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Tag: liberal

Grandma’s First Protest March

On Inauguration Day, at 0-dark-30 women armed with nothing but pink hats and attitude, showed up at Los Angeles International Airport to start the long trek to Washington. My daughter and I drove to LA the day before from California’s Central Coast. We were to going to take any chances missing what we thought would be the biggest congress of nasty women since we fought for Roe vs. Wade in 1973. I went because I fought for women’s rights in the 1970’s and now, in my mid-70’s, I couldn’t believe I had to battle again. My daughter who lives near me, and my step-daughter, who lives in Florida, are both in their 40’s and I was happy that they felt the issues were important enough to warrant their joining me. We had no idea what to expect – would it be as well attended as we dared to hope? Would we have spent time, energy and money on a wild escapade that would fizzle? Would we be in danger of arrest, Gunplay or worse? We did know that men, women, and children of every ethnicity, religious and sexual persuasion were gathering to demonstrate their demands for inclusion, respect and fairness…

Trump’s Anti-Woman Cabinet: How it All Adds Up

In his first three days in office, President Trump cut off funding to all international health care groups that provide — or even refer or counsel women — on abortion. The impact of reinstating and expanding the Global Gag Rule will be to deny some of the world’s poorest women the health care they need. The president’s action will result in suffering and will have terrible consequences for women and children. That he was surrounded by a group of white men when he took this action only added insult to injury. Without question, the optics were horrible. But this is about much more than optics. It’s about the Trump administration’s agenda — about a president who has appointed the least diverse cabinet — the whitest and most male cabinet — and the most anti-woman cabinet — in a generation. From gutting the Affordable Care Act to undermining reproductive health care to weakening workplace protections to opposing measures to stop sexual violence, Trump’s nominees have stood outside the mainstream and against the interests of women. Women must be vigilant and we must resist. Affordable Care Act
Let’s start with the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which has made a tremendous difference in women’s lives by providing…

Federal Public Servants, Let Trump Shock But Not Awe You

Donald Trump’s flurry of executive orders attempting to make good on the worst of his campaign promises left many feeling overwhelmed. But the chief executive has neither the powers of a dictator nor those of the head of a family-owned corporation. Trump is attempting a “shock and awe” campaign. It will work only if the 2.7 million civil servants employed by the United States actually allow themselves to be cowed. This is directed at you: please don’t! And to the rest of us: we need to support them! There are two paths here. One is marked by Sally Yates; employees of the Park Service, EPA, NOAA, NASA, and other agencies who are using Twitter to defy gag orders; and those at the Department of Human Services who repeatedly used its official Twitter account to urge people to sign up under the Affordable Care Act after the Administration ordered ads for the program pulled. There is another path, trailblazed by those at the Centers for Disease Control who canceled a conference on climate change and health in an act of self-censorship just before Trump’s inauguration. Even more ominously, Customs and Border Patrol agents continued to turn away refugees and…

DeVos Showdown Looming, Think Tank AEI Offers Misleading Defense of Nominee

With the nomination of Betsy DeVos to be the Trump Secretary of Education facing an impending Senate vote, there has been a strong effort by concerned citizens across the country to find the one more Republican senator who could potentially block the controversial nominee. Right now, Senate Democrats are in the midst of a planned all-night talkathon against the nomination. (WATCH.) Senator Al Franken (D-MN) stated on January 26 that none of the 48 Democratic caucus senators would vote for DeVos. Meanwhile, two GOP senators, Susan Collins (ME) and Lisa Murkowski (AK), have announced they will vote against the nominee. Both sit on the Senate Health Education Pensions & Labor Committee, which held DeVos’s nomination hearing, at which she demonstrated minimal understanding of bedrock education issues and offered only weak support for public schools. Murkowski noted that she had received “thousands, truly thousands, of Alaskans who shared their concerns about Mrs. DeVos as secretary of education.” But the GOP is still in a position to prevail, because Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) is hanging on to his seat and voting, rather than proceeding with his own vote to be Trump’s attorney general, or recusing, and that could get them to 50 votes for DeVos.  Vice President Pence could…

Detainees Can Sue Over Jail’s Laundry Policy

A federal appeals court has overruled a lower court decision that rejected a lawsuit filed by detainees in a Missouri county jail attacking a policy as unconstitutional. The policy forced them to remain naked for about seven hours at least one or two times a week while their only clothing was being laundered. In July 2015, groups of current and former prisoners held at the Cole County jail in Jefferson City sued the county and the jail warden and deputy, claiming the jail’s laundry and related policies combined to deprive them of constitutional rights. The trial record established jail rules required male prisoners’ clothing to be laundered every two or three days, and female prisoners’ clothing after four days’ use. Jail residents were given only a single set of clothes and not permitted to clean their own clothing or to wear other clothes of their own while their jail-issued clothing was being washed overnight. As a result, while deprived of their clothing, they could cover themselves with bedsheets or blankets, but might otherwise be visible to other prisoners or guards who delivered washed clothing to cells. The record also noted opposite-sex guards sometimes deliver the clothing, and another prison rule forbade covering…

Mild-Mannered Retiree Facing Criminal Prosecution Highlights How Welfare Laws Fail Animals

