mykeystrokes.com

"Do or Do not. There is no try."

“Politics, Power, And Change”: Here’s What You Need To Understand About How Hillary Clinton Views Race

This afternoon, Hillary Clinton will deliver a speech on race in Harlem. There’s a political context here, of course, which is that African American voters are central to both the Feb. 27 South Carolina Democratic primary and the entire campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination.

But when Clinton speaks about race, something important happens: we get a revealing view not just of what she thinks is important, but of how she understands politics, power, and change.

According to guidance distributed by the Clinton campaign, today’s speech is going to cover a lot of policy ground, including criminal justice, education, housing, and economic opportunity. Clinton will also be discussing “systemic racism,” which is a key phrase to keep in mind to understand how she sees race, and how it differs from the way Barack Obama has dealt with racial issues over the past eight years.”

The idea of systemic racism has symbolic weight, but it’s primarily practical. It does speak to the fundamental truth that black people understand and that some whites resist, that racism exists in a thousand places at once, both those we can see and those we overlook. Saying you understand systemic racism is a way of saying that you see the problem as deep, wide, and historically grounded.

But it’s also a way of saying: This is a problem we, and the president him or herself, can actually do something about. If the racism that imposes itself on people’s lives is to be found in systems, then the way you attack it is to change the way those systems operate, through changes in law and policy.

In short — and if you’ll allow me to oversimplify things a bit — when it comes to race, unlike Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton doesn’t care how you feel.

Well of course she cares, but it’s not her primary concern. This is both her weakness and her strength.

Let me start this story in March 2008, when Obama delivered his much-praised speech in Philadelphia on race, after his former pastor Jeremiah Wright became controversial. In the speech you can see the stark difference between Clinton and him, or at least the candidate he was then. While Obama mentions in passing some of the ways racism has been embedded in institutions, most of the speech, and certainly the part people focused on after, was about different people’s perspectives on race. He talked about his white grandparents, noting that even the loving grandmother who largely raised him expressed fear of young black men. He talked about how white people who feel they never benefited from racial privilege can grow resentful of things like affirmative action. He talked about the anger of black people who continue to feel the sting of prejudice.

Like so many of Obama’s speeches in that campaign, it was extraordinarily eloquent and inspiring. It made you feel like no matter who you were, he understood you. Rereading it one can’t help but remember why many Americans went nuts for this guy.

As president, Obama has been extraordinarily cautious talking about racial issues. He obviously understands the way that his political opponents have cultivated racial resentments and used him as the symbol of everything anyone might fear about a time when white privilege is being challenged (regular listeners of conservative talk radio know, for instance, that Obama’s domestic policies are regularly described as “reparations,” wherein white people’s money is being stolen and then showered upon indolent, undeserving minorities). And though you could certainly point to any number of policy initiatives his administration has undertaken that address racial prejudice and its consequences, in his rare public statements on the topic Obama is far more likely to talk about people and their feelings, both black and white, than about the details of policy. It’s clear that he still believes that empathy and understanding are central to bridging the racial divides that his presidency has been unable to improve.

Clinton’s previous remarks on race, on the other hand, are essentially the inverse of Obama’s: some brief mention of values and feelings, quickly giving way to lengthy discussion of policy changes that can be made to address ongoing racial problems. You can see that in a major speech she gave in April about criminal justice reform. Early in the speech she articulated statements of values that link policy with ideas like justice and fairness: “There is something profoundly wrong when African American men are still far more likely to be stopped and searched by police, charged with crimes, and sentenced to longer prison terms than are meted out to their white counterparts.” She then talked about her own work as a young lawyer with the Children’s Defense Fund, but what stands out for me is that her discussion is about power and institutions. “I saw repeatedly how our legal system can be and all too often is stacked against those who have the least power, who are the most vulnerable,” she says, which is a statement about justice but also a way of saying, I understand this system. The speech is heavy with facts and figures, and while there are a few lines about hopes and dreams, it doesn’t address anyone’s feelings about race. Instead, it’s mostly about policy.

Or consider an even more vivid illustration, a fascinating spontaneous discussion she had with some Black Lives Matter activists in August. It may be the single clearest statement you can find illustrating Clinton’s perspective on social and political change as you’ll ever see.

