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look somewhere else, whack #4

Here’s another Creative Whack from Roger von Oech, creator of the Creative Whack Pack – a deck of 64 amazing cards to “whack” us out of old and habitual ways of thinking, allowing us to see with fresh eyes and an open mind. 

I like the message of this card in particular.  I don’t know about you, but I get into ruts from time to time.  I am in a pesky rut these past couple of weeks as a result of allowing negative people in the workplace get to me.  People who are so old-fashioned and stiff, I feel like I have to salute them.

Needless to say, my workplace operates with a very old-fashioned mindset.  The work I am doing now is the same kind of work people were doing in the early 1980’s.  Not only are the tools I have to work with antiquated, so is the vision of some people in my workplace.  That’s what happens, I guess, when the leaders in an organization stay in positions for years and years.  It’s always good when outside perspectives are allowed in.  Allowed is the operative word, however.  Therein lies the rub.

It’s like how Jeff Ashton describes the personalities of Cindy and Casey Anthony in his new book, Imperfect Justice.  (Which I am really enjoying but only half way through.) When you refuse to accept new ideas; if you refuse to see the reality of your current state of affairs, any new idea or new vision is exorcised in favor of the habitual comfort of old ways of thinking.  Cindy Anthony grew so used to Casey’s lies, she began to accept them as reality so as not to shake the boat.

Jeff Ashton writes:

From all that we’d seen of their interactions and heard from those around Cindy, it was unlikely that she would ever admit the unvarnished truth about Casey.  It was a lethally toxic co-dependent relationship.  One person was skilled at lying to others, while the other was skilled at lying to herself.

Cindy Anthony would not allow herself to see the truth about Casey: “Cindy was in denial about her daughter on a colossal scale,” wrote Jeff Ashton.

That is why this message is so important.  We have to look beyond what we know and discover new ways of seeing.  If we continue to do the things that are comfortable, we grow complacent, dull, and miss the really important stuff, like pretending the smell of human decomposition is really pizza.



rage against racism – RAGE!

Reading the Opinion Page of the New York Times today confirmed the horror I feared would result from Alabama’s new Immigration law – which is illegal but Alabama is bold in their racism – raising its middle finger at Federal laws.

How to put into words the terror that people in Alabama are experiencing is hardly possible – my heart is literally in my throat as I write this.  I want to help these people; I want to join this 2011 Civil Rights battle more than anything in the world.  I feel helpless.  Well, I have this little blog that some of you may read and then realize the seriousness and the desperation of this problem.

Civil Rights March on Washington, leaders marc...

Image via Wikipedia

I wrote about this issue on November 6th in a post titled, Alabama Ignores Justice Department, because I knew it could get very ugly for children trying to attend school.  NEVER, never-ever did I imagine the reality of this issue.

I never wanted to believe that Alabama could turn their Immigration policy into vile racism.  Alabama’s brand of hatred drips with the blood of all who came before and fought and died for Civil Rights in this country.

The New York Times editorial from November 13, 2011 tells us this about the Alabama immigration law:

The law was written to deny immigrants without papers the ability to work or travel, to own or rent a home, to enter contracts of any kind. Fear is causing an exodus as Latinos abandon homes and jobs and crops in the fields. Utilities are preparing to shut off water, power and heat to customers who cannot show the right papers.

Alabama is far from alone in passing a law whose express aim is misery and panic. States are expanding their power to hasten racial exclusion and family disintegration, to make a particular ethnic group of poor people disappear. The new laws come cloaked in talk of law and order; the bigotry beneath them is never acknowledged.

The below words spoken by a US Senator should frighten the very life out of all of every one of us:

A sponsor of the legislation, State Senator Scott Beason, chairman of the Rules Committee, was secretly taped by the F.B.I. talking about black residents of Greene County. “They’re aborigines,” he said. He is the lawmaker who urged fellow Republicans to “empty the clip” to stop illegal immigrants.

How can Senator Beason be allowed to stay in Government?  He is the lowest of the low; a neanderthals brain is his to claim.

How can he say things like “empty the clip” and not be arrested or charged?  What a fine example of a lawmaker he is.

The important aspect in this article?  The ease with which people can hate.

Today the hate extends to immigrants in Alabama, and other states (Alabama is the worst).  What about tomorrow?  Who is next on the list?

As Judge U. W. Clemon, a former Alabama senator, noted, the Latino immigrant population is very small and yet the target Alabama has placed on their backs is startling:

…..Judge Clemon, a civil rights foot soldier who fought Bull Connor and George Wallace, the common thread between then and now — the threat of racial profiling and the abuse of a cheap, exploited work force — is obvious, as is the racism driving the law.

Although the Hispanic population of the state is less than 5 percent, the leaders of the state were hell-bent on removing as much of that 4 percent as possible. And I think they’ve been fairly successful in scaring them out of the state of Alabama.

How can American citizens with any conscious allow such hateful treatment to fellow human beings?  These immigrant human beings simply want a better life and they are willing to work their fingers to the bone for the basics.  They’ll do the jobs that Americans don’t want to do.

