Friday, March 30, 2012

Blog every day - are you crazy?

I received a couple messages via Facebook asking why I don't update this blog every day.  WHAT?  ARE YOU CRAZY?  I have a demanding job! I'm too busy! I have dogs to care for and train! I have a life!

And then there's another reason.

Most people blog about the things that frustrate or anger them.  I'm no different.  Right now, the Republican ideology has me wondering if there's any sanity left in the world.  And that's what this blog would be about every single day.  Here's an example:

This past week,  a weekly acquaintance of mine (I see her once a week and sometimes more) was talking about her upcoming surgery and she said she was so glad Medicare would cover every dime of it.  I mentioned that I was glad her surgery was going to happen prior to the GOP Budget Plan being approved.  She looked at me with a quizzical expression and I went on to explain that Paul Ryan's GOP Budget (approved by the House of Representatives) would gut Medicare.

She said: "It's sure better than that communist ObamaCare!"

The little nice angel on my right shoulder told me to keep my mouth shut.  The activist angel on my left shoulder told me to tell her she was full of crap.

I said, "ObamaCare has provided health insurance to thousands and thousands of people who didn't have health insurance before - it saves us money in the long run.  And it protects the Medicare that's going to pay for your surgery."

She replied (YELLING, by the way):  "And he isn't even qualified to be President!  He's a Muslim!"

Okay ... now we're into the ad hominem attacks.  But did I shut up?  Nooooooooooooooooo ... ::sigh::

Me:  "And then there's the Republican War on Women ..."

She replied with a vengeance:  "Those laws are to PROTECT women!"

And then SHE stormed off and proceeded to talk about me and my horrendous views to another person in attendance - of course, making sure I could hear the conversation.

I, however, was thinking about those laws.  Did she mean the laws that invade a woman's privacy beyond belief?  They protect women?  The laws that assume women have no ability to make decisions for themselves ... they protect women?  The laws that prevent women from basic reproductive health care?  They protect women?

So ... back to the original point of this blog.  Why in the world should I write something every day?  Well, I shouldn't.  And I won't.

But maybe I should write when I feel the urge because now I know there are WOMEN who will throw other women under the bus just so they can continue identifying with a particular political party.

Yamamoto said as the Japanese planes were bombing Pearl Harbor:  "I fear we have awakened the sleeping giant."

I hope the Republicans' actions have awakened American women. And I intend to keep ringing the alarm.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The latest GOP assault on women!

Well ... here we go again!  Just when we thought it wouldn't get worse ... it has!  For whatever reason (and I sure can't figure it out), the Republicans continue to wage an all-out assault on women.  

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was passed in 1994.  It sought to improve criminal justice and community responses to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking. The VAWA gave victims a new voice and more access to services.  The law also made it clear to law enforcement, the courts, and a new generation of families that domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault and stalking are crimes that this society will not tolerate.  

Bottom line:  the VAWA protects women.  Even though men can be victims of these crimes, women are the traditional victims (and for a lot of years, had to hide in the shadows.)

VAWA was reauthorized in 2000 and again in 2005.  Each time, the law was improved with some additions such as a legal assistance program for victims, new prevention programs, some federal funds to help keep rape crisis centers open, and the new services for children and teenagers.


Until now.

It's time to reauthorize the VAWA again, but now the Republicans want to scuttle the law.  Why would they want to do that?  Since its inception, this law has brought nothing but positive changes ... including more than 600 state laws to combat these crimes.  Since 1996, the National Domestic Violence Hotline has answered over two million calls. Businesses have joined the fight against violence against women. There are now employee assistance programs that help victims of domestic violence - male and female.

It boggles the mind that these lawmakers (who supposedly represent women as well as men) would want to drop a law that has been so beneficial to so many.  Why?

Here's the answer:  THIS year, an amendment has been added to the VAWA.  It adds new provisions that would include the lesbian/gay community, Native Americans on tribal lands, and undocumented people.

That's right!  The Republicans don't want to reauthorize this law because they have "concerns" (their word, not mine) that these new groups of people will be protected.

Hmmm ... what does that tell you about these lawmakers?  They're willing to protect you if you're not gay/lesbian ... or living on a Native American tribal land ... or you aren't in this country with the proper documentation.  