The activists essentially argue to Clinton that symbolism, rhetoric, beliefs, and policy are all intertwined. At one point, Julius Jones says to her, “America’s first drug is free black labor and turning black bodies into profit, and the mass incarceration system mirrors an awful lot like the prison plantation system. It’s a similar thread, right? And until someone takes that message and speaks that truth to white people in this country, so that we can actually take on anti-blackness as a founding problem in this country, I don’t believe that there is going to be a solution.” He also wants to know what’s in Clinton’s heart, and how she feels about the mistakes of the 1990s. “What in you,” he asks, “not your platform, not what you’re supposed to say — like, how do you actually feel that’s different than you did before? Like, what were the mistakes? And how can those mistakes that you made be lessons for all of America for a moment of reflection on how we treat black people in this country?”

Clinton’s response, though she doesn’t put it these terms, is essentially that it’s not about what she feels. Again and again, she comes back to the idea that you need a program, an agenda of specific things government should do:

So, all I’m saying is, your analysis is totally fair. It’s historically fair. It’s psychologically fair. It’s economically fair. But you’re going to have to come together as a movement and say, “Here’s what we want done about it,” because you can get lip service from as many white people as you can pack into Yankee Stadium and a million more like it, who are going to say, “Oh, we get it. We get it. We’re going to be nicer.” Okay? That’s not enough, at least in my book. That’s not how I see politics. So, the consciousness raising, the advocacy, the passion, the youth of your movement is so critical. But now all I’m suggesting is, even for us sinners, find some common ground on agendas that can make a difference right here and now in people’s lives. And that’s what I would love to, you know, have your thoughts about, because that’s what I’m trying to figure out how to do.

Then Clinton and Jones begin talking quicker, and when at one point Jones characterizes her position as being that “what the Black Lives Matter movement needs to do to change white hearts is to come up with a policy change,” Clinton jumps in with this:

No, I’m not talking about — look, I don’t believe you change hearts. I believe you change laws, you change allocation of resources, you change the way systems operate. You’re not going to change every heart. You’re not. But at the end of the day, we can do a whole lot to change some hearts and change some systems and create more opportunities for people who deserve to have them to live up to their own God-given potential, to live safely without fear of violence in their own communities, to have a decent school, to have a decent house, to have a decent future. So, we can do it one of many ways. You know, you can keep the movement going, which you have started, and through it you may actually change some hearts. But if that’s all that happens, we’ll be back here in 10 years having the same conversation.

If I could put her point in terms that are a little more blunt, Clinton is basically saying that symbolism and feelings are all well and good, but they’re really not her concern. What she cares about is institutional power: who it belongs to, how it’s used, and what effects it has. Movement-building and consciousness-raising are not her job. They’re a part of the larger picture and can make her job easier, but her job is to make change within the institutions through which power flows.

You may or may not like this view of what a president does and how a president makes change. You may thirst for someone who can work the levers of power but can also inspire people, make them see things in a new way, offer a transformative vision of the future. But for better or worse, that’s not who Hillary Clinton is.

 

By: Paul Waldman, Senior Writer, The American Prospect; Contributor, The Plum Line Blog, The Washington Post, February 16, 2015

February 17, 2016 Posted by | African Americans, Hillary Clinton, System Racism | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“Why Do Cops See Guns That Aren’t There?”: Our Perception Is Driven By Our Biases

It happens with disturbing regularity. Police shoot someone who is unarmed, all too often a black male. And as the officer recounts their version of what happened, they frequently repeat the same phrase: “I thought he was armed.”

It’s impossible to say exactly what the officer perceived and the visual information their brain used to determine a person was armed. Far from acting like reliable, high-definition cameras, our vision is actually rather imperfect, transmitting only bits and pieces of the whole picture and leaving the rest for our brain to fill in. And in high-stress situations, says a new study in the Journal of Experimental Psychology, our brains prioritize the processing of coarse features rather than the fine details that would enable someone to tell the difference between a real gun and a cellphone, can of soda, or even a toy gun.

“How stressed we are affects how we perceive,” said Karin Roelofs, a neuropsychologist at Radboud University in the Netherlands, and senior author of the new study.