Anyone who thinks immigrants are taking jobs away from Americans is living in a dream world.

Wake up!  They simply want to put clothes on their back and a roof over their head.

Alabama would deny immigrants even the basic needs of survival.  Can you imagine having the below things taken away from you?   I can’t imagine being denied the below basic needs.

Immigrants cannot….

  • Own or rent a home
  • work
  • travel
  • have water service
  • electric
  • heat
  • basic K-12 education

The NAACP’s leaders in Birmingham Alabama have groups of advocates to assist people caught in this government noose.

I feel helpless.  However, I am a member of the NAACP;  now I am going to get to work and get ACTIVE.

“Jim Crow is dead,” said the Reverend Anthony Alann Johnson, “but his cousins are still alive.”

You better believe it.

Please help by finding your local NAACP branch and join us to fight for Civil Rights.



Read the article: On the Rise in Alabama

Slide Show: A New Civil Rights Movement


Jeff Ashton’s book release is around the corner

Retired Assistant State Attorney Jeff Ashton, who famously prosecuted the Casey Anthony murder trial, has a book coming out on November 15, 2011.

Mr. Asthon’s book, Imperfect Justice:  Prosecuting Casey Anthony, promises to discuss never-revealed details about the case, including information related to the psychological examinations  performed on then defendant Casey Anthony.

Cover image of Jeff Ashton's soon to be released book

He will also be discussing the book on the Dr. Phil Show, Wednesday, November 16, 2001.   No doubt the book will generate a lot of interest.

I’ve per-ordered a copy on my Nook.

If the Barnes & Noble Nook website is any indication, the book should do well.   On the Barnes & Noble Nook page for the book, already nearly 60 “customer reviews” have been written!  This is despite the fact it’s not even released yet!  People are adding their thoughts about what they “think” the book will disclose…and of course they are arguing.

Cheney Mason reportedly is writing a book also.   I have absolutely no interest in reading it because, frankly, I wouldn’t know what to believe.   By the way, Mr. Mason is in a Daytona hospital after feeling ill during a conference in which he to speak.  I certainly hope it’s not a serious issue keeping him in the hospital.  I bet he’s cranky as hell in that hospital!  I bet he’s shooting the bird at just about everyone, too!  I hope so, that would mean he’s on the mend.

Anyway, back to Jeff Ashton’s book.  I really am looking forward to reading some inside stories about the case and sure hope the book is long on character details!  There were some colorful characters involved in the Anthony case, and it would be interesting to read about them.

Coincidentally, I was perusing Facebook this evening and stumbled upon “The Official Jeff Ashton Page.”  Oh, it’s wonderful – lot’s of very nice photos, too!

Seeing some of the great photos of Mr. Ashton and his wife, Rita, his colleagues at the State Attorney’s Office, including Linda Drane-Burdick, and pictures of his Koi pond that he and his wife built – affirmed for me that he is not only a phenomenal attorney, he is also a down-to-earth, very nice guy. Someone you can’t help but like because he oozes charm.

There were many folks on the State side of the case who I really admired: ASA Linda Drane-Burdick, of course, was incredible.   I admired the folks at the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, too.  Yuri Melich – loved him!  Eric Edwards –  loved him!   John Allen – loved him!   Who else?   Just too many good people to name.   Oh! I almost forgot ASA Frank George!  Loved him!

Anyway, my Nook is ready for the Imperfect Justice download!

Thanks in advance, Jeff Ashton!


Get Your Guns Out: Let’s All Celebrate Veteran’s Day

Veterans Day

Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday was Veteran’s Day.  I had to work, but I managed to read stories about various celebrations going on across the country in honor of the day.

It is good to pay respect and honor the men and women in the military, they are doing what they are paid to do.  (At least they get a paycheck.)    I do think celebrating today’s “wars” is hypocritical.  (Maybe hypocritical is the wrong word.  Disingenuous is more like it.)

Let’s face it – we all know today’s involvement in conflicts around the world are not “wars.”  We call it war, but it’s not.

Who attacked us?  Certainly not Iraq and certainly not Afghanistan.

Yet we call our invasion into these countries (who never attacked us) a “war.”

Our military involvement and the involvement of American contractors (who’re making millions of dollars a year), are not helping to end a war!

We are in a money war.  The sole reason for our involvement is to bring enough stability in a region to take over their oil and profits.

We can’t head into Iraq or Afghanistan and ask them to roll over so we can rape and ravage their land.  No.  It is necessary to invade these countries on the premise of instilling so-called democratic values;  christian and capitalism values to profit and control the regions.

Of course it’s appalling.  Of course it’s also true.

