felony conviction. Felony disenfranchisement is exaggerated by racial disparities in the criminal-justice system, ultimately denying 13 percent of African American men the right to vote. Felony-disenfranchisement policies have led to 11 states denying the right to vote to more than 10 percent of their African American population.

10. Studies have shown that people of color face disparities in wage trajectory following release from prison. Evidence shows that spending time in prison affects wage trajectories with a disproportionate impact on black men and women. The results show no evidence of racial divergence in wages prior to incarceration; however, following release from prison, wages grow at a 21 percent slower rate for black former inmates compared to white ex-convicts. A number of states have bans on people with certain convictions working in domestic health-service industries such as nursing, child care, and home health care—areas in which many poor women and women of color are disproportionately concentrated.

Read this: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/23/nyregion/23trial.html?_r=0

Posted in Almost Dorothy

Almost Dorothy is pro ‘bear arms’

The right to bear arms.
The right to bear arms.

In response to the Trayvon Martin case and George Zimmerman’s overzealous quest to bear arms, I believe we should focus more on the rights of every American to bear arms. If we lived in a world in which every human has the right to hang a pair of bear arms upon their wall, we’d have a safer and more peaceful planet. It’s simple. When people spend their time shooting bears for their arms, there will be less time wasted on people shooting other people. Let’s focus on shooting bears for their arms and hang those arms on our walls. Or, let’s just manufacture synthetic bear arms so we don’t have to shot real bears and risk our lives. The best thing: we can wear these bear arms over our real human arms just like the guy above. That’s awesome, right?! So, let’s stop shooting each other because there’s no point. We can’t even hang the arms of our victims on our walls. Shoot a bear and hang his or hear bear arms on the wall or just buy your very own bear arms at your local bear arm dealer. It’s a no brainer. God Bless bear arms! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RablPaIREkk

Posted in Almost Dorothy, Culture Clash

Almost Dorothy breaks her silence on the Trayvon Martin case

On my way back to the United States with fugitive Edward Snowden, I read about the Trayvon Martin murder trial. People seem to be pretty (and ugly) split in their defense of Martin or the defendant, George Zimmerman. I’m not a biologist, but I have two or more things to say:

1. Why the fuck are ‘citizens’  like Zimmerman becoming vigilantes running around suburbia with guns when violent crime statistics across the country have fallen precipitously over the last 40 years. (See the New York Times article “Steady Decline in Major Crime Baffles Experts“.)

2. However, is there a connection between violent crime increasing since 2006 (New York Times), easy access to high-powered weapons and the doubling of gun ownership since 2000 (Live Science)?

3. Why did defense lawyers claim that Trayvon Martin used concrete as a weapon against George Zimmerman? If Zimmerman was stalking Martin, wouldn’t Martin thus have the right to defend himself using whatever means necessary, including concrete or karate. Does stand your ground only apply to people who are carrying guns? What about people who are unarmed? Are they the ones who have to justify their right to walk on any street in America at any time of the day?

4. Guns don’t kill people. People holding guns kill people. Limit access to guns in the hands of people who may kill people and maybe we can reduce the rising violent crime statistics of people using guns to kill people.

5. Why is it that Americans are presumed innocent before proven guilty in the court of law, yet we are allowed to shoot our fellow Americans down (especially in the State of Florida) on the streets without this same presumption of innocence?

6. Do people dress to kill and then buy skittles and ice tea instead or do people kill to kill regardless of the skittles or ice tea in one’s hands?

Anyway, like I said, I’m not physicist. I have to board my flight now from Vienna to an undisclosed location. I have Snowden in my purse and he has been a good sport about it. See you soon.

Trayvon Martin courtesy of MSNBC.
Trayvon Martin courtesy of MSNBC.

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Posted in Almost Dorothy

Almost Dorothy returns with Edward Snowden

Dear Readers,

I apologize for not blogging. As usual, hijackers hijacked me. For real. It’s been so surreal and real at the same time I’ve lost the ability to distinguish that dividing line between reality and fiction. Some days I wonder if I’m real or fiction, boy or girl, human or humane. But, this is a good thing. We should all question the quality and quantitative value of our existence. I have no idea what that means, but Sharon-Needles-to-say ma has paid the ransom and I’m on my way back to the United States with Edward Snowden, who swears he was just kidding about stealing state secrets. All Snowden really knows is that Lady Gaga’s new album is light-years behind what Bjork did a decade ago, which is like so ridiculous I’ll need to buy new sunglasses. So, get ready people. I’ve packed my bags, gobbled up some hot buffet at the cafeteria and I’m headed for America from lock-down at the Sheremetyevo International Airport. In the meantime, don’t hold your breath, but dream of me and the anti-rule of lawlessness.