All students in Introductory Psychology classes learn about the fight-or-flight response and how, when an animal perceives a threat, it prepares to take a stand or run away. There’s also a third option, in which the animal freezes in place. It’s the deer-in-headlights phenomenon and serves to protect the animal from predators that often hunt by detecting movement. In dangerous situations, humans will freeze, too, our nervous systems governed by the same hundreds of millions of years of evolution. Animals use the time while “frozen” to take in information about their surroundings and make the decision whether to fight or run.

Scientists generally believed that freezing behavior heightened sensory perception, but no one had actually measured this in the lab. What Roelofs and her team wanted to know was how feeling threatened and the subsequent freezing behavior altered visual perception in humans. She recruited 34 healthy young adults to complete a task that asked them to judge whether a series of lines were horizontal or vertical. Some of the options contained a few, large lines, which simulated coarse information, whereas others contained many thinner lines to simulate fine detail.

But there was a catch. Roelofs also intermittently displayed a red or a green dot. Occasionally, the red dot was followed by a mild electric shock that was unpleasant but not painful or dangerous. The sight of the red dot elicited freezing behavior. When Roelofs and colleagues measured how well the subjects did, they found that the stressed and fearful conditions improved their abilities on the low-detail images but hampered their judgement on the high-detail images.

“The brain is always making predictions about what we see. It’s generally more important to know if something’s there than what it is,” Roelofs said.

These and other studies help to underline the close links between emotion and perception.

The brain has certain templates that help us predict what to expect, says Aprajita Mohanty, a psychologist at Stony Brook University. If you’re driving on snow, you instinctively look out for icy patches. If you see a black person, years of growing up in a prejudiced culture may make you assume they are armed and dangerous. “Your brain is never really walking into a situation blind,” she said.

However, Roelofs cautions that her study took place under controlled lab conditions, which makes it difficult to say exactly how these results might apply to the real world, where tense situations often require split-second decisions. Other studies provide some detail that provides clues about how the brain makes rapid decisions while under stress, such as when a cop pulls a gun on a civilian.

Racial bias is everywhere in America, and police are no more immune than anyone else. Social neuroscientist Daniel Amodio of New York University has spent his career studying how thoughts and emotions, including stereotypes, affect perception and behavior.

One of his studies asked a racially diverse group of individuals from different countries around the world to play a computer game in which they were the police officer and had to decide whether the person on screen was armed and whether to shoot them. Regardless of the ethnicity of the participant, the Americans were far more likely to shoot African Americans, regardless of whether or not they were armed.

When Amodio and his team tracked the eye movements of the participants to see what they were looking at, he found that people always looked at the face of the person on the screen before they shifted their gaze to the object they were carrying. The problem was that they had made the decision about whether or not to shoot before they turned their attention to the object to determine whether it was a gun or something non-threatening. Other of his social neuroscience studies show that people often show decreased neural processing of faces from different racial or ethnic groups, meaning that people see them as being, in some ways, less human.

“If you’re under stress and need to act quickly, you tend to rely on mental shortcuts” such as prejudice and stereotypes, Amodio said. “If someone is amped up and afraid because there might be a shooter and they see a kid, like with what happened with Tamir Rice, they say that when I drove up, I saw a man who looked to be armed. In the split second it took for the officer to drive up and shoot, it’s quite possible that all of these instincts lead to that decision.”

This isn’t to say that the appropriate response to these shootings is a defense of “my brain made me do it.” Rather, the goal of his work, Amodio says, is to try to counter these prejudices and understand how people make these snap decisions to provide better training to police officers. Racial bias plays a key role because it’s the raw material from which the brain fills in our perceptual gaps.

“We need to raise awareness of how bias might affect what police officers see,” Amodio says.

To Mohanty, our perception is driven by our biases. “There is no such thing as true perception,” she said. “Modifying our beliefs can change how we perceive.

 

By: Carrie Arnold, The Daily Beast, January 22, 2015

 

January 24, 2016 Posted by | Black Men, Police Shootings, Racial Bias | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“The Bullies Are Being Persecuted? ROTFLMAO”: Marco Rubio Pathetically Plays The LGBT Victim

Poor Marco Rubio. With history rushing past him, its dust gritty in his eyes, he, the bully, resorts to playing the victim.

And so it was on Tuesday, when he tried—in this now-practiced right wing way—to claim that he and other Christians were the victims of LGBTs and their demands for, er, basic equality and civil rights.

