Category Archives: ~ my 2cents …

Voting is a Right NOT a Privilege ~~ The Struggle continues


votingTime to pass the Voting Rights Act, change redistricting rules, and make it easier for ALL Americans to VOTE

 America

Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” -George Santayana (16 December 1863 in Madrid, Spain – 26 September 1952 in Rome, Italy) was a philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist. 

 On March 7, 1965, hundreds of brave unarmed nonviolent women and men dared to March for African Americans’ right to vote.

The fact is that less than 1% of eligible Blacks could vote or register to vote.

A group of people organized a Peaceful Protest: The March would start in Selma then move on to the state capitol in Montgomery.

However, as these peaceful protesters tried to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge to Montgomery the police, seemingly already assuming a defensive posture; some on horses had, looking back, a predetermined tactical intervention plan against protesters. The protesters, mostly young African Americans also walked quietly with a mixture of older individuals and white Students as well: and as they did so police proceeded to try and control the protesters  which quickly resulted in the “excessive use of force.”

As protesters continued, it became clear that the excessive force was now an active use of police brutality and acts of murder; the grotesque beating of a young black leader of nonviolent protesting #RepJohnLewis had his skull cracked open among other injuries to his body.  These Montgomery officers were out to do harm as they surrounded and knocked out young protesters using their nightsticks,  sprayed water cannons at close range while others used tear gas.

These kids had no weapons; they did NOT fight back because they were not there to fight, but showed much courage and strength in the face of absolute brutal violence by an adversarial organization minorities are expected to respect. These men in police uniforms hired to protect and serve citizens were actually a force activated by the state to show physical power,  discrimination, and racism in all its worse forms.

We must never forget that some of our fellow  Americans died for our right to vote! In what was an attempt to March in peaceful disobedience quickly became an adverse harmful environment to young black and white women and men,  students from all backgrounds, folks who believed voting is a right had to quickly retreat while journalists and photographers became witnesses to the suffering violence and death.

The brutal reaction by the police was not only caught on tape it forced then-President Johnson,  once against civil rights programs as a Senator to call on Congress for equal voting rights for all on March 15.

SelmaMarch

The Voting Act of 1965 became a law on August 6; is a landmark piece of national legislation in the United States that outlawed discriminatory voting practices that had been responsible for the widespread disenfranchisement of African Americans in the U.S.

A day that started out peacefully quickly descended into an awful johnlewisbeatwithknightstickugly March of death for the right to vote called, “Bloody Sunday”.

Now, some 50 years later, a new “Jim Crow” era has emerged with a major step backward in the fight for civil and voting rights. Conservative states are targeting not only African Americans but Senior citizens, first-time voters, early voting, Students, low income, immigrants, and the undocumented though Republicans call them (illegals) Dreamers; some born or brought to the US as youngsters all victims of circumstance now voting age. Also, Governors from the Republican-controlled States are allowing election officials to purge voters, people without birth certificates were given limited or completely denied access to the voting booth failing to meet new voter ID regulations in time, and were treated like possible (illegals). This is the 21st Century; we should be on a progressive path toward equality for all not one that will re-engage folks in the act of racism or exclusion leading to suppressing participation in the election process. In 2017, Republicans tried to pass and or enforce new, even stricter voter ID legislation or influence their districts with strange redistricting rules and regulations.  While some judges … have struck down some of these restrictive laws that ultimately suppress the vote, it is clear the effort to shut people of colour out of the election process sadly continues.

We need to push back on all attempts to suppress the Right to Vote.

With so much at stake, it is time to stop sitting on the sidelines. If we are going to succeed, Conservative lawmakers NEED to hear our Voices.