The 1% who have stolen America’s wealth and seek to extend our form of “democracy” over the remainder of the world’s people, are the only ones who benefit from our aggressive sorties into other continents. The mercenaries, Pentagon bureaucrats, military contractors, and pathetic fools who serve in and with our armed forces, because there are no other jobs available in this economy, recognize the absurdity of calling these murderous conflicts “wars.” Wars are fought with those who can fight back. Germany’s slaughter of the Jews was not a “war,” it was murder, plain and simple –likewise with the conduct of our troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and now, Africa. ~ Marti Hiken and Luke Hiken / November 11th, 2011

This article (click the link below) is sad but honest.

Get Your Guns Out: Let’s All Celebrate Veteran’s Day.


weekly photo challenge: wonder

I love the idea of finding a photo that says “wonder.”  I settled on this photo of my niece, deep in thought, wondering about …. something!

And a swing, of course, is wondrously fun….


get out of your box, whack #3

This is a very topical Whack.  I agree it’s necessary to get out of your box to look for unusual possibilities in usual places!

It’s limiting to be defined by a single box because, as human beings, we are constantly evolving and evolution will happen whether we like it or not.  The world will go on with or without us.  And if we’re lucky – if our children’s children are lucky, we will continue to evolve as a human race and stop making wars because we don’t like our neighbors religion, or we want their land, or their weapons or even their people.

It’s unhealthy to be in a box  Life in a box is no life at all.  Thoughts outside of the four walls of the box are far more interesting, don’t you think?  Going outside of the box involves risk.  And an open mind.  Opening the mind is not easy when prejudices interfere.  And being risk-adverse is nearly as sad as not accepting or appreciating people for their differences.

99.9% of all DNA in a human being is identical.  Yet, we are afraid of a seeing a Muslim or Arab person in an airport!  There is nothing so horrible as that kind of disrespect.  People who accept the Islam faith are not different than people who accept the Christian faith.  There are horrible people and there are loving and beautiful people in both beliefs.

Most people have two eyes, a nose, teeth, arms and hands with usually five fingers and five toes on the end of two feet that are at the end of their two legs.  Chances are, though, if you happen to be one of the brave individuals who jumped on the “Mission Possible” boat with criminal George W. Bush, you may no longer have arms or legs.

If you sacrificed your body as a result to the big lie, I am so sorry.  Americans know your reasons for fighting were honorable.  Unfortunately, you were led by a criminal into a war that was based on fiction and lies.

Criminal George W. lied to Congress and the American people for his own political interests. Criminal George W. lied and attacked the people of Iraq in March of 2003 without provocation.  It had nothing to do with 9/11 either.  As most of us are aware, it had been proven that Iraq had no role in those attacks.

We attacked Iraq because the Bush Crime Family, with their deep family ties in Saudi Arabia, had their eye on a bigger prize:  Oil. Texans must have their oil.

So, this Get out of Your Box Whack refers to beliefs, culture, and how we should look at the world not by our rules, but by a set of truths different from our own.

Truth?  Hah!

There are person (s) who call themselves Christians and post on this blog to fight, and to lecture me (and others) about our religious views.

I’ve learned there are two kinds of “Christians” – the people who go to church because it fills them up with things they value and enjoy believing in.  And those who are fanatics about religion with one goal in life – to tell “non-believers” like me how horrible we are because we question “religion” and because we don’t believe in their religious brand, we are not the chosen ones.

Sorry, folks, but demeaning non-believers is not Christian.  It’s just annoying and hypocritical in the extreme.

I think it’s beyond the beyond of wonderful that you love your religion, but I don’t like it jammed down my throat in mean or demeaning ways.  So, leave me alone!   If I wanted to become a Holy Christian person I would!  But, I don’t want to.  I like what I think and I will go on thinking this way, too.  Get the message?  I don’t like being boxed in.

I enjoy reading about the history of religion, of all religions and I don’t like one over the other.  I like the diversity of many religions!  Who can say there is just one GOD?  I bet GOD is a SHE.

Oh, and I believe in evolution which tends to be the opposite of what the loud Christians believe.

I believe in Islam. I believe in Judaism.  I believe in Buddhism (I practiced Buddhism for a couple of years until life got in the way.)  I believe in your religion, whatever it is because I am able to get out of the box with curiosity and find something good in what you believe.  But I don’t want what you have, okay?  So, you can go away now.

You’ve already told me you’re the chosen one….and you’ve explained how I am nothing and I will not get into the Kingdom, and when I die I’ll be on the wrong side death’s door, or something inane like that and blah blah blah.  When I hear all of that I have to ask, who’s the hater?

I never answer the door when the religious people come knocking on Saturday, all dressed to the nines in 90 degree weather.   I won’t respond to people who attack me because I don’t care about their religion.  I would love to talk about anyone’s religion, but NEVER ever will I entertain insults.  I don’t trust people who want to push religion on anyone.  Religion should be lovely, personal and enlightening, right?  Dumb me.  I thought the study of religion would result in wisdom, sensitivity, acceptance.

Speaking of wisdom….

Did you know more and more children are being born without wisdom teeth?  A professor told a class I was in that because more and more people are born without wisdom teeth, it is due to the evolutionary process of discarding human traits that are superfluous, or not needed.