What else can Rubio do? People like him have lost the argument.

All they can do now, after years of fostering a climate of prejudice and persecution against LGBTs, is to claim that with the prospect of equality, it is they, the bullies, who are persecuted.

They cannot argue how equality affects them negatively, so merely claim to be victims.

This is all they have, after years of using every trick in the book to keep LGBT people unequal, feared, and stigmatized.

It would be funny, this attempted sleight-of-hand, this laughable co-opting of the language and mantle of victimhood, if Rubio’s words were not so disgusting, and such canards.

On Tuesday, Rubio dared to use the phrase ‘hate speech’ when describing how, one day, those who objected to marriage equality would be seen as propagating hate speech.

Does Marco Rubio have any idea of the toxicity of the phrase he is flinging around to score some cheap political capital?

Does he have any idea of the true ‘hate speech’ LGBTs have suffered, not just on political platforms at the hands of people like Marco Rubio in their stoking of their Christian voting base—words like ‘unnatural,’ ‘pretend families,’ words of exclusion that seek to put us outside the boundaries of family, home, and love?

Because ‘hate speech’ doesn’t end on political platforms. They’re the words that LGBTs hear before they are beaten by homophobes on street corners and in schoolyards. Beaten, sometimes fatally. How dare Marco Rubio seek to invoke a phrase like ‘hate speech’ to feed his own pathetic persecution complex? Has he any idea of the true cost of ‘hate speech’ as it has been used against LGBT people?

Rubio said ‘mainstream Christian’ teachings would soon be seen as hate speech in his scary new world where those pesky homosexuals are treated just as the same as everyone else under the law.

“Because today we’ve reached the point in our society where if you do not support same-sex marriage you are labeled a homophobe and a hater,” Rubio said. Absurdly. You are only labeled a ‘homophobe’ and ‘hater’ if you come out and say something homophobic and hateful.

Mr. Rubio, despite great provocation by you and others like you, LGBTs and their supporters—many of whom are Christian, by the way—who back equality actually think you can say and think whatever you like, as long as it doesn’t incite violence and hatred. If it does, they will object, as any reasonable person might.

If you claim that LGBTs do not deserve marriage equality, and your argument has the ring of prejudice about it—and it necessarily would because you are arguing against the principles of equality—then expect to be called out for it.

But you are not being silenced. You are being disagreed with. And now you’re feeling persecuted because it’s not just LGBTs calling you out on it, but all those who believe people should be treated equally under the law.

Simply, Mr. Rubio, when will you stop scapegoating LGBTs to score votes? Why are you so dead-set on maintaining inequality and discrimination? What’s in it for you? Rubio also said, “After they are done going after individuals, the next step is to argue that the teachings of mainstream Christianity, the catechism of the Catholic Church, is hate speech and there’s a real and present danger.”

Again, this is doom-saying nonsense, and yet another attempt to paint “the gay agenda” as an uncontrollable monster, out to silence its objectors.

The truth is that for years LGBTs have had to fight to be heard themselves, to be visible, to lobby for equality under the law.

LGBT activists have never said the teachings of mainstream Christianity or the catechism of the Catholic Church are pernicious. They have argued against those teachings being warped by bigots and opportunists like Mr. Rubio to attack LGBT people, and deny them their civil rights—but not for them to cease to exist or be practiced.

In a way, Rubio’s nonsensical words are heartening. They are like the last gasp of a poisonous old world order of determined prejudice and discrimination. How furious and scared he must have been to see Catholic Ireland face down the kind of misinformation and lies he and his cronies propagate against LGBTs on Saturday, and vote instead for a future of equality.

Rubio and others like him know their grip on fear and prejudice is loosening. And so now, he plays the victim: it’s the last pathetic piece of pantomime left to him.

Quite simply, even Rubio’s followers and supporters know LGBT people—and they do not like to see these family members and loved ones persecuted so viciously for whom they choose to go to bed with. And so, with the grit of history in his eye, Rubio continues howling in the wind—his words more and more lost in the tempest of history passing him by.