We cannot turn back the clock on Voting Rights For the sake of the Next Generation

Thank You for Taking Action

     Takeaction2

~ Nativegrl77

Packing & Cracking ~gerrymander~ a repost and reminder


Elbridge Gerry (1744–1814), American statesman
Elbridge Gerry (1744–1814), American statesman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The information below is a historic  timeline regarding the Census and Gerrymandering or Packing & Cracking rules

In December 1975, the Congress passed Public Law (P.L.) 94-171. This law requires the Census Bureau to make special preparations to provide redistricting data to the 50 states no later than April 1 of the year following a census (so April 1, 2011, for the 2010 Census). P.L. 94-171 specifies that within 1 year of Census Day, the Census Bureau must send each state the small-area data the state will need to redraw districts for the state legislature.

P.L. 94-171 sets up a voluntary program between the Census Bureau and those states that wish to receive population tabulations for voting districts and other state-specified geographic areas.

Under this program, those responsible for the legislative apportionment or redistricting of each state may devise a plan identifying the voting districts for which they want the specific tabulations and submit it to the Census Bureau.

Beginning in 2005, the Redistricting Data Office of the Census Bureau met with state officials in 46 states. These meetings explained the timeline and programs available for the 2010 Census, providing states the time to prepare and allocate resources in advance of the census. The states also provided the Census Bureau with valuable feedback on census program planning.

The 2010 Census Redistricting Data Program is a five-phase program. During Phase 1 (2005–2006), the Census Bureau collected state legislative district boundaries and associated updates to tabulate legislative districts. This phase also included an aggressive 2010 Census communications plan, with visits to state capitals, to make sure the states were informed and prepared for the upcoming census.

Phase 2 (2008–2010) consisted of the Voting District/Block Boundary Suggestion Project (VTD/BBSP) in which states received TIGER/Line® shapefiles and the MAF/TIGER Partnership Software (MTPS) to electronically collect voting district boundaries, feature updates, suggested block boundaries, and corrected state legislative district boundaries. Both Phase 1 and Phase 2 are voluntary programs that include a step where the state verifies the submitted data.

Phase 3 constitutes the delivery of the data for the 2010 Census. The Census Bureau will deliver the geographic and data products to the majority and minority leadership in the state legislatures, the governors, and any designated P.L. 94-171 liaisons. Once bipartisan receipt of the data is confirmed, the data will be made available online to the public within 24 hours through the American FactFinder. For this census, the P.L. 94-171 data will include population counts for small areas within each state, as well as housing occupied/vacancy counts.

After the Census Bureau provides the data, the states will begin their redistricting. States are responsible for delineating their own congressional and legislative boundaries and their legislatures. Legislatures, secretaries of state, governors, and/or redistricting commissions carry out the process.  

Go to www.census.gov for the complete article …

For your information, wiki states, “Gerrymandering is effective because of the wasted vote effect.

The Etymology

First printed in March 1812, the political cartoon above was drawn in reaction to the state senate electoral districts drawn by the Massachusetts legislature to favour the Democratic-Republican Party candidates of Governor Elbridge Gerry over the Federalists.

The caricature satirizes the bizarre shape of a district in Essex County, Massachusetts as a dragon-like “monster.”

Federalist newspapers editors and others at the time likened the district shape to a salamander, and the word gerrymander was a blend of that word and Governor Gerry‘s last name.

Resources: www.Census.gov
 and Wiki
 

August … a month full of historic events


270px-Hurricane_Katrina_Mobile_Alabama_flooded_parking_lot_20050829just another rant …

August~

 remember Katrina … remind folks what happened on the Gulf Coast as the people fled, some were forced out into the streets some died in the Katrina disaster trying to get out safely; while others faced excessive force violence and death

August 1, 1838 – Slavery was abolished in Jamaica. It had been introduced by Spanish settlers 300 years earlier in 1509.

August 2, 1776 – In Philadelphia, most of the 55-56 members of the Continental Congress signed the parchment copy of the Declaration of Independence.

August 3
1936 – Jesse Owens won the first of his four Olympic gold medals.

1943 – Gen. George S. Patton verbally abused and slapped a private. Later, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower ordered him to apologize for the incident.