Or maybe ... just maybe ... it's even simpler than that.  Maybe they don't want to protect you because you're a woman.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Contraception crisis .. I just don't get it!

Contraception wasn't legal in this country in all 50 states until 1965 (and then only for married women).  This is a battle I thought we'd already won.  Until this year.

So let's look at this "controversy" in a rational, logical manner, shall we?  The whole flap over contraception is linked to abortion, no doubt about it.   Now, I don't know anyone - not one person - who likes the idea of abortion.  So, what do we do about it? We sure as heck don't limit a woman's access to contraception because that makes NO sense whatsoever!

What leads to abortion?  1) unwanted/unplanned pregnancies or 2) medical necessity

We can't do much about abortions that are needed for medical reasons (and there are quite a few of those reasons, by the way).  But we CAN do a lot about unwanted/unplanned pregnancies. We can make contraception available and affordable!

Contraception >>> fewer unplanned/unwanted pregnancies >>> fewer abortions.

Really ... come on ... it doesn't take a rocket scientist to grasp this concept (unless you happen to be a Republican Congressman, Senator or state lawmaker).  Somehow these GOP legislators don't get it: provide contraception and the incidence of abortion will go down.  Perhaps they should read the results of this worldwide study:

Study Findings - Read it here

In 2010, Planned Parenthood provided 3,685,437 people with contraceptive services.  This includes birth control pills and devices, female sterilization procedures, vasectomies, and emergency contraception kits.  This amounts to 33.5% of the services Planned Parenthood provides ... over a third of the entire program!  Yet Republicans have voted in several states to strip Planned Parenthood funding because some facilities provide abortion services (that's just 3% of the entire program).

Planned Parenthood Annual Report

GOP presidential candidates Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Newt Gingrich all say they will gut Planned Parenthood if they end up in the Oval Office.

Wow!  What a way to cut off your nose to spite your face!  Take away the very thing that can reduce abortion!  

My message to the Republicans:  You can't have it both ways!  You cannot reduce the incidence of abortion by denying accessible, affordable contraception!  If a woman has any religious or moral objection to birth control, nobody will force her to use it.  But if a woman wants it - or needs it - no state or federal lawmaker should get in the way.

Maybe the only way to get this message across is to deny Republicans any votes this November ... just like they want to deny women access to birth control.

Sunday, March 18, 2012


Let me say right off the bat:  This is NOT about abortion.  Each of us has a view on that emotional topic and I respect each view even though it might not agree with my own.  However, when I look at the political scene right now, abortion was the starting place for Republican lawmakers in Washington and in state legislatures around the country.  

In order to circumvent Roe v. Wade (which made abortion legal in this country), lawmakers have come up with a wide variety of laws and proposed laws.  Some are already in effect; others are on the fast track for passage due to GOP-controlled legislatures.

These laws will affect YOU - in ways you may not even know.  I was griping on Facebook the other day about how it appears young women simply don't care about what's happening around them.  But one of my young female friends said:  "It's not that they (we) don't care, it's that they don't know to care. They don't think the gov't can do the things they have proposed."

I know young women are busy ... going to school, starting careers, getting married, taking care of children.  But the laws made right now are going to affect you because government most certainly can do the things lawmakers have proposed.  Let me repeat that:  The laws made right now are going to affect you!

Here are some examples - and they come from laws already passed and those near passage:

1) "Personhood" laws ... birth control will be illegal and YOU will have no control over if or when you have children.

2) If your employer has a religious or moral "objection" to contraception, he/she will be able to keep the company insurance from covering that (even if you must take birth control pills to deal with other medical problems such as ovarian cysts, acne, endometriosis, painful menstrual cramps, etc.)  YOU will be paying for birth control out of your own pocket even if you are paying part of your insurance premium costs.

3) YOU will have to prove that you're not taking birth control pills for contraceptive purposes if your employer has a religious/moral objection to contraception and demands that proof.  If you can't provide it, you can be fired from your job.

4) Your doctor can lie to you about YOUR pregnancy (and any complications he/she sees) if he/she has an objection to abortion and thinks that's what you may choose.  And you can't sue for medical malpractice, either.

5) Some abortion bans do not make exceptions even if the life of the mother is at risk.  In other words, should an abortion be medically necessary, YOU will not receive the treatment - and YOU may well die.