 

By: Tim Teeman, The Daily Beast, May 26, 2015

May 27, 2015 Posted by | Discrimination, LGBT, Marco Rubio | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

“Why We Can’t Educate Racism Away”: At Its Root, Racism Is A Structural Problem

How prejudiced are Americans? The internet knows. Whether it’s racism, sexism, cissexism, transphobia, classism, sizeism, or ableism, online residents are watching out for it and pointing it out at tremendous volume. Whole tumblrs are dedicated to meticulously cataloging the prejudiced histories of famous people.

While often useful and necessary, this strategy comes up short. The idea is that by “calling out” individual acts of oppression, we can raise awareness about the myriad subtle ways that prejudice manifests itself. The citizenry, better educated, will adjust its behaviors.

The problem is that white people, our dominant and most privileged socioeconomic group, tend to resist these critiques. In the case of racism, they are the ones who benefit from prejudice, and they squirm out of this stigma in increasingly interesting ways. How? These days, by loudly agreeing with those critiques, thereby signaling that they are meant for other, bad white people.

Think of the guy in critical theory class who embraces radical feminist authors extra-fervently in a bid to escape his own implication in the patriarchy. This bit of political jujitsu is rather “like buying an indulgence,” as Reihan Salam put it at Slate.

One might respond that the answer is improved self-knowledge, greater humility, and more self-flagellation on the part of the privileged (see: #CrimingWhileWhite). Sure. But the problem is that there is no possible demonstration of prejudice and privilege that cannot also be appropriated by white people in the service of demonstrating the purity of their own views, resulting in an endless vortex of uncomfortable, obnoxious earnestness. Being a Not-Racist these days is getting very subtle indeed.

But there’s another approach that is both simpler and far more difficult. Instead of focusing on individual guilt and innocence, the socioeconomic structure that undergirds racism can get equal or greater billing. If educating the privileged has reached a point of diminishing returns, then attacking racist outcomes with structural policy can make that education unnecessary.

Now, it should be noted that any individual instance of calling out prejudice is surely harmless and heartfelt. It should further be noted that many if not most anti-prejudice activists share these structural goals. The problem is a question of emphasis. Prejudiced words tend to get 10 times more attention than racist acts and structures. For example, Donald Sterling was hounded mercilessly for his racist comments, but largely ignored for his concretely racist actions as a landlord.

And the problems America faces go far beyond one rotten rich person. There’s the prison-industrial complex. The stupendous wealth and income gap between black and white. The fact that the police randomly gun down unarmed black men and boys on a regular basis. That’s just for starters — and it’s getting worse, not better.

Working on those problems is going to take a massive nationwide policy effort. Prison and sentencing reform, ending the drug war, overhauling American policing, and implementing quota-based affirmative action would be a good start. In particular, there is a good case for class to take center stage in any anti-prejudice effort. Nearly all racist oppression is heavily mediated through economic structures and worsened by endemic poverty.

More importantly, income differences and poverty are easy problems to fix policy-wise. (Fixing American police is a hellish problem and I have no idea where to start.) But a lack of money can be bridged with simple income transfers, from the rich to the poor.

All of this is very hard lift politically, of course. But substantive politics is the best way to get past people’s nearly infinite capacity for self-exculpation. If the root of racism is in our structures, then structural policy should be the solution.

 

By: Ryan Cooper, The Week, December 25, 2014

December 27, 2014 Posted by | Criminal Justice System, Inequality, Racism | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“Why Bigotry Persists”: The Neanderthals Among Us Are Getting Better At Camouflaging Their Prejudices

Soon after Barack Obama’s electoral victory in 2008, conservatives began depicting the event as a triumph of cosmopolitan and secular intellectuals, people of color, liberal pieties, and “socialist” hopes. Grassroots organizing accompanied an agenda of legislative sabotage led by the Republican congressional hierarchy. Media demagogues stoked the flames of resentment. President Obama was mockingly called “The One” and excoriated as an Arab, an imam, even the Antichrist. Posters identified him with Hitler, placed his head on the body of a chimpanzee, implied that he was a crack addict, portrayed him with a bone through his nose, and showed the White House lawn lined with rows of watermelons. Six years later, the fury has hardly subsided: Thousands of young people check on racist websites like Stormfront every month, anti-Semitism is again becoming fashionable, Islamophobia is rampant, and conservative politicians are suing President Obama in the courts for his supposed abuse of power while their more radical supporters are labeling him a traitor.