1981 – U.S. traffic controllers with PATCO, the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization, went on strike. They were fired just as U.S. President Reagan had warned.

1992 – The U.S. Senate voted to restrict and eventually end the testing of nuclear weapons.

2004 – NASA launched the spacecraft Messenger. The 6 1/2 year journey was planned to arrive at the planet Mercury in March 2011. On April 30, 2015, Messenger crashed into the surface of Mercury after sending back more than 270,000 pictures.

August 4, 1962 – Apartheid opponent Nelson Mandela was arrested by security police in South Africa. He was then tried and sentenced to five years in prison. In 1964, he was placed on trial for sabotage, high treason and conspiracy to overthrow the government and was sentenced to life in prison. A worldwide campaign to free him began in the 1980s and resulted in his release on February 11, 1990, at age 71 after 27 years in prison. In 1993, Mandela shared the Nobel Peace Prize with South Africa’s President F.W. de Klerk for their peaceful efforts to bring a nonracial democracy to South Africa. In April 1994, black South Africans voted for the first time in an election that brought Mandela the presidency of South Africa.

August 4, 1964 – Three young civil rights workers, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner, were found murdered and buried in an earthen dam outside Philadelphia, Mississippi. They had disappeared on June 21 after being detained by Neshoba County police on charges of speeding. They were participating in the Mississippi Summer Project organized by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) to increase black voter registration. When their car was found burned on June 23, President Lyndon Johnson ordered the FBI to search for the men.

August 5, 1861 – President Abraham Lincoln signed into law the first Federal income tax, a 3 percent tax on incomes over $800, as an emergency wartime measure during the Civil War. However, the tax was never actually put into effect.

August 6, 1965 – The Voting Rights Act of 1965 was signed into law by President Lyndon B. Johnson. The Act suspended literacy, knowledge and character tests designed to keep African Americans from voting in the South. It also authorized the appointment of Federal voting examiners and barred discriminatory poll taxes. The Act was renewed by Congress in 1975, 1984 and 1991.

August 6-10, 1787 – The Great Debate occurred during the Constitutional Convention. Outcomes included the establishment of a four-year term of office for the President, granting Congress the right to regulate foreign trade and interstate commerce, and the appointment of a committee to prepare a final draft of the Constitution.

August 9, 1974 – Effective at noon, Richard M. Nixon resigned the presidency as a result of the Watergate scandal. Nixon had appeared on television the night before and announced his decision to the American people. Facing possible impeachment by Congress, he became the only U.S. President ever to resign.

August 10, 1863 – The President meets with abolitionist Frederick Douglass who pushes for full equality for Union ‘Negro troops.’

August 11, 1841Frederick Douglass, an escaped slave, spoke before an audience in the North for the first time. During an anti-slavery convention on Nantucket Island, he gave a powerful, emotional account of his life as a slave. He was immediately asked to become a full-time lecturer for the Massachusetts Antislavery Society.

August 11-16, 1965 – Six days of riots began in the Watts area of Los Angeles, triggered by an incident between a white member of the California Highway Patrol and an African American motorist. Thirty-four deaths were reported and more than 3,000 people were arrested. Damage to property was listed at $40 million.

On August 14, 1862, Abraham Lincoln did something unprecedented in presidential history up to that point: he met with a small delegation of black leaders (all free: 5 black clergymen). But the meeting did not auger a decision to give African Americans a voice in government. In essence, Lincoln sought to lobby these men in essence to agree to a divorce. In other words, the President wanted to get black Americans behind his plan to colonize them abroad. -Source http://quod.lib.umich.edu/l/lincoln/lincoln5/1:812?rgn=div1;singlegenre=All;sort=occur;subview=detail;type=simple;view=fulltext;q1=August+14

August 14, 1935 – President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act establishing the system which guarantees pensions to those who retire at age 65. The Social Security system also aids states in providing financial aid to dependent children, the blind and others, as well as administering a system of unemployment insurance.