I found that fascinating – to be witness to evolution as it is happening.  However, there are two schools of thought on this. One school says that if a person does not have wisdom teeth as a result of genetics, that trait will be passed on, and on, and on.   Evolution, on the other hand, will cause traits that are not useful in an environment to slowly disappear.  The differences are not so different in my view… but I am hardly a scientist or anthropologist.

However, my professor could be right, and he could be wrong because scientists are not quite certain.  The point here, then, we cannot dismiss either possibility because the truth is still evolving and it changes…..

We all have roots extending back 200,000 years to the emergence of the first modern humans in Africa, and back more than 6 million years to the evolution of the earliest human species in Africa. This amazing story of adaptation and survival is written in the language of our genes, in every cell of our bodies—as well as in the fossil and behavioral evidence.

Regarding “Get out of Your Box,” the message is as clear as day.  Wouldn’t you agree that thinking in a box is incredibly limiting?  Being in a box means to accept only what we know – or think we know.  Like Hamlet said to his friend Horatio:

There are more things in heaven and earth Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.   Shakespeare, Hamlet,  Act I, Scene V.


no hasta la vista for the constitution, baby!

Tuesday’s votes in various states – many of which were extremely controversial – were for the most part defeated.  Mississippians rejected the Republican Personhood/Anti-Abortion Initiative… (phew!)

A story in The New York Times concludes:

And while voters in Mississippi, one of the most conservative states, turned away a measure that would have outlawed all abortions and many forms of contraception and had drawn conservative support from members of both parties, they tightened their voting laws to require some from of government-approved identification. Democrats had opposed the requirement, saying it was a thinly disguised attempt to intimidate voters of color.

In Maine, where Republicans recently had ended same-day registration at polling places, voters decided to restore the practice, which Democrats support.

In my view, it was a wonderfully DISMAL day for Republican Conservatives who want to set the clock back on women’s issues, LGBT issues, gay marriage, Unions, abortions, immigration in favor of Christian rule….  and so much more.

For the record, I have nothing against Christianity – I’m one, sort of.

Every religion has value – just as every human being has value.  Christianity should not define a person any more than Islam should.  Let people wear their religion proudly but quietly, please.

I get very cantankerous when it comes to categorizing the United States as a Christian nation.  It is not true.  Never has been.  Talk to the hand on that one.

Why do people have to shout so loudly about “being Christian?”   It seems unbecoming and counter-intuitive to the spirit of Christianity.

Anyone who has to press and press and ram religion down people’s throats is insecure in their own belief.  True “Believers” don’t need to call attention to themselves.

Christian Conservatives, and many of the tea drinkers, would like the rest of us to believe if you are not Christian, you’re nothing.   Excuse me?!!

How would the Christians like it if we became a Hindu or Islam nation?  They wouldn’t like hearing that anymore than non-Christians like to hear Christians shouting their superiority!

How does this sound…

We are a Jewish nation because Judaism rules!

I say we are a Buddist nation.

Excuuuuse me, we are a Islam religious nation.

Dammit, I said we are a Hindu nation!

Well, CLEARLY this nation is all about Scientology – duh!

Get outta town, you nut case – there’s no denying that we are becoming a Bahá’í people.

Gimme a freakin break people, we are a Tele-evangelist society, always have been, always will be.

Well, butter my biscuits, we are a nation of Yoga tele-novelas!

Butter your own biscuit buddy – you clown, there is no dispute here – we are an HBO nation.

HBO.  They don’t HAVE religion on there!

Hah!  That’s my point, you pea brained parasite – I like my religion ‘HBO Latino’ style.   So, hasta la vista to you, baby!

This country was built by immigrants of all religions. We are a diverse nation of every color and every religion known created by man.  Every one of them has a place behind the scenes and out of the workplace, out of government – not down our throats!

I get so angry when people can’t see WHY religion is the ultimate, dangerous divide.

Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people.  ~ Karl Marx, Critique of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, (1818 – 1883)


ask “why?” Whack #2

Ask “why?”    Why is not always easy to answer – and you will never be able to get inside someone’s head to discover the “why?” of the “why.”

 Leonardo da Vinci…..

I roamed the countryside searching for answers to things I did not understand.  Why shells exist on the tops of mountains along with imprints of plants usually found in the sea.  Why thunder lasts longer than that which causes it.  How circles of water form around the spot which has been struck by a stone. And how a bird suspends itself in the air.  Questions like these engaged my thoughts throughout my life.   ~ Leonardo da Vinci

What are you curious about?  What probing questions can you ask? Where can you ask “Why?”

It’s necessary to ask why!  Why are shells on the tops of mountains?  Why are imprints of plants – usually found in the sea – found on mountaintops?

Was the earth so hot after the Big Bang that water formed and then flowed to cool what eventually became the earth?   Were there many Big Bangs?  Were there second and third Big Bangs so the entire universe could evolve, as it’s still evolving?   Could be.

