Thursday, July 28, 2016

Yes, it IS a big deal!

When Hillary Clinton became the first woman to be nominated by a major political party for the office of President, I let out a small gasp.  It actually happened.  To be honest, I didn't think it would happen in my lifetime.

And then the internet lit up with comments.  For most of the women who commented, this was a proud and happy moment.  But then ... the other comments started coming in, too.  And I paid attention.  Most of those comments were made by men.

"She's playing the female card!"
"So she's the first ... so what?"
There were more I will not repeat ... but my favorite:

"I don't know why, but the hussies think this is a big deal."

Yes, it IS a big deal.  Here are just a few dates from history that should set the record straight:

1776 - Women were not mentioned in the Declaration of Independence
1787 - Women were not mentioned in the United States Constitution.
As late as 1867 -  married women in several states couldn't own property. A decision of the Supreme Court of Illinois in Cole v. Van Riper noted that "It is simply impossible that a married woman should be able to control and enjoy her property ..."
It took until 1869 - for any kind of women's voting rights ...the territory of Wyoming passed the first women's suffrage law. The following year, women began serving on juries in that territory.
1916 -  Margaret Sanger opened the first U.S. birth-control clinic in Brooklyn, N.Y.  The clinic was shut down ten days later and Sanger was arrested. 
It wasn't until 1920 -  that 19th Amendment to the Constitution, granting women the right to vote, was signed into law.
1936 -  The federal law prohibiting the dissemination of contraceptive information through the mail was modified and birth control information was no longer classified as obscene. 
1960 -  The Food and Drug Administration approved birth control pills ... but it wasn't legal for everyone to use them.
1963 - Congress passed the Equal Pay Act, making it illegal for employers to pay a woman less than what a man would receive for the same job.  Unfortunately, many employers didn't get the message - and still don't.
It wasn't until 1965 - that the Supreme Court struck down the last state law prohibiting the use of contraceptives by married couples.
1972 -  The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) was passed by Congress and sent to the states for ratification. It reads: "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex." The amendment died in 1982 when it failed to achieve ratification by a minimum of 38 states.
1972 -  The Supreme Court ruled that unmarried people can use contraceptives through the right to privacy.
1972 -  Title IX of the Education Amendments banned sex discrimination in schools.
1973 -  The Supreme Court established a woman's right to safe and legal abortion, overriding the anti-abortion laws of many states.
It wasn't until 1974 - that the Equal Credit Opportunity Act was passed,  prohibiting discrimination in consumer credit practices on the basis of sex, race, marital status, religion, national origin, age, or receipt of public assistance.
1976 -  The first marital rape law was enacted.  Nebraska enacted the law making it illegal for a husband to rape his wife.
1994 -  The Violence Against Women Act tightened federal penalties for sex offenders, funds services for victims of rape and domestic violence, and provides for special training of police officers.
 It wasn't until 2016 - that women were allowed to serve in any job (including combat) in the armed services, provided they meet gender neutral performance standards.  Never mind the fact that women have always been, in some capacity, in combat situations ... and many have died.

So, please ... how long did it take before women were granted the right to vote ... or use birth control ... or have some control over her own body ... or have the opportunity to participate in athletic competition just like men ... or serve her country in any role for which she qualifies?  

I'm one of those women who couldn't even get a library card in 1973 with my own name on it!  My card had my then-husband's name on it with "Mrs." in front of the name!  I remember telling the woman at the desk, "He's not going to check out or read the books.  He won't be bringing them back.  I will."  Didn't matter - I was a married woman who, basically, had no legal identity of my own.

This is no big deal?  No big deal?  Entertainer Elizabeth Banks said this at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia:   "We're half the population ... we're everywhere ... and we matter!"

Yes, we do.  And it matters that a woman has finally been nominated for President by a major political party.  There have been other women in our history who most certainly could have done the job, but our society knocked them down every time. I don't have a crystal ball so I don't know if Hillary Clinton will win the election, but her name will be right there! Trust me ... it IS a big deal.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Who's Who in AZ Dark Money Law!

You might recall SB 1516, a bill that was passed by Republicans in this last Arizona legislative session - and signed into law by Republican Governor, Doug Ducey.  It is a corrupt lawmaker's dream come true!  It removes any criminal punishment for people who make illegal campaign contributions!  Yeah, yeah ... and there's more!  It also allows a whole lot more dark money to be used in Arizona election campaigns.  What that means to you and me is that anyone, anywhere, can donate whatever they want to get someone elected - and we, the voters, will never be able to find out  who made those donations.  We'll never know who bought the people who are supposed to represent us.

Guess what ... that bill is now in effect and you can take every dark dollar available, and you can bet that this new Republican law will cover up a lot of corruption in the upcoming election.  And the sad thing is this:  you can't do a darn thing about it.

Wait just a minute ... there is something you can do.  You can nail those lawmakers to the wall and defeat them in the primary election ... or the general election.  You can actually VOTE them out of office - what a concept!

Laurie Roberts, columnist for The Republic, put together the following list of who voted for SB 1516 and who voted against it. You should not be surprised to know that most all Republicans voted yes ... all Democrats who voted, voted no.  Thank you, Ms. Roberts!  Armed with this information, perhaps we can actually go to the polls this year and do something that will matter:  all those who voted yes on this bill should be thrown out of office.  They put themselves, their greed, their need for power, and their downright corruption above YOU and the state they pretend to represent.