6) If you want an abortion for whatever reason (medical problem included), YOU will have a intravaginal probe shoved in your body as mandated by the state.  And YOU will have to pay for this invasive, uncomfortable, unnecessary procedure.

7) Government funding for groups like Planned Parenthood is being dropped.  For millions of women, Planned Parenthood is the only place they can get medical care including cancer screenings, mammograms, STD testing and treatment, and contraception services.  If YOU need Planned Parenthood (or similar groups), YOU will be out of luck.

8) If your doctor finds you are carrying a dead fetus, YOU will have to wait until "natural delivery" to release it from your body and YOU will just have to hope antibiotics can save you from systemic infection.

I can go on ... there are more.  Lots more. The only way to prevent more laws like the ones above is to use your power at the ballot box and vote out the people responsible for this insanity.  Every single one of the above laws/proposed laws is being supported by the Republicans.  There are a few Democrats who jumped on that bandwagon, but not many. The issue centers on YOU and YOUR choices.  YOU, along with your doctor, should make medical decisions ... not a group of lawmakers who don't even understand what they're talking about.

YOU can stop this, but first YOU have to register to vote and then make YOUR voice heard loud and clear.  Young women comprise a huge voting block in this country, but that power goes to waste because voting statistics show that this same group does not vote!

Remember ... this isn't about abortion.  It's about YOU and YOUR choices.  And this coming November is critical.  Make no mistake about it:  this November IS critical.  I've already fought the battle and I'll fight it again - but you have to do your part, too, because YOU are the ones who will be affected the most.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Guest blogger - WHERE ARE THE MEN?

On March 3, 2012 the Arizona Republic featured a letter to the editor on its opinion pages.  The letter was written by a friend of mine, Randi Turk.  I want to share that letter with you since I figure most of you don't read the Arizona Republic.  

Randi asks the question:  Where are the men?  I, too, want an answer.  Here is her letter in its entirety.

There is an elephant in the room, and yes, it's a Republican, but it is also a he.

Why isn't anyone questioning the role of men in all of this mess over women's health issues?

Why didn't Foster Friess tell men to go take a cold shower, instead of telling women to put an aspirin between their knees?

Why is Wisconsin state Sen. Glenn Grothman proposing that single parents (five times more likely to be women) be charged with child abuse?

Why is Rush Limbaugh's knee-jerk reaction to the words of a woman he disagrees with so utterly offensive?

So, only men are wise enough to testify on women's health issues before Congress, but they're not man enough to man-up and take responsibility for their sexual actions as well?

Why isn't anyone yelling at men to just zip up their zippers?

Because folks, there is a war on women, and the elephant in the room is leading the charge.

--Randi LeGendre Turk, Glendale, AZ

Yes, folks ... Randi is right.  There IS a War on Women and it's time to put an end to it.  That depends on YOU and your willingness to vote out the idiocy now in elected office.  Nothing else will do.

Friday, March 9, 2012

I now get it! The GOP Plan for Women!

I took this photo at the British Museum in London.  This is an incredible exhibit of marble sculptures from the Parthenon in Ancient Greece. After years of war, theft, and vandalism, some sculptures remained and in 1816, Lord Elgin saved what he could. He then transported the "Elgin Marbles" to London where they were protected and made available to the public for viewing.

I just used this photo as my "cover photo" on Facebook and then I realized something:  this photo outlines the Republican Plan for Women!  Look at it ... think what GOP-controlled legislatures have done and what Congress wants to do.  THIS is it!

No heads:  they certainly don't want us to have heads (brains) so we can think and make decisions for ourselves or mouths so we can speak our opinions and feelings.

No arms: they fear we could carry protest signs and mark a ballot.

No feet:  they do not want us to stand up to the tyranny heaped on women all over the country.

Make no mistake about it ... the GOP has declared war on women; many Republican-controlled legislatures have stolen our privacy and our ability to make our own health-related decisions; the GOP  is trying to damage - or destroy - the decades of discussion and work that brought women some sense of equality.

War ... Theft ... Vandalism = The Republican Plan for Women

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Limbaugh lied ... and lied ... and lied again ...