What about the story of  “Adam and Eve” and the tree and the serpent and knowledge and all that silliness?

That Adam and Eve story sounds like a perfectly reasonable “Why?” to me.

(Yes, I am irreverent tonight…..Why?)

Why not!


whack on the side of the head #1

The Internet has gifts that inform, delight and definitely enlighten….There is so much to learn in its vastness!  (I wonder how big the Internet is now? I wonder can it be measured?)

It’s funny how often I’ll be reading something on the Internet, and click on somethings else that seems interesting, and then find something I never intended to look for, that I never knew I needed or wanted, but suddenly HAVE to have!   It’s kind of like going to the grocery store for milk and eggs and coming back with $200 worth of things I never realized I wanted!

That’s what occurred a couple of days ago when I was reading The Chronicle of Higher Education.  One article led to another that led somehow to an article about Roger von Oech, who developed the “The Creative Whack Pack,” a 64 card deck of inspirational and innovative ways to encourage creative thinking.

by Roger von Oech

I enjoy using brain teasers and fun games in the classroom when I teach – it breaks the monotony and livens things up.   This Creative Whack Pack is terrific!  There are interesting and provocative messages in the 64 cards. Oh, and the artwork is divine!  Fantastic stuff!

The intent of the 64 cards –  each containing a different message – serves to coax people out of old, habitual ways of thinking to see things with fresh eyes.

I’m going to share all 64 of them here.  I think everyone will find something thought provoking to use in daily life.

The first one is titled “Give Yourself a Whack on the Side of the Head.” Since it may be difficult to read the message on the card (pictured below), I’ve included it here for you:

The more often you do something in the same way, the more difficult it is to think about doing it in any other way.  Break out of this “prison of familiarity” by disrupting your habitual thought patterns.  Write a love poem in the middle of the night.  Eat ice cream for breakfast.  Wear red sox.  Visit a junk yard.  Work the weekend.  Take the slow way home.  Sleep on the other side of the bed.  Such jolts to your routines will lead to new ideas.  How can you whack your thinking?

Doing this kind of thing might be easier said than done – but it also makes perfect sense!

Aren’t we such creatures of habit?   There’s no doubt about the rituals and habits in our daily lives….routine things like brushing your teeth before bedtime, paying bills – mundane things that we need to repeat as part of our routine. (I don’t think you can make teeth-brushing very creative, do you?!)

I think the message of this card is about how freeing it is to do something totally different from the norm because it can be invigorating, eye opening, and definitely a learning experience.  And, learning is like air…  can’t live without it.

Using these cards in the workplace to encourage new ways of looking at old practices, is terrific.  This is a helpful tool for a project team to use as a tool to challenge people to think outside the box – get away from the tendency to relax in a “group-think” type of complacency – which is a dead-end and boring way to approach new challenges.

What will I do to whack my thinking?  Hmm….

I’m sure I could eat ice cream for breakfast!  How about you?!


alabama ignores justice department


The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is well known to most Americans, and certainly to lawmakers, judges, attorneys and academia.   Any entity that seeks to disobey these laws is subject to rebuke via the Department of Justice.

Alabama is being sued by the Federal Government for its Immigration law, and now is seriously under investigations with regards to defying basic human rights.

George Wallace (center left) and the Stand in ...

Image via Wikipediahuman rights.

Alabama’s newly enacted immigration laws which, in no uncertain terms, intend to disrupt the government’s job of handling immigration, is also disrupting basic civil rights.

Alabama is essentially ignoring the Constitution of the United States.

The Alabama Attorney General, Luther Strange, is intentionally and cruelly sticking out his proverbial middle finger at the Department of Justice by asserting the Federal Government has no jurisdiction to challenge and investigate its newly adopted immigration law.  Not so, says the Federal Government.

In this country, a public education is available to all school-aged children regardless of their immigration status. Alabama’s cruel and illegal new “law” requires schools to check the immigration status of children and their parents.  The result of which is causing extreme disruption for children who (if they even continue to go to school), are harassed and bullied.  Parents, frightened about deportation, are keeping their children out of school.

This prompted the Justice Department’s Assistant Attorney General to issue letters to every Alabama school superintendent regarding the change in their enrollment numbers since the new “law” went into effect.  See Letter.

Meanwhile, the Alabama Attorney General, Luther Strange, wrote his own letter to the Department of Justice advising they have no authority to request this information.  See Letter

To which Thomas E. Perez, Assistant Attorney General answered by saying, in essence, that the Federal Government, who is suing Alabama for its immigration policy,  will investigate allegations that Alabama is running rough-shod over Civil Rights.  (Think back to Governor George Wallace – the segregationist – who blocked the entrance to the University of Alabama, not allowing two black students to enter, in total defiance of desegregation. Constitution.  It was not until President John F. Kennedy who made the Alabama National Guard a federal entity so they could enforce justice and allow the two students to register for classes.   Think back to that time, and you’ll realize what is happening today in Alabama.)