August 15, 1969 – Woodstock began in a field near Yasgur’s Farm at Bethel, New York. The three-day concert featured 24 rock bands and drew a crowd of more than 300,000 young people. The event came to symbolize the counter-culture movement of the 1960’s.

August 18, 1920 – The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, granting women the right to vote.

August 28, 1963 – The March on Washington occurred as over 250,000 persons attended a Civil Rights rally in Washington, D.C., at which Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. made his now-famous I Have a Dream speech.

    August 28, 1955 The death of Emmett Till

 August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina slams into Gulf Coast

August 30 1967 Thurgood Marshall confirmed as Supreme Court justice

1983 U.S. Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Guion S. Bluford becomes the first African American to travel into space when the space shuttle Challenger

August 31

Resource: http://www.historyplace.com

~Nativegrl77

Women and our Rights : past present future …challenged everyday


oh yeah, it’s a rant … tweaked many many times

keepabortionlegal

So,  here we are in the 21st Century, Women have a constitutional right to have an abortion yet secret bills are being passed as if they(republicans) know what is best for all Women, just think about that and ask yourself … why is a healthcare panel made up of men considering women’s health who keep making strange comments about our lady parts while throwing ALL Women into one basket then under a bus?

Remember when trump said,  women should have some sort of punishment for exercising their rights while conservative lawmakers, governors, and mayors continue to puke on the Constitution by passing lawless bills that restrict the right to have an abortion. The idea the reducing the number of clinics will change the mind of any Woman wanting an abortion is going to make them stop… What does this say about those politicians who need some sericous vetting and maybe censured removed as they continue to put constituents at risk.

The fact is Women lead very different lives, make individual decisions every minute of the day ~just like men … an abortion, like any other procedure is just one of several health care issues Women may have to encounter.  The best solutions: Birth Control in all its forms as well as a safe affordable legal constitutional right to an abortion. I find it beyond offensive to hear Republicans infer that abortion is chosen carelessly and for those who seem to think birth control in all its forms is a federal or states right issue actually use it as a Republican political football.  The fact is that Republicans with Women in their lives forget that their position pushes up against 98% of those who use birth control and they need to stop forcing their “family values” on women, focus on Jobs, Immigration, ending any idea of income inequality and Climate Change among just a few issues at the moment. I say,  honestly, it doesn’t look at all possible for republicans to come to their senses, so vote for the Democratic Party that supports upward mobility as well as the middle-lower classes and the poor = equality for all…

Call on your favourite republicans and ask why they assume Women are ill-equipped, silly, naïve, or would put up with abortion bans without a fight? least we talk about how hard a decision like abortion is: It is NOT easy or done willy nilly! and while they seem to forget it conveniently …women DID use coat hangers, went to folks who were NOT in the medical field but took their money,  performed abortions, and some women, this ended up being a fatal choice

Hey, whatever happened to ” liberty” under the Bill of Rights and “freedom” under Civil Liberties seriously -or does this only apply to certain men?

While we were deep in the era of trump, never forget that on Sunday, January 22, 2012, President Obama released a statement letting Women know that he would reaffirming his promise to protect a woman’s right to choose.    Announcing that  “After evaluating comments, we have decided to add an additional element to the final rule  Nonprofit employers who, based on religious beliefs, do not currently provide contraceptive coverage in their insurance plan, will be provided an additional year, until August 1, 2013, to comply with the new law. Employers wishing to take advantage of the additional year must certify that they qualify for the delayed implementation. This additional year will allow these organizations more time and flexibility to adapt to this new rule. We intend to require employers that do not offer coverage of contraceptive services to provide notice to employees, which will also state that contraceptive services are available at sites such as community health centers, public clinics, and hospitals with income-based support. We will continue to work closely with religious groups during this transitional period to discuss their concerns.”

