Power Concedes Nothing Without a Demand . . .

Frederick Douglass’ statement that, “Power concedes nothing without a demand, it never has and it never will” is very applicable to the current War on Women going on in the states and in Washington, and this statement by an abortion provider, who quotes Douglass, beautifully sums up the reasoning behind abortion on demand and without apology.
Stop Patriarchy · You know, oppressors don’t respond to polite…

The core issue is women’s human right to bodily sovereignty and to make decisions regarding their lives. The radical fundamentalist religious right behind the war on women’s bodies is fueled by the misogynist notion that women are still somehow chattel, owned by the patriarchal culture-at-large, which in turn is perpetuated and inordinately influenced by the fundamentalist Christian church.

The idea of ownership is at the heart of the oppression expressed by their virulent antagonism to women’s agency and autonomy under the hypocritical mask of opposition to abortion and now birth control. Women’s human rights, the right to privacy, and the separation of church and state are all at risk in this War on Women as the larger aim of this radical group is to turn the country into a theocracy that is not only hellbent on male supremacy, but on doing away with all rights to privacy and self-determination by imposing their narrow views on every aspect of our lives.

For a report on the damage theocrats in congress are doing to our civil liberties, see: http://www.salon.com/2014/04/10/5_theocrats_in_congress_who_care_more_about_the_bible_than_the_constitution/

How Does the Corporation Offend Thee? Let Me Count the Ways

The country is in a terrible state and we activists are run ragged trying to deal with endless permutations of corporate abuse and government corruption, running around like the proverbial headless chicken after all the assaults on our civil liberties, human rights, the environment, workers’ rights, the social safety net, women’s rights, a free and open Internet, and on and on.  There is, however, one overarching source of these problems which encompasses all the others, ties them together, and once one understands its significance, explains what otherwise would be an overwhelming array of separate, disparate, insoluble predicaments over which we might throw up our hands in despair.

Regardless of the concern, all of them are traceable back to the corporate “personhood” abuse of our system and subversion of our democracy.  Take any issue you like from foreign policy to food production and we can see how the corporate world has monopolized and controlled it for the purpose of amassing enormous wealth at the rest of our expense.  How has it managed to do this? By utilizing the misbegotten legal doctrines of corporate “personhood” and money as “speech” that came in through the back door by way of the Supreme Court’s being taken over by some old corporate attorneys back in 1886.  This precedent, set by what was actually a clerk’s summation of the Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad case, has been wreaking havoc ever since.

Let me give you an example.  Pretend for a moment that you are a poor, beleaguered billionaire who owns a pharmaceutical company and say you have this nifty new drug you want to foist on the public and there are all these pesky regulations that require you to actually test it first to make sure that it doesn’t cause birth defects, cancer, or premature death.  What do you do?

Well rather than wring your hands in desperate frustration, you get to work and go out and lobby congress, bribe some politicians, buy a few elections in key districts, gobble up some tv stations and start disseminating disinformation about how safe and wonderful and life-enhancing it is, place some corporate shills in some key agencies like the FDA, get a few judges in your pocket, corrupt some research, patent some human genomes, challenge whatever laws or regulations may be on the books or slipped through congress that are cramping your go-getter, capitalist style and go to court under the commerce clause and argue that your “right” to make obscene profits off of people’s suffering is being hampered, and voila, you’ve got your drug approved!

If all of that doesn’t work, go to court on the basis of corporate “personhood” and argue that your “rights” under the Bill of Rights have been infringed upon and that you should be compensated by the taxpayers for all your pain and suffering at outrageously being required to actually do business legitimately!  That will show those do-gooders and bleeding hearts that corporations are people too and your feelings are mightily hurt!

Now if we actually had a free press rather than a corporate-owned press, journalists could challenge this kind of propaganda and corruption, but once again, because of corporate rule and undue influence allowing them to dictate and even write many laws, impact policies of government agencies, not pay taxes, get government subsidies (i.e. corporate welfare) so they can amass billions, these corporations, owned by the 1%, can buy up all the news media they like and monopolize the message and go to court endlessly and challenge every law, regulation, and restriction until they get what they want. Case in point:  the Koch Bros. are trying to buy the Tribune now (in addition to elections and politicians).  As if Rupert Murdoch controlling the flow of information were not enough!