It is deplorable. Shameful.  But, not surprising.  Since the election of Alabama Republican Gov. Robert J. Bentley stood up multiple times to say that people who had accepted Jesus Christ were his brothers and sisters.  He said: “if you’re a Christian and you’re saved … it makes you and me brother and sister.”

Every lawmaker on earth has read the US Constitution and knows that such comments are unconstitutional.  Yet, the Governor of Alabama is clearly snubbing his nose at his role in Government!

Gov. Robert J. Bentley went on to say,

So anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister, and I want to be your brother.

Assistant Attorney General Perez advised in his letter to Perez that the US, as they

“…receive additional information, the Civil Rights Division and other Federal Agencies will be evaluating the potential for violation of Federal laws in Alabama, including civil rights laws – looking at violations of the Fair Housing Act, the Safe Streets Act, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, among others.

I don’t have the words right now to express the disgust I feel for the lawmakers in Alabama.


no one wants an abortion

I spent most of today reading “Woman and the New Race” (1920), by Margaret Sanger.  I’ve carried with me certain memories from studying her work in high school and college.  I remembered all she did with regards to birth control, but I’d forgotten the magnitude of it upon society in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

Cover of "Woman and the New Race"

Cover of Woman and the New Race

I did not remember the squalor that families lived due to having more children than they could feed.  Women were subservient to the wishes of her husband; they were the unwilling slaves to sex because they had no say in the matter.  The role of the woman was to be the weaker sex; she had no voice in the dynamics of her marriage; she kept the home, satisfied the man, bore children, and “remained a dominated weakling in a society controlled by men (Woman and the New Race, Sanger, M., 1920).”

What ever your thoughts on this matter, in the early days of this century, Margaret Sanger did her utmost to help women break the bonds of excessive child births to become owners of her mind and their bodies at long last.

Women were repressed – they were no more than brood mares.  There were so many cases of infanticide.  It was constant, tragic, unbearable…. those accused of infanticide were given harsh sentences.

The woman’s suffrage movement had just given women voting rights; she could also now own property and work outside the home, but she still had no control over her very being – her existence demanded she be subservient to sexual needs of the man, which meant she bore children constantly, weakening her body, pushing her into ill health and early death.

Woman’s acceptance of her inferior status was the more real because it was unconscious.  She had chained herself to her place in society and the family through the maternal functions of her nature, and only chains thus strong could have bound her to her lot as a brood animal for the masculine civilizations of the world.  In accepting her role as the “weaker and gentler half,” she accepted that function.  In turn, the acceptance of that function fixed the more firmly her rank as an inferior.  (Woman and the New Race, Sanger, M., 1920)

Whether you are pro-life or pro-choice, chances are you do not like the reality or the idea of abortion.  I surely do not wish abortion on anyone, but I would never want to castigate another woman for making the very difficult and serious decision to abort.

To abort a baby is a terrible and difficult decision for a woman to make. Woman are wired to want children, to love them, and nurture them.

I had a roommate years ago who got pregnant. She was young, unmarried, very little money, and no plans to have a long-term relationship with the man she was seeing at the time.  She made the decision to abort after talking it over with her family, who did not tell her what to do, but promised to be non-judgmental and support her decision – to have the baby, adopt or abort.  Who wants to make that decision?

I took her to the doctor the day of her abortion.

She came home emotionally drained, in terrible pain, and utterly devastated at the thought of what she’d done, but knowing she had to do it.

She was out of work for longer than a month because she couldn’t stop crying.

No woman wants to abort.  And no woman wants to be told she cannot abort.

There have been terrible lies since the misogynist Herman Cain made his ignorant comments about Planned Parenthood, and Margaret Sanger.

People are actually believing that Margaret Sanger was pro-abortion!  In fact, she was not.

Sanger’s goal was to end back room $5.00 abortions with the legalization of birth control

We have Sanger to thank for birth control, for men and woman.

Do you remember the Comstock law?  She fought against the injustice of the Comstock law and suffered multiple arrests as a result.

Woman’s passivity under the burden of her disastrous task was almost altogether that of ignorant resignation.  She knew virtually nothing about her reproductive nature and less about the consequences of her excessive childbearing.  It is true that , obeying the inner of their natures, some women revolted.  They went even to the extreme of infanticide and abortion.  Usually their revolts were not general enough.  They fought as individuals, not as a mass.  In the mass they sank back into blind and hopeless subjection.  They want on breeding with staggering rapidity those numberless, undesired children who become the clogs and the destroyers of civilizations.   (Woman and the New Race, Sanger, M., 1920)

What a voice Margaret Sanger has!  She writes with both clarity and passion.

There were many things I read, however, that proved to me that we do not learn our lessons well as a nation.  That’s a big subject for another time!

Here is the URL of the Google book:  Woman and the New Race, by Margaret Sanger.


weekly photo challenge: windows

A great topic for this week’s challenge!  Lot’s of possibilities.   I love the word “windows” as a metaphor – seeing more than what is present at first glance – windows of the soul… eyes….

