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

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

Mindful Behavior … Stop Smoking … new beginnings


energy_smokestacks_480x295

Mindful behavior … Stop smoking

a repost

I believe that great information makes us think – hopefully starts a conversation as well as makes us take positive action. We have all heard about the current political noise going on in California and possibly other states concerning taxing cigarettes; a move that Washington State decided was a good idea deciding folks must pay both the cigarette tax and the use tax, which goes directly to the Department of Revenue. The art of Mindful behavior takes some a mere moment while others a few hundred tries but … it can be done.

As a parent and an ex-smoker (cold turkey) for well over 15yrs, the idea of taxing cigarettes is a good idea though no revenue will benefit the state itself, it will help others in the different ways the act of smoking affects our lives. It took becoming a parent to stop along with an increase in allergies and asthmatic symptoms.  My  mindful behavior, and the love of my kids not to mention a long family history of asthma helped so much.  Mindful behavior has a whole lot of angles … by definition or what society thinks of when contemplating the word “behavior”  is a need for guidance or in its totality has to do with the quality of awareness that a person brings to everyday living; learning to control your mind, rather than letting your mind control you.  However, being mindful in this case includes actions that can be stopped, controlled, or at least  altered if you make lifestyle change, reduce stress with exercises, and or find other things to do.

California and other states can or should at least explore subscribing to a Tobacco Tax; the increases can offer win-win-win solutions, especially as they face a severe fiscal crisis and work to balance budgets while preserving essential public services.

  Stop Smoking

In 2009, Orzechowski and Walker, an economic consulting firm said …

$1,712 is the average amount a pack-a-day smoker in the US spends annually

What can $1,712 buy?

** 170 mosquito nets from nothingbutnets.net and prevent malaria transmission to African families.

** Provide 11,900 meals for the nation’s hungry through www.feedingamerica.org

** Donate to local programs to give 10 kids fun and creative after-school options every day for a month.  www.aferschoolalliance.org for tips on finding an organization near you.

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 history and time line 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
 

Happy Easter …history of


Easter, which celebrates Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead, is Christianity’s most important holiday. It has been called a moveable feast because it doesn’t fall on a set date every year, as most holidays do.

Instead, Christian churches in the West celebrate Easter on the first Sunday following the full moon after the vernal equinox on March 21. Therefore, Easter is observed anywhere between March 22 and April 25 every year. Orthodox Christians use the Julian calendar to calculate when Easter will occur and typically celebrate the holiday a week or two after the Western churches, which follow the Gregorian calendar.

The exact origins of this religious feast day’s name are unknown. Some sources claim the word Easter is derived from Eostre, a Teutonic goddess of spring and fertility. Other accounts trace Easter to the Latin term hebdomada alba, or white week, an ancient reference to Easter week and the white clothing donned by people who were baptized during that time. Through a translation error, the term later appeared as esostarum in Old High German, which eventually became Easter in English. In Spanish, Easter is known as Pascua; in French, Paques. These words are derived from the Greek and Latin Pascha or Pasch, for Passover. Jesus‘ crucifixion and resurrection occurred after he went to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover (or Pesach in Hebrew), the Jewish festival commemorating the ancient Israelites’ exodus from slavery in Egypt. Pascha eventually came to mean Easter.

Did You Know?

Over 90 million chocolate Easter bunnies are made each year

Easter is really an entire season of the Christian church year, as opposed to a single-day observance. Lent, the 40-day period leading up to Easter Sunday, is a time of reflection and penance and represents the 40 days that Jesus spent alone in the wilderness before starting his ministry, a time in which Christians believe he survived various temptations by the devil. The day before Lent, known as Mardi Gras or Fat Tuesday, is a last hurrah of food and fun before the fasting begins. The week preceding Easter is called Holy Week and includes Maundy Thursday, which commemorates Jesus’ last supper with his disciples; Good Friday, which honors the day of his crucifixion; and Holy Saturday, which focuses on the transition between the crucifixion and resurrection. The 50-day period following Easter Sunday is called Eastertide and includes a celebration of Jesus’ ascension into heaven.

In addition to Easter’s religious significance, it also has a commercial side, as evidenced by the mounds of jelly beans and marshmallow chicks that appear in stores each spring. As with Christmas, over the centuries various folk customs and pagan traditions, including Easter eggs, bunnies, baskets and candy, have become a standard part of this holy holiday.

History.com