Being Green in 2016

Being Green in 2016

Why I Voted Green Party, And How The Green Party Platform Is Still The Antidote To Trumpism
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On Tuesday November 8th, 2016 I cast my ballot for the Green Party ticket: Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka. This was not done out of protest or emotional impulse, rather out of the realization that a legitimate and progressive platform was the antidote to the far right extremism of the Republican nominee, Donald Trump. I had not intended to make this vote at the beginning of 2016. Back then, it was very apparent that a Bernie Sanders nomination as the Democratic choice for president would've been more than sufficient for the Democrats to supersede the Republicans and crush Trump in the election. But when the DNC and Clinton campaign colluded to undermine the Sanders campaign, resulting in a Clinton victory; the probability of such a victory all but disappeared. It was very apparent at the get-go that the centrism of the Clinton campaign was equal in ideology to a moderate Republican. As any basic philosophical analysis would show, moderate republicanism (mostly made up of center and right wing policies) was incapable of defeating an extreme far right Republican (made up of the furthest right wing and conservative ideals). Thus, I was left with the only option of placing a vote for the Jill Stein of the Green Party. As truth be told, much of the population had their minds stuck in a bubble which perpetuated an unphilosophical illusion; convincing themselves that centrism can defeat far right extremism. This theory was unfortunately confirmed with the recent confirmation of president-elect Donald Trump.

The symptom of Trump and his supporters will not disappear from an election or change of administration. They exist as a cultural hallucination, a delusion separate from reality, similar to the previously mentioned illusion beheld by Clinton supporters; but to a much higher degree. An antidote is required to make obsolete that delusion; one that actually lives up to the claims of advancing civilization for everyone. The United States is a Union of States. It is time to become a Union of Peoples. The Green Party platform made it abundantly clear that their goals were for everyone's benefits. Whether it was abolishing student loan debt to free up the entire millennial and previous generations, The green new deal to revolutionize our infrastructure into 100% renewable energy, or addressing climate change as a national security emergency. The Green New Deal being pressed by the Green party would have eliminated the grievances that drew so many to vote for Trump.

The Green Party's and Stein campaign's very existence served as a contingency plan for either a Trump or Clinton victory. The errors and mistakes of the Clinton campaign would have existed even with a victory. Those mistakes and errors now must be fully recognized and addressed if Democrats are to prevent such a defeat again. The republicans may control the branches of government, but the illusion of control is very apparent. The haphazard coalition unified under Trump was factioned from the beginning. With a legitimate opposition that lives up to its principles, that haphazard coalition will crumble rapidly.

We must not be caught in gloom and despair. The remaining time we have until the inauguration in January must be spent organizing as efficiently as possible. We must ensure the multicultural, unionist, egalitarian, intellectual, and philosophical roots of the United States remains preserved and continues to grow. With the climate crisis reaching a peak, regression of civilization is intolerable. I leave you with the post election statements of Green Party nominee Jill Stein and her vice president candidate Ajamu Baraka:

Jill Stein:

“We do not consent to empire. We do not consent to racism. We do not consent to austerity. We do not consent to the prison industrial complex or a security state. We do not consent to a generation locked in debt. We do not consent to destruction of our climate, our environment or the basic premise of racial justice. We call for peaceful, nonviolent revolution by the ordinary people…”

Ajamu Baraka:

“We stand in solidarity with the communities that have suffered from harassment, voter suppression, and now the trauma of a Donald Trump victory and what it represents. The only answer to right-wing extremism is to build alternative power; a principled and strong movement that expresses and agitates for the needs of the American people.”

Cover Image Credit: North Carolina Green Party - NationBuilder

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What Makes Someone More Attractive

The facial features that make people particularly attractive.

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It's sometimes hard to pinpoint exactly what it is that attracts us to someone. It might be their confidence, or their sense of humor, or you might just like the way they look. A lot of research over the years has gone into trying to work out what it is that makes us fancy each other. Results have varied, showing women may like the smell of men who have a particular kind of diet, and men may find women in groups more attractive. Some research has suggested we often go for people who share some of the same characteristics we do. Below are some facial traits that can make someone more attractive to us, according to science.

Studies such as this one published in the Journal of Comparative Psychology, and this one published in the Journal of Evolution & Human Behaviour, have shown that in experimental conditions, men and women both prefer faces that are more symmetrical. A study on identical twins found that the twin with a more symmetrical face was considered more attractive. Even macaque monkeys have been observed gazing longer at symmetrical faces than asymmetrical ones. One conclusion scientists have reached to explain this is that in evolutionary terms, we may consider a symmetrical face a result of good health.

Having a face that developed in a symmetrical way could show you have "good genes," because you developed more successfully in the face of environmental pressures when you were in the womb. However, in 2014, research from Brunel University in London compared facial symmetry of about 5,000 teenagers, and found there was no correlation between symmetry and overall health.

It's not an absolute rule, though. In fact, you can probably think of many celebrities you fancy who don't have symmetrical faces at all. Sometimes, like in the case of Milo Ventimiglia, a crooked smile is what adds to someone's charm. In fact, absolute symmetry can make people look pretty weird. When attractive celebrities' faces are made to look symmetrical, they don't look quite right.