Windows would also be lovely topic to write about, I think.  Well, one of these days….

Anyway, I didn’t think I would take part in the photo challenge this week  because I don’t have a single photo of a window.  Well, I was thinking of  “windows” in the literal sense.

Driving home from work tonight, I let my mind wander through the photo files on my computer.

I knew I didn’t have any beautiful or interesting shots of windows.   I have lots of photos taken with my cell phone while sitting in my car – in traffic.   ( Sitting in traffic is a constant here in South Florida.)  I love to take photos with my cell phone – filling the time.  I especially love capturing dark clouds as they roll in.  And it’s fun to take pictures through the rain on the car window.

Anyway, I remembered this photo I’d taken of Jazz as he’s looking at me through the glass of the sliding glass door.  He was so mad at me because I was outside and he was inside.    He’s a whimper-er.  He has a shrill whimper that sounds like “hmimp, hmimp.”

I took this as I was out side taking pictures of ducks – unfortunately for the ducks,  he loves chasing them better than anything.  He will lunge, then jump up at them as they fly away into the water.  (I’m pretty sure the ducks figured out that Jazz  was totally harmless… though they’d never, never dilly-dally when he was nearby.)

Doesn’t he look sad in this picture?   I finally did let him out and the ducks dealt with it with their usual flat-footed aplomb.

this is a blow up of his eyes - you can see me taking the photo!


bald-faced lies about Margaret Sanger for political gain

I don’t have very much time to write tonight because I stayed too late at work finishing a project.

Margaret Sanger, founder of the Planned Parenthood Federation. Photograph: Corbis

Regardless, I want to express my total dismay at the attempt by some horrible people to alter history for the benefit of their political cause.

How dare people deliberately re-write the legacy of Margaret Sanger  (1879 – 1966), on the Internet.   How dare Herbert Cain make up lies and spew them on national television?  We are just learning of his misogyny now – wasn’t his timing poetic justice!

You know, it’s true that we must not believe all we read on the Internet.  It’s important to take it all with not a grain of salt, but with a rock of salt!   Otherwise that rock-salt will hit us from behind – hard.

I did a Google search yesterday using key word:  Margaret Sanger and found vicious lies and horror stories that were absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt, 100 percent false.

I was appalled.    However, what is worse are the people who actually believe what they’re reading!

And then we learn that the alleged sexual harassment presidential candidate Herman Cain had the gall to either out right lie about Sanger being a racist, or else he’s totally ignorant of history.

Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain issued a blistering, and factually incorrect, attack on Planned Parenthood on Sunday’s Face the Nation. During the interview, Cain confirmed remarks he made six months ago at the Heritage Foundation, where he said: “When Margaret Sanger – check my history – started Planned Parenthood, the objective was to put these centers in primarily black communities so they could help kill black babies before they came into the world. It’s planned genocide.”

Cain’s accusation is not only dangerous, it’s inaccurate. According to the Guttmacher Institute, white women account for 36% of abortions compared to 30% of black women and 25% of Latinas. Sixty-three per cent of abortion clinics are in neighborhoods where more than half the residents are white. Beyond that, Planned Parenthoods do much more than provide safe abortion services: contraception, prenatal care, HIV testing and breast and cervical cancer screenings, to name a few.

by:  Alexander Sanger, grandson of Margaret Sanger, writing for the Guardian.

People must remember Margaret Sanger from high school or college studies?   She did so much for women’s rights!

She dedicated her life to legalizing birth control for women all over the United States.  This act alone saved women from certain death and from the horror of having multiple children.

She saved scores of women from death that nearly resulted from botched abortions.  An underground of abortionists thrived – not by doctors, by people who pretended they could do a quick five dollar abortion.

These “back alley $5 abortions” were the only thing available to poor women or to immigrant women who were the poorest of the poor. Margaret Sanger, trained as a nurse, cared for the women who were near death as a result of having their uterus sliced like a melon.

Desperate women resorted to using wire hangers to force a miscarriage.  She was relentless in her efforts to save women from the future abuse and torture of a child they could die having, or could not afford to have.

She’s was a remarkable women.  A crusader who holds an esteemed place in history for establishing fertility rights for women.

She believed that a woman should be in full charge of her own body, and have sexual freedom and fulfillment without the haunting fear of pregnancy.

What women would not want to own her own body?  Would you appreciate busy-bodies you don’t even know tell you what to do with your body?  Of course not!

God help all women if Rowe v. Wade is overturned.  If  the clock goes back and outlaws abortion, woman will experience desperate times.


outlaw sex with your abortion amendment, Mississippi

Let me say this first.

Christian Right believers and politicians are digging the graves for women in this country as we speak.  And that is the purpose of  tonight’s rant.

I suppose I’ve had my head in the clouds lately because today is the first I’ve heard of Mississippi’s proposition 26.  I thought I must have been mistaken when I heard this story on NPR this morning.

No mistake.  It’s true.

And.  It. Has. Scared. Me.