There were changes to the announcement above as well as big changes to health care for women … It was a time for hope and audacity because of the new health care law women looked forward to less discrimination.  We know some in the insurance field, doctors and or hospitals will try to beat the system, but the law is there to refer to now and covers All Americans not just some. It is hard for me to believe pro-lifers do not understand that every part of a woman’s health is subject to being penalized and that includes our reproductive health care, which includes a wide range of health care issues.  Isn’t bad enough that lawmakers actually would subject women to demeaning practices like a transvaginal scope; make them wait for 72hrs, but to make doctors liable and or do jail time too.  I have to say that among other ridiculous laws that need a vote in Congress, such as The Hyde Amendment requires a vote every year.

…   the Hyde Amendment is a legislative provision barring the use of certain federal funds to pay for abortions with exceptions for incest and rape.[1] It is not a permanent law, rather it is a “rider” that, in various forms, has been routinely attached to annual appropriations bills since 1976. The Hyde Amendment applies only to funds allocated by the annual appropriations bill for the Department of Health and Human Services. It primarily affects Medicaid.     wiki

I also admit that it pisses me off that the latest group of people in congress are still getting away with saying one thing in front of a camera yet voting another way on the floor of congress, which includes spewing and or forcing their “family values” platform/ideology on what I thought were free Americans. What year is it again?  If the Republican Tea Party now the Nationalist party truly wants smaller government, they should stop trying to control women, their bodies and or change laws for the sake of that “family values” platform or whatever the claim it is now, and whatever it is now, it is definitely the epitome of big government and an invasion of privacy.

The right seems to be aligning their demands for stricter abortion laws one state at a time. I cannot be the only one tired of the “Do as we say Not as we do Political Party of NO. It has my blood boiling. Now, Tea publicans running for President and some media folks are saying it is time to move on from nasty politics. I say if you want to become President of the US of A give Americans full disclosure. Women need to know if you support unnecessary procedures like a transvaginal scope  … Yet; the same people accuse President Obama of withholding information from the public or being un-American get offended when asked to provide personal information.  We are their constituents; we all deserve to know how these people will vote on issues of religion, race, gender, and or abortion. The beliefs of members of Congress dictate to how the vote will affect our constitutional rights. If you were listening, for three years conservative politicians, some conservadems ramping up of vitriolic “family values” rhetoric pushing the discussion of women’s rights, religion, race, and gender preference up to the surface to rile their base. It is obvious now that Republican Governors had a plan to take the rhetoric a step further by passing anti-abortion legislation all over the country in fact as stated by NWLC – “Ninety-two. That’s the number of anti-abortion measures passed into law across the U.S. in 2011. In addition, in case you are wondering, yes, that is a record — in fact; it is over 2.5 times the previous record. “

Bad enough that Women must continue to fight for our rights for equal pay, daycare, medical leave let alone for safe affordable access to reproductive health care.

Now, as we move toward the end of 2017 with the trifecta that is trump and both chambers of Congress, controlled by Republicans who decided to vote on a right to reproductive rights on the anniversary of Roe V Wade in 2015.  This move by men in Congress was and is always incredible since there are more female members of Congress now and yes, a lot of right of center members who say they are fiscally conservative, want less government in their (our) lives.

Yet, topics like abortion, stem cell research/experiments and religious freedom get them flustered, put their undies in a bunch about abortion funding and seem to prefer that abortion be outlawed altogether if possible. I could not vote for a woman who feels I am not qualified, mature enough or have a “right to choose” no matter what side of the political aisle they sit. The fact is, women who choose to have an abortion, do so with great trepidation not because they are heartless but based on options given by qualified medical teams or if the fetus is not viable or at risk or both mom and fetus are at risk. FYI! the decision is discussed with a counselor and a doctor before any procedure happens. The choice to have an abortion is not an easy one and offering a safe place, an affordable procedure is better than having a woman or women desperate enough to take actions that could put their lives at risk like they did prior to roeVwade should always be in the back of congress…  it is the right thing to do. The idea that any member of Congress would want to control a woman’s body is ludicrous at best and again, the epitome of BIG Government; they should make something like the Hyde only better a law. The conservative ideology, clearly barbaric; spews old school dogma and not only crosses the line on numerous occasions, but it has also solidified a need, a call for an unprecedented effort for a grassroots movement to keep our Democracy safe