Limbaughites are up in arms.  Why? Because a few dozen companies pulled their advertising from his radio talk show due to remarks he made about Sandra Fluke - and her testimony.  Wow ... you'd think the sky fell in!  Sadly, it appears to me these poor folks are simply misinformed.  Perhaps they don't know he ... gasp!! .... LIED to them.

Limbaugh apparently subscribes to the "don't let facts get in the way of a good show" theory of radio broadcasting because his on-air claims are nowhere to be found in Sandra Fluke's testimony before a House panel.  That's right:  Limbaugh made it up!  And his loyal minions bought it hook, line and sinker.  

Perhaps Limbaugh didn't see the testimony or read the transcript.  If so, he shouldn't make claims he can't back up.  Or, he knowingly lied.  I don't know which is worse since he is the national mouthpiece for the Republican Party.  

Let's just look at a few of Limbaugh's claims ... and the truth.  You'll also find a link to a transcript of Sandra Fluke's testimony so you can actually check it yourself.  

“... testifies she’s having so much sex she can’t afford her own birth control pills and she agrees that Obama should provide them, or the Pope."

Liar, liar!  Fluke never discussed her personal sex life at all.

“... essentially says that she must be paid to have sex, what does that make her? It makes her a slut, right? It makes her a prostitute. She wants to be paid to have sex. She’s having so much sex she can’t afford the contraception. She wants you and me and the taxpayers to pay her to have sex."
Lie! Fluke did not say she must be paid to have sex because she never mentioned her own sexual habits.
“... they want to have sex any time, as many times and as often as they want, with as many partners as they want."
Liar, liar, pants on fire!  Sandra Fluke's testimony included no such talk - about herself or other women at Georgetown.
“She’s having so much sex it’s amazing she can still walk, but she made it up there.”
Purposeful slander since Fluke didn't share her personal sexual life with the House committee - or, we have to assume, with Limbaugh.
“The woman wants unlimited, no-responsibility, no-consequences sex, and she wants it with contraceptives paid for by us.”
Is it even possible for Limbaugh to argue his point with the truth?  Evidently not since Fluke did NOT say any of this.
 “... a woman who is happily presenting herself as an immoral, baseless, no-purpose-to-her-life woman.”
This, of course, is a matter of interpretation and in Limbaugh's mind, perhaps a highly-motivated law student at Georgetown University (with opinions backed by facts and research) is an immoral, baseless, no-purpose-to-her-life woman.
During his three-day rant, Limbaugh maligned Sandra Fluke 53 times.  Don't believe me?  His shows are taped; listen for yourself.  You don't believe the above Limbaugh statements are outright lies?  Then read the transcript of Fluke's testimony:
Click here for PDF file
To the Limbaughites:  you either step up and call your hero out for his lies, thereby demanding a more responsible approach ... or you keep accepting the fact that he is treating you as if you have no intellectual capacity at all.  
Your choice.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Limbaugh silenced? Not a chance!

I have to laugh ... really.  Rush Limbaugh followers are beating their chests in fury and claiming  that his 1st Amendment "freedom of speech" rights are being violated because Carbonite pulled its advertising from his show.

Maybe it's time for a bit of Constitution 101.  Here is the 1st Amendment:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Okay, do you see the first word in the 1st Amendment?  Congress.  That means government.  It does not mean a private individual or private company.  If you come to my home and I don't like what you say, I can tell you not to say it or ask you to leave.  Simple.  A government entity, however, cannot silence you.  Of course, there are exceptions because with freedom of speech comes responsibility (what a concept, huh?).  Example:  you cannot yell "fire" in a crowded theater and you cannot use speech to incite a riot.

Now let's get to the issue that's causing Limbaugh followers such extreme distress.  Carbonite is a private company.  It may choose to put its advertising dollars anywhere it wishes. That company decided NOT to advertise on Limbaugh's show, but in no way did that silence Limbaugh.

I would bet that Limbaugh is actually laughing his way to the bank.  He'll find other show sponsors (maybe the Koch boys will put in a few million to help the cause).  He'll continue his tirade. His followers will still believe every word he says.  And he will continue to be the mouthpiece of the Republican Party.  Limbaugh didn't get hurt - at all.  And his 1st Amendment rights were not violated.

Feel better now?