It should scare all of us.

If you are a woman reading this, than worry about your female children, and your children’s female children.  If Mississippi’s successfully passes their anti-abortion – pro person proposition, and it goes to the right-slanted Supreme Court, we are all in trouble.

The story is this:  Next week, Mississippi will vote on their proposed amendment number 26, which defines person-hood in the Mississippi state constitution.   Yes. They want to define when a person becomes a PERSON.

Amendment 26 will claim that a fertilized egg is already a person.  A human being.  Of course, the amendment is aimed at knocking down Roe v. Wade in the Supreme Court thereby making abortion illegal. However, amendment 26 goes further than just making abortion illegal.

Under this amendment, a fertilized egg is a person; so, in the twisted Mississippi mind, it follows that birth control is potentially premeditated murder, right?   Well, yes, since the egg is a person already, it would be murder.  What about a doctor who performs an abortion to save the life of the mother?  You guess it, Murder.

What about miscarriages?  Murder she wrote because the mother was probably reckless.

(See what I am getting at?)

What about using regular everyday birth control?  Condoms?   IUDs?  You got it,  Murder.

What about rape victims?  Sorry.  You shouldn’t have been raped, the law could say.

So, Mississippi wants birth control outlawed under this amendment.  This means more babies will be born in impoverished  Mississippi, which means more poverty, and more and more and more problems.  I would tell Mississippi to work on fixing the system to help people who are already born in your state.  Take care of your living people before you govern a fetus, Mississippi.

Unless, Mississippi wants more people to dumb-down.  I bet that’s the goal.

This same amendment is being pushed in more than a dozen other states.  There is a signature campaign in Florida, Montana and Oregon going on now.

A fetus is no more a person than a cell is.  A woman’s body is her own.

If abortion is going to be illegal, then sex for anyone under age 60 should be illegal too.  Makes sense, since men and woman over the age of 60 can’t really make children anymore (usually).

So, let’s get real here!  You can’t have it both ways, Mississippi.  If you want to rule that a person is a person at conception, then sex creates a potential person so sex has to be outlawed, too.

Oh my!  Now that may even be too conservative for the Mississippi Religious Right.

We need another Margaret Sanger – and quickly too.


halloween hurts a person!

Today was Tuesday.  I have a thing about Tuesdays. I guess because they follow Monday.

Wednesday’s are okay since it’s “hump-day.”

Now, Thursday is a day I like because the next day is Friday, which is the day I live for.

It was bad enough that yesterday was Monday; it was also Halloween.  I have nothing against Halloween – I just have very little control when it comes to candy!

Today I paid for yesterday’s Halloween indulgence, too!

Never do Halloween without it!

Oh, boy, I over did it with the carbohydrates yesterday.  All that candy I ate, I mean, all that candy I shoveled down!

Yesterday’s downfall began at 11:30 a.m.  My work had a Halloween costume contest and fed us with boxes and gobs of pizza.  There was also all kinds of homemade, delicious cookies.  I had one piece of cheese pizza and two yummy cookies.  The two cookies did me in.  What came after was the death knell of body blows.

My head today was a cotton ball, or a grey cloud like in that commercial, for Jimmy Dean, where a guy is in a gray cloud – he looks dismal until he gets his Jimmy Dean.  That was me today without the Jimmy Dean sunshine.

I had eaten the pizza and cookies so early in the day yesterday, I skipped lunch – a monsoon was happening outside – and  I had a load of candy (Butterfingers, Snickers, Nestle Crunch, and more) on hand.  That was lunch.

After work the rain had (finally) subsided so Mom and I took a ride to visit Elizabeth who, we thought, was going dress up as a Bride but decided at the last-minute she wanted to be a ladybug.  She immediately explained: “The bride dress was too itchy and too long to walk in.”

She was a damn cute ladybug!

At Elizabeth’s there was no shortage of candy or food.

I immediately spotted the mini-Quiches looking so yummy with flaky crust on the outside, and cheese and spinach in the middle.  Bite sized little Quiche-devils that were delicious!  And, because I didn’t have lunch, I was really hungry and inhaled them.

I ate at least ten of the Quiche bites.  With a beer.  And with peanut M & M’s.  And, some cookies.  After the cookies it was all over for my stomach and me.

My devil-may-care attitude did me in – the fact that I was shoveling the M & M’s in handfuls proved I’d lost my mind.

At mid-evening, the stomach pains were intense.  I felt like I was being kicked in the stomach by my stomach.

All the way home I was thinking about that full bottle of Pepto Bismol that I knew was under my bathroom sink…. NOT!!  The bottle was practically empty of the pink panacea – that magic potion.  I was crushed, but sucked every last drop out of that bottle.

The pink stuff worked for a little while.  The Rolaids didn’t help so I gave up and went to bed hoping sleep would forgive me.

So now I’m heading out to the store tonight for more.   (Okay, I admit it, I ate a lot of candy today, too.)

What the heck, Halloween comes only once a year!

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