Here’s a rundown of the vote so ... how did your two representatives and one senator vote?  And if they voted yes, what are you going to do when they come begging for your vote again in November?

Republican senators voting for the bill: Sylvia Allen of Snowflake; Nancy Barton of Phoenix; Carlyle Begay of Ganado; Andy Biggs of Gilbert; Judy Burges of Sun City West; Jeff Dial of Chandler; Susan Donahue of Lake Havasu City; Adam Driggs of Phoenix; David Farnsworth of Mesa; Gail Griffin of Hereford; John Kavanagh of Fountain Hills; Debbie Lesko of Peoria; Steve Pierce of Prescott; Don Shooter of Yuma; Steve Smith of Maricopa; Bob Worsley of Mesa; Steve Yarbrough of Chandler, and Kimberly Yee of Phoenix.

Not one Republican senator voted against the bill! 

Democratic senators who voted against the bill: David Bradley and Olivia Cajero Bedford, both of Tucson; Lupe Contreras of Cashion; Andrea Dalessandro of Sahuarita; Steve Farley of Tucson; Katie Hobbs of Phoenix; Barbara McGuire of Kearny; Lynne Pancrazi of Yuma; Martin Quezada of Phoenix, and Andrew Sherwood of Tempe.

Senate Democrats Robert Meza and Catherine Miranda, both of Phoenix, didn’t vote.

Republican representatives voting for the bill: John Allen of Scottsdale, Brenda Barton of Payson, Sonny Borrelli of Lake Havasu City; Rusty Bowers of Mesa; Paul Boyer of Phoenix; Heather Carter of Phoenix; Regina Cobb of Kingman; Doug Coleman of Apache Junction; Karen Fann of Prescott; Eddie Farnsworth of Gilbert; Mark Finchem of Oro Valley; David Gowan of Sierra Vista, Rick Gray of Sun City; Anthony Kern of Glendale; Jay Lawrence of Scottsdale; Vince Leach of Tucson; David Livingston and Phil Lovas, both of Peoria; J.D. Mesnard of Chandler; Darin Mitchell and Steve Montenegro, both of Litchfield Park; Jill Norgaard of Phoenix; Justin Olson of Mesa; Warren Petersen of Gilbert; Frank Pratt of Casa Grande; Tony Rivero of Peoria; T.J. Shope of Coolidge; David Stevens of Sierra Vista; Bob Thorpe of Flagstaff; Kelly Townsend of Mesa, and Jeff Weninger of Chandler.

Republicans voting against the bill: Christopher Ackerley of Sahuarita; Kate Brophy McGee of Phoenix; Noel Campbell of Prescott, and Michelle Ugenti-Rita of Scottsdale. Republican Bob Robson of Chandler did not vote.

Democratic representatives voting against the bill: Lela Alston of Phoenix; Richard Andrade of Glendale; Jennifer Benally of Tuba City; Reg Bolding, Mark Cardenas and Ken Clark, all of Phoenix; Diego Espinoza of Tolleson; Carlene Fernandez of Yuma; Randall Friese of Tucson; Rosanna Gabaldon of Green Valley; Albert Hale of St. Michaels; Matt Kopec of Tucson; Jonathan Larkin of Glendale; Stefanie Mach of Tucson; Debbie McCune Davis of Phoenix; Juan Mendez of Tempe; Eric Meyer of Phoenix;  Lisa Otondo of Yuma; Celeste Plumlee of Tempe; Rebecca Rios of Phoenix; Macario Saldate of Tucson; Ceci Velasquez of Litchfield Park, and Bruce Wheeler of Tucson.

Democrat Sally Ann Gonzales of Tucson did not vote.

It just boggles the mind at how blatantly corrupt (yes, my opinion) these Republican lawmakers are - they want that dark money and they don't want you to know who handed over the cash.  The only way they will be stopped is to vote them out of office.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

High temps can kill!

This blog is usually political in nature, but this time I'm changing topics.  Not only am I getting tired of the political scene, I'm also getting tired of seeing news stories about the abuse heaped on dogs by their reckless, careless, thoughtless and cruel owners.  And, yes ... this is ABUSE.  I'm tired of seeing stupid people drag their dogs along as they walk on cement sidewalks.  I'm tired of hearing about deaths of dogs left in backyards with no shade or water - or in vehicles.

HIGH TEMPERATURES CAN INJURE AND KILL ANIMALS! How many times do we have to say it?  

I volunteer at the North Mountain Visitor Center which is part of the Phoenix Mountain Preserves.  People hike the trails every single day and every summer there are hikers who make the news when rescue teams have to bring them down off the mountains.  SIX hikers have already died this summer because they were overcome by the heat.  Heat can kill.  And that applies to dogs, too.

With the high temps now, not only are people still hiking, they are bringing their dogs with them.  STUPID!  The visitor center produced a handout for people who come in (dogs on leashes are quite welcome in the center) ... in hopes of educating.  Here are some numbers for you:

 Hmmm .... could YOU walk in bare feet on a sidewalk that is 154 degrees?  

And even if you don't live in Phoenix where the temperatures can be blistering, your dogs can still be overcome.  High humidity makes it even more difficult for a dog to cool down through panting.  Ninety degrees can quickly turn into a danger zone.

Be smart.  And ... try to educate those who are clearly showing their stupidity.  Am I harsh?  Yes.  And I don't have a problem with that.  None.  There are a lot of things I can't control, but maybe - just maybe - I can prevent some abuse down the road through education.  It's worth a try.