The corporation has been allowed to run amok, enabled by an increasingly corrupt government, becoming so enmeshed, that more and more the corporate world and government are indistinguishable from one another. In addition, the press has been taken over by the 1% and commandeered to be nothing more than corporate copywriters dispensing its pre-approved messaging, rather than doing its job of challenging and exposing this merger and sabotage of our democratic process.

Corporate “personhood” is the root cause of how nothing is working any more, like it did when FDR was President for instance, because it is a cancer that has metastasized throughout our entire political system and mortally infected it by eliminating all the safeguards and checks and balances on the abuse of power.  It is as if the immune system has been disabled so that there is no longer any effective response to the opportunistic disease of corruption–a system that was previously capable of throwing off illness is no longer healthy enough to do so.

The patient has succumbed and is in its death throes unless we intervene and pass a Constitutional amendment to restore our democracy by excising corporate “personhood” and money as “speech,” the only remedy to this dire situation.  We can no longer afford to offer the patient palliative relief by chasing symptom after symptom (though that billionaire big pharma owner would love us to do so).  We must go for the all-out cure because democracy is all-but-dead and our Constitutionally-protected right to a government of, by, and for the PEOPLE, not the CORPORATION, is null and void if we do not.

There may be a plethora of problems, but fortunately the solution is elegantly simple:  stop chasing the symptoms and attack the root cause of corporate “personhood.”

Women Rose and VAWA Passed!

The Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act passed the House today, a victory for all women! Women are standing up and demanding action more than ever before–we stood up and voted more women into office and put pressure on this congress to get past the partisan bickering, recognize women’s human rights, and stop the misogynist discrimination against LGBT, Native-American, and immigrant women and sign it!  Sisterhood is POWERFUL!!

Watch the YouTube video (above) of the V-Day: 1 Billion Rising Anthem, “Break the Chain” from the website www.vday.org !

Peace or Profit: Violence as Commodity

We honor the memory of Martin Luther King Jr. and his legacy of non-violence as well as recognize the 3rd year anniversary of the infamous Citizens United Supreme Court decision.  Many times, especially in the aftermath of violence like the recent school shootings, it is difficult to see the big picture and the interconnectedness of events, as we are overwhelmed by sorrow and a marrow-deep feeling of helplessness, and at first blush, these two symbolic dates may seem unrelated.  They are not.

We recognize Dr. King’s birthday because he is a powerful symbol for peace and non-violent protest and we recognize the anniversary of Citizens United because it is a symbol of how out-of-control corporate influence and the pursuit of violence for profit is in this country.  The theme today is “Peace or Profit:  Violence as Commodity.”  We chose this title to highlight the fact that this is indeed the choice and that there is a bigger pattern at play that needs to be illuminated. We can choose peace, or we can choose to allow runaway corporate profiteering off violence in all its forms: endless wars, weapons, defense contracts, the war on terror, the war on drugs, the war on workers, the war on homeowners, the war on women and minorities, the war on the earth.

Some would say that we have peace here in America because we so aggressively protect our country from terrorism, but the truth is we are at war in the Middle East because of corporations protecting their oil interests and their profit margin and because they make billions from war itself.  But corporations are also at war with the citizens of this country, and anyone is expendable in the pursuit of profit.

Achieving peace requires treating people and the earth with respect, a willingness to share wealth, and cooperation that can come from only a democratic system based on fairness, a level playing field, and the rejection of exploitation and violence, including economic violence, which today is being perpetrated by the 1% onto the 99% in a massive redistribution of wealth from the poorest of the poor to the richest of the rich. The corporate elite have subverted our democracy for their own uses and have distorted it into a plutocracy.

The corporate world and the military-industrial complex profit greatly from, and are addicted to, violence, which has been turned into a commodity to be traded and sold for the profit of the 1% at the expense of the 99%. Violence, exploitation, and coercion are hallmarks of unbridled capitalism and greed, and corporate greed for profit is poisoning our society by nurturing sociopathy and turning the entirety of civilization and the earth itself into a perpetual war zone.