People tend to like faces that are distinctly average, or those that resemble others in the general population.I n 1878, a paper in Nature first noted that a bunch of faces blended together was considered more attractive than those on their own. One study, published in the journal Human Nature, argued it could be because average faces represent a more diverse set of genes, which is often a genetic advantage in fighting off illnesses and parasites.

A study in 2012, published in the Journal of Evolutionary Psychology, found that women prefer men who look older. The more financially independent women became, the more they said they liked older guys, according to the study. One explanation for what researchers have coined the "George Clooney Effect" could be that women are only fertile from puberty to menopause, while men can father a child until much later. Women may get a better offer by waiting until the man has more status and resources due to being older.

Some people love a bushy beard, whereas others go for clean-shaven men. A study in 2013 recruited 177 men and 351 women to look at pictures of men who had no facial hair, light stubble, heavy stubble, or a full beard. The results showed that women thought the most attractive beard length is heavy stubble or about 10 days of growth. Heavy beards, light stubble, and clean shaven were all equally less attractive than heavy stubble.

Facial scars can also make a man more attractive to a woman. One study, published in the journal Personality and Individual Differences, found that men could be considered more attractive if they had a facial scar, whereas this wasn't found for women. Researchers took photos of 24 male and 24 female students and manipulated them to look like they had scars on their faces. Then, another 200 students were asked to rate how attractive the photos were, and whether they thought the person would be good for a short or long-term relationship. Men with scars were rated as more attractive for short-term relationships than men without scars. There was no difference in how attractive women were with or without scars.

According to one study, published in Current Biology, genetics might not have much to do with it. The researchers found that the types of faces we fancy are influenced more by our personal experiences in life than anything else. The study found that identical twins had different ideas of who they thought was attractive, suggesting a genetic predisposition wasn't a factor. Overall, genetics explained just a fifth of the variation in people's preferences. The authors concluded that these results could explain how models and celebrities can make money from their good looks, while friends constantly disagree about who is to their taste.

A study from 2016 found that rather than men having a preference for certain features like lips or eyes, they went for more of an overall look. The researchers recruited 169 men in France and showed them two sets of random women's faces. They were asked to rate them on a scale of zero to 20 in terms of attractiveness. Results showed that overall, the faces the men found most attractive were "sparsely coded" — that means the ones that were symmetrical, plainer, and had no distinguishing features.

Some research suggests that we tend to find people who look like our opposite-sex parent attractive. According to research from St Andrews, we are attracted to the features that our parents had when we were born, possibly because we see them as our first caregiver and associate positive feelings with their features. In one study from 2002, researchers asked participants to rate how attractive faces of different ages were. "We found that women born to 'old' parents (over 30) were less impressed by youth, and more attracted to age cues in male faces than women with 'young' parents (under 30)," the authors wrote. "For men, preferences for female faces were influenced by their mother's age and not their father's age, but only for long-term relationships." Also, in a follow-up study, a sample of 697 men and women showed people were more likely to have romantic partners who had the same eye and hair color as their opposite-sex parents.

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If You Voted to Take My Rights Away This Election, Block Me

I am an American just as you but I do not have time to be friends with Republicans.

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You might find this harsh but…

I don't want to be friends with anyone who voted Republican this election.

What about friendship despite the odds? What about coexistence and tolerance? Why does it matter?

If you cannot support my rights as a woman, or my rights as a person of color, or my rights as a human being, I do not want to be your friend. If you do not support trans rights, reproductive rights, and #BlackLivesMatter, I do not want to be your friend. If you do not want to support Native Americans and indigenous peoples, if you do not want to support asylum seekers, if you do not want to support immigration, I do not want to be your friend.

I owe you nothing.

I know that this seems harsh, but if you sided with Donald Trump in the previous election, voted for Brian Kemp -a literal criminal- I do not owe you a single ounce of my energy.

Brian Kemp? A criminal, you say?

Voter suppression is an illegal act. Destroying ballots is an illegal act. Not sending power cords and broken machines to polling locations? Probably should be illegal.

This is not just because of a party difference, but I genuinely believe that we were cut from different cloths, raised differently, and have a different worldview.

I do not want to spend my time arguing with you. I do not want to spend my time telling you why I deserve rights. I do not want to spend time telling you why my brown brothers and sisters deserve rights. I do not want to tell you why my sisters of all shapes and sizes and colors should have bodily autonomy and the right to live freely. These things should be inherent.

I have spent so much time in my short life telling people that I deserve to be treated as any other human person that I am burned out. It is not my responsibility for me to make you "woke". Read some literature. Get woke.

I could care less if you voted Libertarian or Green Party or Democratic. I do not have it in me to argue with you on that, because you are entitled to vote however you choose -but the moment your party and your vote steps on my rights, I am not here to play nice.

My civil rights are not yours to take.

This midterm election is so important for many reasons. I did not wake up at 5:30 today with an alarm, rather, my body woke me up and let me know that today is a day of history.

So I extend my congratulations to all the new-elects. Many women of color today made history. I cannot wait to hear the results in Georgia, my home, and hopefully soon, the home of the first African American female governor of Georgia.

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