On Thursday, California resident and retiree Diane Gandee Sorbi was charged with larceny, theft, and criminal mischief. Her alleged crime? Removing an injured hen from a cage-free egg farm and bringing her for veterinary care before placing her in a sanctuary to live out her life. Hens inside the cage-free egg farm from where Diane removed one injured bird for vet care The hen — Ella — at the centre of the controversy was removed from a cage-free egg farm and Costco supplier where activists reportedly found: Extreme filth, crowding, trampling and fighting.
Feces-covered, featherless, ill, and injured hens. Some had bloodied, dragging reproductive organs.
Dead and rotting chickens’ bodies on the floor among the living hens. In addition to the obvious animal welfare concerns, cage-free marketing raises consumer protection issues. In this case, eggs from the farm where animals never saw the light of day were sold in packages depicting rolling pasture and wide-open sky. Many cage-free retailers, including Costco, state they’re committed to protecting animals from fear, discomfort, and suffering, and to ensuring animals can exhibit normal behavior. Despite these assurances to consumers, however, a surreptitious look inside cage-free farms shows something else altogether. See the conditions for yourself, including the moment Diane rescued…

How To Be Anxious On Social Media In Difficult Times

Imagine your best friend Mike is seriously injured in a car accident. When you go visit Mike in the hospital, do you say “I’m so worried about you! This is overwhelming. I’m so scared, Mike!” No, of course not! You say “I’m so sorry, Mike. I’m praying for you,” and you bring him what he needs, spend time with him, try to keep him in good spirits. And you also make sure Mike’s family members are okay – comfort them, bring them food, help with the kids – whatever you can do. Throughout all of this, you’re feeling sad, anxious, scared. But you know Mike and his family have it way worse right now. They need your comfort and love, and they don’t have any extra energy left over to comfort you. You have to seek comfort somewhere else, so you go home and tell your significant other about your feelings. And they comfort you. You’re following a very logical order: “comfort in, dump out.” We’re so good at following this order in real life. We just get it. But on social media, we struggle. We’re used to asking for comfort and support there, so we want to keep doing that….

Do Not Extinguish The Lamp Beside ‘The Golden Door’

As an editorialist of forty years’ standing, I can honestly say that I’ve never seen anything like the first two weeks of Donald Trump’s tenure in the White House. Normally, pundits are able to step back from the passion of events and offer a few words of reassurance. After all, things aren’t so bad, folks, we say. Remember back in 1983 or 1968 or 1951? They seemed impossibly grim then, and we came out all right. For all of its 241 years of history, America has come out all right. Sometimes (like in 1861 or 1933 or 1939) it didn’t seem certain. Too many times it took too long – most notably Jim Crow, slavery and the McCarthy Era.) But again and again, our country has been blessed with wise and cautious leaders in Congress, on the Supreme Court, and most of all in the Presidency. Names like Henry Clay, Abraham Lincoln, Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt. Arthur Vandenberg, Earl Warren, Dwight Eisenhower, and Elliot Richardson come to mind. Barbara Jordan and Jeannette Rankin, Marlow Cook and Theodore Roosevelt also do. And even some leaders who worried us at times didn’t turn out so bad. Include among them Ronald Reagan and George W….

The Scent of a President

My last posting on this platform was the morning of November 8, 2016. You guessed it, just like so many others, I was crushed and silenced from such a shocking election cycle defeat. I needed to walk back, take time to observe, learn, and wait for my “voice” to return. Here I am, already bubbling over in disgust two weeks into the Trump Presidency with my mouse running and sniffing all over the computer screen bellowing fire in defiance. What does the mouse smell? Trust your nose, the nose knows. When you walk up to a fish market counter and it smells bad, trust your nose and keep moving. This is our animal brain working pretty much the same way it has dating back to evolutionary origins. The nose can decipher important data. It has been a long known fact that doctors can successfully diag-nose thru their sense of smell. It has been a long held belief that voters can smell corruption and lies. Hopefully, that is still true, and maybe even more urgent in today’s Trumpland. There have already been plenty of speculative psychological diagnoses of Donald J. Trump. Honoring the “Goldwater Rule,” a standard accepted after the doomed presidential run of…

A Long List Of Enemies Inside Trump’s White House

Field of Fright Cross-posted with TomDispatch.com What kind of national security policy will the Trump administration pursue globally? On this issue, as on so many others, the incoming president has offered enough contradictory clues, tweets, and comments that the only definitive answer right now is: Who knows? During his presidential campaign he more or less promised a non-interventionist foreign policy, even as he offered hints that his might be anything but.  There was, of course, ISIS to destroy and he swore he would “bomb the shit out of them.” He would, he suggested, even consider using nuclear weapons in the Middle East.  And as Dr. Seuss might have said, that was not all, oh no, that was not all.  He has often warned of the dangers of a vague but fearsome “radical Islam” and insisted that “terrorists and their regional and worldwide networks must be eradicated from the face of the Earth, a mission we will carry out.”  (And he’s already ordered his first special ops raid in Yemen, resulting in one dead American and evidently many dead civilians.) And when it comes to enemies to smite, he’s hardly willing to stop there, not when, as he told CNN, “I think…