Love you (almost) always,

Almost Dorothy

Almost Dorothy spotted at Sheremetyevo International Airport.
Almost Dorothy spotted at Sheremetyevo International Airport.
Posted in Almost Dorothy

14 Things I learned about dating donkeys

English: Two men shoeing a donkey. Black-and-w...
English: Two men shoeing a donkey. Black-and-white photograph. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1. Donkeys don’t date. They hook up or get hitched.

2. There’s no in between because that space in between hooking up and getting hitched is mined with the awkward sound of hu(man) communication.

3. What one donkey wants and what one donkey needs are often confused.

4. Wash hands. Rinse. Repeat. Often.

5. If one attracts a donkey, follow donkey home. Exit car or whatever mode of transportation you chose to take. Proceed to ddonkey’s bedroom window and watch for another donkey (male) (or female) (or male and female) beside your donkey date in his bed with his arms wrapped around him or her or them. In lieu of an empty nest. In lieu of loneliness.

6. Donkeys are quantum singularities in a pluralistic society.

7. Bring your own condom. Donkeys are also irresponsible.

8. Vegetarian donkeys are too complicated.

9. Omnivore donkeys are too voracious.

10. Coffee is code for sex. Sex is code for loneliness. Loneliness is code for only ever wanting sex. LTR is code for “Like Truly Ridiculous”.

11. Most donkeys can’t formulate a complete sentence in real-time unless it’s a text message.

12. A white knight is never a white knight.

13. A donkey is a hoofed mammal with long ears and a braying call; an ass.

14. A white donkey is still a donkey.

Posted in Almost Dorothy

An Education by Mama Dorothy

Cover of "An Education"

Yesterday ma and I read An Education by Lynn Barber. We spent the whole day sitting underneath our apple tree–book in hand and slathered in OFF to keep the mosquito assassins away–and read every word out loud as if we were at a gay pride parade declaring that we are humans, right? Anyway, ma liked the book and I did too. The best part of the book was when Barber talked about the beginning of her career when she worked at Penthouse magazine. Ma and I have always wanted a penthouse so we were exuberantly impressed that Barber actually worked in a Penthouse. That’s a dream come true, ma yelped as she sprinkled ginger powder on her Breyers vanilla bean ice cream.

By the way, ma and I don’t have an apple tree. We barely have a backyard. What we got are two potted cacti and a hose.

Back to An Education: we especially liked the part when Barber talked about raising goats. We also learned that London is a small country that is part of the United States of England. It’s filled with pubs and porn shops. We also learned that Nick Nolte is a cry baby. But, what we really loved the most about the book is the almost last line. Barber writes: “…I am a deep believer in the unknowability of other people….” I agree and shook my head and ma said I shouldn’t shake my head beneath an imaginary apple tree. This quote sparked an idea, one founded on the unknowability of other people, even the people closest to you. I don’t know ma. The people you think you should know the best are sometimes the people we know the least. Because we are too close. Too consumed by the present tense that we miss the subtle histories hidden between the cracks of our day-to-day lives.

I turned to ma and she picks her nose and I begin to wonder what brought ma to this brazen attempt to cleanse her nostrils. What are the totality of events that makes her ma? This whole picture I will never see because what I see now is just a reflection of the past, a past that is drawn between birth and the present. I don’t know you, I told ma as I closed the last chapter of An Education. Ma nodded her head like the wild bobble head dog on our dashboard. And that’s fine, she said, cause I don’t even know myself. I don’t believe you, I responded. Ma winked. I want to know you, I told her. She pulled her finger out of her nose and looked at me like she really, truly, and infinitely cares about me. If you want an education, she said, then listen. So I did.

Posted in Almost Dorothy, Culture Clash

Nerds want you to join Florida AIDS Walk 2012

What would a 12-year-old nerd do? After trying to feather his pretty hair, he’d help us raise funds for Florida AIDS Walk 2012. Join our team, donate and pass this link forward to friends and family: http://takeaction.aidshealth.org/site/TR?px=1008298&fr_id=1120&pg=personal.

Note: According to the CDC, only 9.6% of adult Americans have been tested for HIV. Furthermore, only 1 in 4 HIV infected Americans receive adequate medical care to control the disease.CNN.com reports that South Florida has one of the highest HIV infection rates in the nation. Although Florida AIDS Walk can’t fix these numbers, we are part of a long-term, multidimensional solution that will diminish the impact of HIV/AIDS on those living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.