What are we to do about this?  Many solutions are being proffered to address gun violence and campaign contributions, but while getting money out of politics and instituting some limits on the selling of any gun to anyone, are examples of how corporate abuse of our democratic system could be stemmed somewhat, there is a larger problem:  corporate “personhood” and money as “speech.” This goes back much further than the 2010 Citizens United decision, to 1886 in fact, when the Supreme Court declared in Southern Pacific Railroad v. Santa Clara County that corporations are “persons.” Since that time, thousands of subsequent decisions have reinforced this misguided notion and allowed corporations to exploit this illegitimate status by claiming they have “rights” under the Bill of Rights, which was meant exclusively for actual people, not artificial entities like corporations, which are legal fictions. The end result is we now have corporate rule of every aspect of our lives.  Let me give you an idea of the scope of the problem.

The Corporation controls:

  • Our industry – small mom and pops and independent businesses have increasingly been taken over by large corporations like Wal-Mart and the laws have been re-written to favor them
  • Our banks – small, independent, local banks have been taken over by huge multinationals who have engaged in criminal practices that have crashed domestic and foreign economies and who continue to illegally foreclose on homeowners
  • Our energy sources and policy – big polluters fight greener alternatives, such as solar, wind, geothermal, rapid transit, while receiving government subsidies to continue to pollute
  • Our healthcare –big pharma pushes Rx drugs, insurance companies and hospitals are run as for-profit enterprises, research is corrupted, biotech companies patent life forms, including human genomes
  • Our food supply – agribusiness dominates with their use of GMO’s, pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, preservatives=denatured, poisoned food
  • Our natural world – oil drilling and oil spilling in sensitive, pristine areas, fracking and destroying aquifers, spewing CO2 from industrial plants, slashing and burning the rainforest, dumping nuclear waste in the ocean, toxic waste in landfills, clearcutting forests, mountaintop removal mining
  • Our airwaves – corporate giants have taken over major networks: GE (NBC), Disney (ABC), Westinghouse (CBS), Time-Warner, individual media moguls like Rupert Murdoch control huge markets (FOX Networks, 20th Century FOX, etc.) and Pat Robertson (Christian Broadcasting Network) while simultaneously fighting to end public television and radio, which is one of the only independent alternatives
  • The Internet – Internet Service Providers like AT & T, Verizon, Time-Warner track usage, attempt to curtail or eliminate access, pressure the FCC for authority to control online activity, back bills like SOPA, PIPA, and CISPA
  • Our drug policy – corporate interests support the “war on drugs”, thereby perpetuating a black market and violent cartels and the criminalizing of substances like marijuana in order to maximize profits from legal drugs (alcohol and tobacco)
  • Our foreign policy – big oil, industrial giants who produce fuel, weapons, and equipment foment and profiteer from wars as they receive giant government contracts
  • Our commons – corporations bankrupt local governments, convert and take over public land, property, and infrastructure for private purposes and corporate gain; exploit natural resources—minerals, forests, oil, water–for private profit with no concern for environmental and health consequences while paying no royalties
  • Our government – Congress, the White House, and the Courts

1. Lobbying and the revolving door – corporations manipulate congress, regulatory agencies for the benefit of private enterprise to the detriment of the taxpayer and voter

2. Elections – corporations buy elections by funneling huge donations into campaigns while trying to suppress the vote of those who would oppose them

3. Representatives and justices – corporations buy influence by campaign contributions, perks, junkets

4. Legislation – corporations support and even write laws that benefit corporate interests rather than the interests of the people and fight passage of laws that would protect the citizenry

5. Ballot Initiatives – powerful corporate interests promote ballot initiatives that are often wolves in sheeps’ clothing that serve their interests at the people’s expense while dumping huge sums of money into defeating others like the tobacco industry did with Prop 29 in CA June 2012.

Corporate “personhood” and money as “speech” are at the core of this systemic sickness of profiting from violence, exploitation, and the stripping away of the constitutional rights of real people that has infected not only our nation but our world.  There have been plenty of attempts to try to legislate campaign contributions, as well as environmental rights, workers’ rights, gun control, protect our food supply, and many other issues, all to no avail because the corporate world can and does litigate all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary on the basis of their supposed “rights” as “persons” being abridged or denied.  “Personhood” was the prize they sought back in the 1800’s because they knew it would enable them to challenge every single law that local, state, or federal governments tried to pass to limit their abuses and protect the economy and the citizenry.