If you live under a Republican-controlled State and need or know someone in need of safe affordable healthcare with limited funds, your life has got to be beyond difficult.    Now, imagine the impact that repealing, replacing, and eliminating access would have on ALL our families, friend’s or co-workers. Let alone the idea that some Republicans want to go back to a time when women and people of colour had no rights; seen but not heard and yes it sounds silly but before you laugh, take some time and listen to congressional members led by republicans and those running for office closely.

Just when I thought we were all moving into the 21st century … sigh

Resource: the internet

Nativegrl77

… the issue of choice is important and taken for granted in this era of trump …. Don’t let this guy turn the clock back on women because…  for women who lack resources things could go bad quickly … folks in restricted states need to help each other out

Cinco de mayo ~~ May 5, 1862 Battle of Puebla


So, today is Cinco de Mayo; the history behind why Americans celebrate May 5th had me thinking about how a small group of people definitely living in a different era took a stand and while there are many stories of how people in our past stood up; such as John Lewis, MLK,Dorothy Height  and others , who most often marched  … Peacefully — maybe we in the 21st Century should gain strength from these stories of how these great people stood up f  themselves, had the courage to challenge laws rules and legislation that clearly perpetuated discriminatory behavior …

We the People of the 21st Century need to stand up stand tall and stand together against the people that seemingly want to take the rights away from a select few… Gotta say just considering a move toward or anything that is even remotely close to stripping our citizens rights away makes me scratch my head …whatever happened to being innocent until proven guilty? maybe not in this era of trump

As we all hear politicians hawk their claim to fame or what they will do for you. The media is going through their poll numbers spreading their collective rhetoric. I don’t know about you, but polls mean nothing when my vote hasn’t be included though the fact is … most democrats do show up to national elections more often and to be sure the day that Barack Obama became President was the day that MIDTERMS became just  as important and as the midterm races begin, hopefully a shift in reality will be to a hard left.  Americans need to be reminded that midterms matter so vote for a member  for Congress that will have courage to put Politics aside and do the work of the People to correct the years of questionable behavior on both sides of the aisle … If you want to live in a 21st Century America as most of us do, that means telling the 1%  your trickle down solution for the middle and lower class stopped working a long time ago. While republicans say cutting slashing and eliminating social programs is good because it will make folks more self-sufficient ask yourself how many of your members of Congress or their family needed help is on Medicare/caid Social Security or has had to deal with that donut hole that actually hurt our Seniors. Republicans in Congress are in it to win off the backs and at a cost to you your family least we talk about civil human  reproductive rights and our earth!

speaking of which …

Our environment has been put on the back burner since the trump admin came to power and now it is in serious jeopardy. The Obama Administration had environmental challenges and this admin needs to demand in-depth evaluations on the way BP ,Massey mining were handled while getting ready for more natural ones. The BP oil spill was a warning to Oil Corporations, who side stepped protocol and safety practices.  In the of case BP it was obvious … at least to most, that in the event of a spill  … a safety procedure should be deployed immediately, not made and put in place after the fact. We owe our children and the next generation a chance to breathe, live/have infrastructure for 21st Century living.

Americans want and need Congress to have the courage to regulate big Corporations! We need a complete overhaul on how oil drilling and transportation is handled in the future…

The Battle of Puebla took place on May 5th, 1862, near the city of Puebla during the French intervention in Mexico. The battle ended in a victory for the Mexican Army over the occupying French forces.

4,000 Mexican soldiers smashed the French and traitor Mexican army of 8,000 at Puebla, Mexico, 100 miles east of Mexico City on the morning of May 5 1862.  For more info:  history.com