Posted in Almost Dorothy

Sentence Generator

English: Diffuse and specular reflection from ...
Image via Wikipedia

1. The (re)formation of praxis invests itself in the discourse of the gendered body, ma says.
2. The poetics of process, I tell her, recapitulates the historicization of the image.
3. The eroticization of civil society asks to be read as the engendering of exchange value.
4. The emergence, I say as I raise my fist to her fat flat nose, of process is always already participating in the systemization of the specular economy.
5. or
6. The emergence of the specular economy is always already participating in the systemization of process.
7. The emergence of the specular economy, ma says, is always bullshit. We are already participating in the systemization of process.
8. The (re)formation of desire gestures toward the fantasy of pedagogical institutions.
9. I’m not a poodle ma says, as the emergence of the gaze functions as the conceptual frame for the engendering of the gendered body emerges from her conceptual body of evidence.
10. Why, I ask, is the reification of power/knowledge homologous with the invention of the natural?
11. The logic of history as such invests itself in the systemization of the nation-state. Ma sounds smartish in her spandex trance outfit.
12. Pootwattle’s stunning disquisition on the relationship between the fragmentation of post-Jungian analysis and the discourse of communicative rationality suffers, I tell her, from your almost complete ignorance of Latin.
13. Pig, ma says, is the necessary but perhaps impossible notion of the means of production and it suggests the divisibility of the hidden woman.
14. The illusion of pop culture replays (in parodic form) the politics of the public sphere.

Have fun here.

Posted in Almost Dorothy

California’s Same-Sex Marriage Ban is Unconstitutional

Godsend | Photo by Neil de la Flor

I’m gonna get same-sex married one day, I tell ma. I swear on my left wing. Marriage is for lovers, ma says. No it isn’t, I tell ma. Virgina is for lovers. Today ma and I decided we are going to the Supreme Court to support the upcoming battle over the constitutionality of same-sex marriage. Because we exist, ma says, we have rights. Even though Newt Gingrich exists, I say, he doesn’t have the right to take our rights away.

Because we believe in equal rights for all, ma and I will support the GLBTQ-I-PYT-R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Community. That’s what real humans do, ma says, support justice for all.

This morning ma packed up the van. We don’t really have a van but she stole the neighbor’s keys so we’ll use his van. He’s ok with it, ma says. Besides, I left him a bag of jasmine rice.

In any way, whatever happens, all I know is that same-sex marriage, just like different-sex marriage, should be granted to all human Americans because we are all human Americans. I mean, what if I want to marry my neighbor and we happen to share the same genitals? And what if we don’t have any genitals or decide to change our genitals after we marry? Does that mean we can’t get married or have to get unmarried? I mean, gosh, even criminals–murderers and rapists–can get married in jail. I can’t get married and I’ve never committed a crime except for maybe wanting to get married to someone who shares the same genitals I do. I don’t even know what genitals are.

Same-sex marriage shouldn’t be banned because I pay taxes. Taxes that go to pay for educating children of different-sex couple, taxes that pay for war, taxes that pay for social security benefits for widows of different-sex marriages, taxes that are used to pay for ‘investment’ credits for oil drilling companies like Exxon.

This ruling is a godsend, ma says. It is, I tell ma. And we are all god’s children, ma says.  Besides, this is one beautiful same-sex nation under malls.

Posted in Almost Dorothy, Politics

Wart Path

14th Amendment of the United States Constituti...
Image via Wikipedia

Ma says she is on the wart path because the government has denied immigration status to a same-sex married a couple who live in San Francisco, the city of Saint Francis, because of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which grants federal benefits to only opposite sex couples. One of the partners takes care of his AIDS-afflicted spouse and the U.S. government wants to send that caregiver away. Bye, bye!

Even though the Obama administration has stopped defending the unconstitutional DOMA, this hasn’t stopped republicans in the House of Representatives from hiring lawyers on behalf of DOMA. Ma says she is pissed off when she hears there’s no difference between politicians, between republicans and democrats. She gets pissed off when people say they are all the same, no good, not ever. Ma says just look at what the republicans want: the end of compassion, the end of empathy, the end of fairness, and the end of equality.

America, ma says, is about equality and justice. Not inequality and injustice. That’s what they do in Texas, mas says, but not in America! In the end, ma says that all you have to do is read the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution to understand that we are all guaranteed the same rights and are, and should be, equally protected under the laws of the United States.

I correct ma that she is on a war path, not a wart path,even though everything else she said is right. Ma says that she is on a wart path. Take a look at my toe, she says. Every step I take on this journey, this fucking wart is with me. Just like intolerance and hate will be with us so long as we see no difference in the people who chose to run our country (club) sandwich.