For example, money as “speech,” which was expanded upon in Citizens United, is based on the First Amendment, to which corporations have been enabled to claim they have a right because they have been recognized by the Supreme Court as “persons.”  This decision allowed corporate interests representing the 1% to contribute millions of dollars in this last election cycle and will continue to allow the outright buying of elections and representation until we pass an amendment to the Constitution correcting this misappropriation of personhood standing to artificial entities, because any legislation that is passed will be struck down by the courts until “personhood” that was wrongly awarded to corporations is abolished.

People who are aligned with corporations will be the last to acknowledge the clear choice between profit or peace and that violence has been turned into a commodity by corporate greed, but eventually even their denial will be shaken I believe as the dark side of the corporate world is exposed to the light of day. The recent shootings reveal this to an excruciating degree as weapons and munitions manufacturers profit exponentially in the wake of these tragedies like Newtown, something they bank on and which they work to ensure through organizations like the NRA.

The TPP, or the Trans-Pacific Partnership “treaty”, also known as NAFTA on steroids, is another extreme current example of the insidious overreach of corporations and the extent to which they have infiltrated and control both major parties and run, and will even trump, government if TPP passes, as it will institute corporate world government where corporate tribunals will have the final say. It is vital that the public be made aware of these attempts to circumvent democracy and nullify the will of the people and the fact that nothing short of a constitutional amendment will remedy these abuses of power and unrelenting attacks on our freedoms.

Though the process is difficult and requires a sustained effort, the fix to the massive amount of problems we face is elegantly simple because all of them are traceable back to the abuse of the misguided notion of corporate “personhood.” Once this is corrected, laws can be passed to regulate corporate excesses and they will stick, because there won’t be any basis upon which to challenge them. Our non-partisan organization, Move to Amend, is building a grassroots movement towards this end, and keeps its eye singlemindedly on the goal of returning the power to the people via constitutional amendment to end corporate “personhood” and money as “speech.”

Our government has been bought and has allowed the corporate world to monopolize every sector of our economy and commit unspeakable crimes against humanity and the environment while escaping all accountability, paying no taxes, shipping our jobs overseas, and bankrupting our country while getting government contracts, subsidies, and bailouts. All of this has been made possible by the expansion of the unconstitutional concept of corporate rights. This insanity has to end.

Honoring peace, remembering our dead who are victims of all the forms of violence, and finding solutions means not only addressing the immediate crisis, but turning away from violence for profit and illuminating the clear choice between profit or peace by expanding the conversation to all of the ways in which violence is perpetrated, not simply by individuals with guns. We are either building peace and non-violence, or we are destroying it through pursuing profit through violence. As long as corporations and the profit motive rule, we will never have peace.

We must amend the Constitution to end the corporate takeover that has allowed the wealthy elite to ruin our economy, strangle our democracy, commodify and profit from violence and destroy our society, our country, and our world.  Join us at Move to Amend in reclaiming our democracy by working for a constitutional amendment to abolish corporate “personhood” and money as “speech” so that we may build a healthy society and world not based on profit, but on peace!

Patriarchal Dominionism: The Core of Tyranny

It is no accident that today we are seeing the confluence of the corporate state, the seizure of political power by the church, and an escalating war on women.  Like the corporation, the church was an instrument of the king, and we are coming full circle again, witnessing the blurring of the line between church and state, the ascendancy of corporate fascism, and mounting scapegoating of women.

Some of you may wonder why the GOP has slipped a cog and gone completely off the rails with regard to women’s basic human rights.  The answer is this:  the GOP has been taken over by corporate interests and the right-wing authoritarian fundamentalist church, both of whom have always been exceedingly hostile to women’s autonomy, psychosocial independence, power, financial freedom, and self-determination.  The Republican Party started its slide into fascist theocracy when it put the church’s opposition to abortion into its platform in 1976, and plummeted into full-blown misogyny in 2012 with its rape comments and inclusion of a call for a “fetal personhood” amendment to the Constitution.

In the beginnings of this country, the colonies were ruled by governors who were appointed by the king and who were also church leaders; they also were beholden to and exploited by the corporate arm of the monarchy in the form of the British East India Company.  It was tyranny on the part of both the church and the corporation that led to the series of revolts, such as the Boston Tea Party, that culminated in the American Revolution. The Revolution also coincided with the most outrageous abuse of power by the church:  the witch hunts. This tyranny has a long history, going back to the beginnings of patriarchy.

In antiquity, there was goddess-worship for 25,000 years prior to the advent of patriarchal religions which took over by force.  The goddess-worshipping matrilineal culture of Minoa, an egalitarian and peaceful, prosperous, highly-developed culture that honored and respected the earth and life-giving nature and revered the sacred feminine, was destroyed by an invading patriarchal group who worshipped a male war god who ruled by fear and domination and who brought violence, death and destruction, gender inequality, and the abuse of power with it.

The patriarchal religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, which appeared much more recently and currently dominate, are all Middle-Eastern in origin, and despite all the concern about Sharia Law, there is very little difference between the Al Qaida and Christian fundamentalist dominionists in their zeal to oppress women.  There is likewise little difference between the last two U. S. administrations’ use of torture, labeling people “terrorists”, and use of psychological manipulation and wars to pursue domination of the earth and every creature on it, and the Inquisitions’ and Puritans’ use of torture and labeling women as “witches” and the use of Christian dogma to silence, control, and intimidate.

Though the Christian dominionist reconstructionists would like us to believe that the country was founded as a “Christian nation” and should be ruled by rigid Christian orthodoxy, the fact is they are talking about puritanical colonial America, not the post-revolutionary, independent United States of America, which was founded on the principles of the Enlightenment—rationalism, universalism, empiricism, and most importantly, secularism.  Unless we put a stop to the takeover of our government by both the corporation and the church, we are going to be living in a fascist, authoritarian, Calvinist, corporate theocracy where individual freedoms, especially for women, are a thing of the past.  We must WAKE UP and kick the corporation, and the church, out of government once and for all and pass the Equal Rights Amendment and an amendment to abolish corporate personhood before women once again are chattel and patriarchal corporate and ecclesiastical tyranny totally obliterate the rights of human beings.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dominionism

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witch_hunts

http://www.salon.com/2012/10/26/gops_insane_rape_remarks_arent_outliers/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/oct/25/real-republican-party-rape-platform

http://www.politicususa.com/gop-attempts-drag-america-imaginary-conservative-utopia.html

http://voices.yahoo.com/witch-hunts-as-form-anti-female-discrimination-379982.html?cat=37

http://one-evil.org/content/people_15c_Innocent_VIII.html

http://www.themystica.com/mystica/articles/m/malleus_maleficarum.htm

http://sfr-21.org/women.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_witch-hunts

http://voices.yahoo.com/how-martin-luther-john-calvin-conducted-witch-379935.html?cat=37

Eisler, Riane, “The Chalice and the Blade,” Harper & Collins, 1988.

Daly, Mary, “The Church and the Second Sex,” Harper & Row, 1975.

Occupy Patriarchy—End the War on Women!

The attempts to roll back the gains of the women’s movement have been going on for a long time now, almost immediately after Roe v. Wade was passed, but it has become increasingly escalated lately with attacks now being leveled against not only reproductive rights (including contraception) but women’s health care, and even programs for victims of violence and rape being dismantled. It is time for us to stand up and take action to help raise the awareness that this onslaught is about patriarchal dominance and religious tyranny, not “religious freedom”.

Women are steadily making gains in other parts of the world, one of the most heartening examples being the women of the Congo, who have risen up in the face of wartime torture against the violence that has been directed at them, demanding an end to rape.[1]  We see women making strides towards freedom in the Middle East with Tunisia granting equal rights to men and women, and in India, despite much discrimination, women currently holding all three of the high offices of President, Speaker of the Lok Sabha, and Leader of the Opposition, ]while here in the U. S. women are seeing our rights and gains erode and to this day are the most under-represented group in government and the poorest members of society.

Today, in America, we are contending with escalated attacks on women’s human rights like never before, whether it be by redefining rape, slashing funding for planned parenthood, eliminating crucial health screening and services for women, attempting to restrict and even criminalize abortion, denying access to contraception, or doing away with programs to help victims of domestic violence and rape.

The long list of assaults on women’s basic human rights includes the Blunt Amendment, which would have allowed any employer to refuse to cover any kind of health care service by citing “moral reasons”; fetal “personhood” bills; bills requiring ultrasound, including invasive vaginal probes, prior to allowing abortions; bills outlawing abortions after 20 weeks; bills allowing health care providers to refuse to perform abortions[2] and hospitals to refuse to perform emergency abortions, even in the case of the mother’s life being at stake in the “Let Women Die Bill” that passed in the U. S. House of Representatives; the defunding of Planned Parenthood, including the Susan V. Komen Foundation dropping planned parenthood funding for cancer screenings; the continuing harassment, arson attacks, bombings and shootings of family planning staff and doctors, four of whom have been murdered between 1993 and 2009.[3]

In view of such attacks, one might think we lived in a country ruled by an Ayatollah rather than in the United States where there is supposed to be a government of, for, and by the people with the separation of church and state.  But, as it turns out, the Christian fundamentalists who have made inroads into our government have been steadily blurring this line and are little different from their Muslim counterparts in their determination to restrict the freedoms of their respective female citizens.  Patriarchal religion has historically often been friendly to fascism and feudalism and hostile to the values of freedom and enlightenment, particularly of course with regard to women. See article [4] below for a horrific example of this.

Patriarchy is about domination and the abuse of power and we wish to raise the awareness of the public that the war on women is about the attempt to control women’s lives, whether it be by redefining rape, slashing funding for planned parenthood, eliminating crucial health screening and services for women, attempting to restrict and even criminalize abortion, denying access to contraception, or doing away with programs to help victims of domestic violence and rape.  We will not sit by and allow women’s human rights to be treated as if they are expendable or ignore the sexist mentality that fuels these attacks.  It is time for us to Occupy Patriarchy and end the War on Women!

[1] http://drc.vday.org/why-congo

Occupy Patriarchy – WORD March & Rally

WORD Rally 8-26-12

WORD – Women Organized to Resist and Defend organized a march and a rally in Los Angeles on August 26, 2012 and Women-Occupy was there in support.  The signs say it all, summarizing the outrage at the War on Women being waged across the country by the patriarchal, fuedalistic religious right who are attempting to undermine our democracy and replace it with a male supremacist theocracy–a favorite read, “Gender Violence is a Men’s Issue!”

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Romney: 10 Really Important Reasons to Vote for Anyone Else!

Romney-01

And by anyone, I mean even Ron Paul, Gary Johnson, or Barack Obama, though there are far better choices out there:  Jill Stein, Rocky Anderson, and Roseanne Barr for example.  I feel compelled to spell this out, especially since Romney is trying so hard to pretend he is someone other than who he really is, by listing the reasons he is the worst choice in my humble opinion.  When reviewing them, you may wonder why I have left out civil liberties, foreign policy, trade agreements, drug policy, and war.  This is because this piece is about reasons voting for anyone other than Mitt Romney, and Obama and Romney are both so disregarding of our civil rights, militaristic, devoted to continuing the destructive and pointless war on drugs, and ready and willing to enable corporate world government and a police state that Romney could not be singled out as worse, though on foreign policy his debate comments about “getting bad guys” reveal a more simplistic, comic book tone than Obama’s.

Ron Paul is only marginally better on most of these issues I have enumerated but infinitely better on war and civil liberties (except for women as he is anti-choice).   The only person running that is worse in most every way than Romney is Virgil Goode of the Constitution Party because he is right-wing-on-steroids crazy when you look at his voting record vs. what he says in the debates, where he comes across less extreme (kind of like Romney and Obama).  That should put this in perspective. Even so, voting for him means less chance of a Romney/Ryan win so I can still say for that reason, he is a better choice (only because he has a snowball’s chance in hell of winning). Remember you can write names in in many states, even if they don’t appear on the ballot!

Here are 10 reasons why anyone sitting on the fence should NOT cast a vote for Mitt Romney:

  1. Paul Ryan – the architect of the most severe austerity budget imaginable, anti-government fanatic, misogynist extraordinaire, self-congratulatory elitist, utterly confused religious zealot who simultaneously embraces fundamentalist Catholicism (except for the part about caring for the poor) and the ultra-selfish philosophy of the very damaged, anti-social, arguably sociopathic Ayn Rand (an atheist), oblivious to the inherent contradictions. Romney, with his corporate raider, fascistic, anti-human policies and questionable ethics, not to mention his polygamist father and beliefs that are viewed as cultish by the rest of Christendom, has picked an even more dangerously fringe running mate who would be a heartbeat away from being President, in addition to being set up for a White House run later if elected VP.
  2. Women’s Rights – If you are a woman or care about a woman—any woman, say your mother, sister, wife, daughter, grandmother, friend, or your housekeeper, Romney is a disastrous choice.  Romney not only has declared his intention to defund Planned Parenthood, supported employers being able to refuse to cover employees’ birth control for ‘moral’ reasons, continued to back the likes of Todd Akin and now Richard Mourdock and Joe Walsh with their abhorrent views on abortion and rape and rape-induced pregnancy, and vowed to work towards Roe v. Wade being overturned, but has even endorsed the crackpot idea of a Constitutional Amendment to endow “fetal personhood” on nonviable life, like gametes and zygotes, being included in the Republican platform, and has never supported Lily Ledbetter and equal pay.  Romney and Ryan don’t have “binders of women,” they are BINDERS of women!  They will not stop until women have no rights whatsoever and are barefoot and pregnant, dependent brood mares; if elected maybe Romney might provide some “sister-wives” to help out with the laundry and childrearing since he certainly won’t support day care.
  3.  The Earth – Fast track to environmental doom with resulting drought, famine, worsening storms, hurricanes, fires, and water shortages await if this demonic duo wins the White House.  Romney is a climate change denier and actively promotes nothing but dirty forms of energy like oil and nuclear power and environmentally devastating practices like clearcutting, drilling in the antarctic, mountaintop removal, and fracking, when clean alternatives are not only preferable and available but essential, and actually uses the term “clean coal,” an oxymoron if there ever was one, while being hellbent on dismantling all of our environmental regulations and agencies.
  4.  The 99% or the 47% – If you are a member of the 47%, or even the 99%, Romney clearly not only doesn’t care about you, he sees you as a “parasite” who wants to mooch off of him and his other plutocratic, capitalist multimillionaire/billionaire/multibillionaire friends.  If anyone is parasitic, it is these two guys who have lived off of the work of the 47% and the 99% their entire privileged lives.  Romney and Ryan will do everything in their power to amass more power and wealth for the 1% and themselves at the rest of our expense, and enable the so-called “job-creators” they promote to do exactly what they are doing now–sit on all their cash like the fat-cat hoarders they are.
  5.  The Economy and Income Inequality – Extremist, trickle-down, voodoo economics is what this man and his side-kick believe in, the same policies that will only increase the already huge divide between the haves and have-nots.  The pathetically inadequate health care reform bill, otherwise known as “Obamacare,” that has instituted a few much-needed reforms such as outlawing the practice of denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions, Social Security, Medicare, and the entire social safety net will be under attack; tax breaks for the ultra-rich will not only be continued but likely increased while they pile on more taxes for the middle class and the poor; the already bloated military budget will increase (along with the deficit) and there are not going to be any jobs, not here anyway. Romney and Ryan believe in austerity, for everyone but the uber-wealthy and people like them who serve them; this is a rehash of Hoover’s policies that plunged us into the Great Depression and are currently causing financial collapse and social chaos in Europe.  A vote for Romney is a vote for Herbert Hoover.
  6.  Education – Romney believes in education for the 1% and those who can afford to go to an Ivy League school; everyone else doesn’t need an education because the fictional “jobs” he is going to provide won’t require one, especially if you have to commute to India or China. He probably “loved” his teachers at Harvard, but he doesn’t love the ones at your child’s grade school or those teaching at a community college, and you can forget about Title IX or Brown v. Board of Education because these rightwing people want to do away with equal opportunity.  If you think education should be less important than Halliburton’s profits, especially for girls and minorities, vote for this guy.
  7.  Theocracy, not democracy – These two men have no respect for the separation of church and state, support the blurring of these lines, and espouse beliefs that rationalize rule by the church.  Which one you ask?  Any of the authoritarian, fundamentalist, patriarchal religious sects will do as they all agree that basic human rights are expendable, such as sovereignty over one’s own body, right to make your most personal decisions regarding conception, whom you bed and whom you wed, what books you can read and films you can see, what words you can say and hear, freedom from religious tyranny, and so on.  The Bill of Rights (especially the 1st amendment) is basically superfluous to these people, except for corporations of course, though they love to abuse particularly the 10th and 14th amendments; only the 2nd amendment is exempt because corporations rake in obscene profits on firearms.  Obama has been a civil liberties nightmare also; he just isn’t as much of a Bible thumper as these two and doesn’t support their radical religious social agenda—nor does Biden, despite being a practicing Catholic.  You might as well vote for the Taliban as for Romney/Ryan as there is little difference.  Do we need more gun-toting religious bigots?!
  8. Corporate rule unchecked – The fact that corrupt billionaires like the Koch Bros. and Sheldon Adelson (a modern-day Meyer Lansky) support Romney and Wall Street has abandoned Obama for him says it all, this despite Obama’s letting banksters off the hook and caving in left and right to corporate demands. Romney, which someone pointed out can’t be spelled without “money,” is going to make sure that Bain Capital and its ilk are the bane of our existence because he is 110% corporate.  He thinks they should rule over every single aspect of our lives and continue to get government handouts in the form of subsidies and military contracts and pay no taxes in order to line the pockets of their shareholders while complaining about the deficit.  Corporations are not only “people,” they are the only “people” that matter.
  9. The Supreme Court – Mitt Romney has reportedly said that Roberts, Thomas, Alito and Antonin Scalia are his favorites.  Need I say more?  He apparently favors judges who give corporations free rein to wreak havoc on actual people and the environment, allow unlimited contributions from billionaires and super-pacs to elections as in the 2010 Citizens United decision because they claim money is speech, collude in the stealing of elections by ordering a voter recount to be stopped as in the 2000 elections, and who, like Thomas, don’t believe they need to report their wife’s income or recuse themselves from cases where there is a conflict of interest (his wife employed by the Susan Komen foundation and the Affordable Care Act ruling, for example).  What can you expect from a presidential candidate who doesn’t think the American public has a right to see his tax returns?  With him in the White House, he may be able to nominate up to FOUR justices to the Supreme Court, who we will have to endure for 40 or 50 years.  Remember Robert Bork?  He’s BA-A-CK as Romney’s top legal advisor!
  10. Oppression vs. Justice – that means people of color, LGBT people, women, workers, students, older Americans, the poor, the ill, virtually everybody but the privileged, entitled, ultra-wealthy, elitist 1% will be further disempowered, their rights trampled, their votes suppressed, and their lives and health degraded.  Vouchers for inadequate, for-profit healthcare (another oxymoron) at astronomical prices, no equal pay for women, no raise in minimum wage, corporate price gouging, GMO-engineered, pesticide, hormone, preservative-laden Frankenfood, exploitation of public lands, pollution of the air, water, and soil, privatized social security, corporate propaganda passing for news, no public television with quality programming or accurate, in-depth journalism, and limited legal recourse for injustice.

When considering for whom NOT to vote, Romney is at the top of my list; I hope you will consider putting him there as well and pick any of the others.  I personally am voting for Roseanne, the antithesis of everything Romney represents being a feminist, environmentalist, populist, pro-education, pro-worker, secular humanist (yes I used that wonderful term!), working-class, civil libertarian peace and justice advocate and the antidote to everything that is wrong with Washington.

Women’s Equality Day March August 26, 2012

#1Women's Equality Day March 8-26-12

Women marched in Los Angeles, California  at Hollywood & Vine on August 26, 2012 to commemorate Women’s Equality Day, the day women got the vote in 1920, and to protest the recent upsurge of anti-woman legislation both in Washington and in the State legislatures.  Women are outraged that we still have no standing in the Constitution, no international Bill of Rights, remain the least represented group in government, and are still fighting the battle to retain our right to make our own personal medical decisions!  We are occupying patriarchy and taking a stand against the rampant misogyny in this country and demand passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, ratification of the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), 50/50 gender representation, and an end to the War on Women!

The Women’s Revolution has Begun!

On August 18, 2012 there was a rally on the Capitol steps in Washington, D. C. attended by women’s rights activists from all over the U. S.  Sandy Oestreich, founder of the Equal Rights Amendment Alliance, among other women, spoke.  For more information on this important rally, go to: http://www.ratifyeraflorida.net/