Most of these people don’t see themselves as bigots. They long to reinstate the “real” America perhaps best depicted in old television shows like Father Knows Best and Leave It to Beaver. This completely imaginary America was orderly and prosperous. Women were happily in the kitchen; gays were in the closet; and blacks knew their place. But this world (inexplicably!) came under attack from just these (ungrateful!) groups thereby creating resentment especially among white males on the political right. They feel persecuted and wish to roll back time. Their counterattack is based on advocating policies that would hinder same-sex marriage, champion the insertion of “Christian” values into public life, deny funds for women’s health and abortion clinics, cut government policies targeting the inner cities, protect a new prison network inhabited largely by people of color, eliminate limits on campaign spending, and increase voting restrictions that would effectively disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of disadvantaged citizens.

Neanderthals still exist along with blatant examples of old-style prejudice and hatred. But the bigot is adapting to a new world. The bigot now employs camouflage in translating his prejudices into reality. To forestall criticism, he now makes use of supposedly “color-blind” economic and anti-crime policies, liberal notions of tolerance, individualism, the entrepreneurial spirit, local government, historical traditions, patriotism, and fears of nonexistent voter fraud to maintain the integrity of the electoral process. The bigot today is often unaware either that he has prejudices or that he is indulging them.

Unfortunately, popular understandings of the bigot remain anchored in an earlier time. His critics tend to highlight the personal rather than the political, crude language and sensational acts rather than mundane legislation and complicated policy decisions. Many are unwilling to admit that bigotry has entered the mainstream. It is more comforting to associate bigotry with certain attitudes supposedly on the fringes of public life. Words wound but policies wound even more. Everyday citizens grow incensed when some commentator lets slip a racist or politically incorrect phrase. But they are far more tolerant when faced with policies that blatantly disadvantage or attack the bigot’s traditional targets whose inferiority is still identified with fixed and immutable traits: gays, immigrants, people of color, and women.

Reactionary movements and conservative parties have provided a congenial home for true believers, provincial chauvinists, and elitists of an aristocratic or populist bent. Not exclusively: Liberals and socialists—though usually with a guilty conscience—have also occasionally endorsed imperialism, nationalism, racism, and the politics of bigotry. But while the connection between right-wing politics and bigotry does not hold true in every instance, it is true most of the time. It is certainly true today. Ideologues of the Tea Party provide legitimacy and refuge for advocates of intolerance while the GOP provides legitimacy and refuge for the Tea Party.

Not every bigot is a conservative and not every conservative is a bigot. Yet they converge in supporting an agenda that aims to constrict intellectual debate, social pluralism, economic equality, and democratic participation. Either the bigot or the conservative can insist that his efforts to shrink the welfare state are motivated solely by a concern with maximizing individual responsibility; either can claim that his opposition to gay rights is simply a defense of traditional values; and either can argue that increasing the barriers to voting is required to guarantee fair elections. Whatever they subjectively believe, however, their agenda objectively disadvantages gays, immigrants, women, and people of color.

Reasonable people can disagree about this or that policy as it applies to any of these groups. Any policy, progressive or not, can be criticized in good faith. But ethical suspicions arise when an entire agenda is directed against the ensemble of what President Reagan derisively termed “special interests.” No conservative political organization today has majority support from women, the gay community, or people of color. There must be a reason. It cannot simply be that the conservative “message” has not been heard; that members of these groups are overwhelmingly parasitical and awaiting their overly generous government “handouts;” or that so-called special interests are incapable of appreciating what is in their interest. A more plausible explanation, I think, is that those who are still targets of prejudice and discrimination have little reason to trust conservatism’s political advocates.

Is the conservative a bigot? It depends. Is the particular conservative intent upon defending traditions simply because they exist, supporting community values even if they are discriminatory; and treating political participation as a privilege rather than a right? Critics of the bigot should begin placing a bit less emphasis on what he says or feels than what he actually does. That conservative can always rationalize his actions—platitudes come cheap. But then perhaps, one day, he will find himself looking in the mirror and (who knows?) the bigot might just be staring back.

 

By: Stephen Eric Bronner, Distinguished Professor of Political Science at Rutgers University; The Daily Beast, September 28, 2014

September 29, 2014 Posted by | Bigotry, Conservatives, GOP | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

   

%d bloggers like this: