In this “modern” era, when we spend billions of dollars to fight wars to extend the US penis promote and preserve Democracy around the world, women are now equal in health under the law. Obama announced Thursday, January 19, 2012, that insurance companies will be required to cover birth control without a co-pay. BIRTH CONTROL! Can you believe it? Are we not living in the dark ages?
In their article, the Hill quotes Planned Parenthood:
Birth control is not just basic health care for women, it is an economic concern,” Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said in a statement. “This common sense decision means that millions of women, who would otherwise pay $15 to $50 a month, will have access to affordable birth control, helping them save hundreds of dollars each year.
Of course, it’s the elephant in the room. We live with the unspoken irony that Viagra is covered and birth control is not. So, a man can have his turn-on paid for, yet there’s a cost for the recipient woman to not become pregnant? How does this make sense? I’ve always said this “arrangement” would be very different if men got pregnant.
It’s interesting that besides a thank you to Obama from Planned Parenthood (which I recommend you sign), the current coverage (and a good article) I found was from The Hill. Because it is a conservative blog, the comments were predominantly and extremely negative toward women being treated equally regarding reproduction.
Although this news broke last week, I didn’t want to let it go by without posting something.
Update: On Friday, January 20, the administration announced it would allow a year for religious institutions to comply. In their article, The Hill notes that Obama’s initial announcement was made after HHS Kathleen Sibelius rejected over-the-counter sales of the morning after pill, which outraged women’s reproductive rights groups.
Geraldine Ferraro died today at 75 years old. We lost her way too young. What a champion she was – especially for women. She will be missed. I miss her already. Rest in peace, Geraldine, and thank you for all your hard work and service to our country.
Addendum: Here’s a NYT video interview where Geraldine talks about her life. It’s an historical rather than a controversial piece.
I published this post on May 30, 2008, comprised of the video Part 1 up top and Part 2 below, under the title of Geraldine on Greta: Tells It Like It Is:
Finally, Geraldine Ferraro is back! After being race-baited by the Obama campaign for saying that a majority of Black people were voting for him, being shamed off the air, going underground, writing articles, and fielding calls from Obamabots who published her number, she speaks for the many people who called to complain about the state of this sorry Democratic Primary process. On the May 29, 2008 10pm edition of FOX News show On The Record,Greta Van Susteren interviews Ferraro who discusses Hillary’s poor treatment by what I’m afraid have now become the usual suspects. Van Susteren seems to be one of the few talk show hosts who is giving Hillary supporters a voice. Isn’t that what Obama gets in the media every single day? Here’s the video in two parts. Enjoy, take a deep breath and cheer for the dedication, stamina, and forthrightness of one of our women leaders with the courage to stand up and tell it like it is.
Here’s former Presidential VP Candidate Ferraro’s op-ed piece in the May 30, 2008 Boston Globe.
ABC Eyewitness News has just reported Hillary Clinton said today that she won’t run for President in 2016. If Obama wins in 2012, she will not stay on as Secretary of State, nor does she have interest in being Vice President. She is very happy in her current position and looks forward to the next two years of working at the State Department.
Addendum: HRC’s statements are from a stellar sit down interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer during her visit to Egypt. In answer to Blitzer’s questions, she also stated that she does not want to be Secretary of Defense. Her empathetic and serious expressions of concern about the nuclear threat in Japan were delivered much more eloquently than the president’s cool, monotonic, prepared statements.
Clinton was ebullient in characterizing her good fortune to represent the US and President Obama in helping solve international problems on the world stage at this time in history.
Addendum.1: (continued from Wolf Blitzer’s interview)
Libya: SOS Clinton said she thinks Obama is doing the right thing in not taking unilateral action on Libya. Paraphrasing the SOS: We have a lot of problems around the world that need resolution (she named several countries, but I couldn’t type that fast–she’s so smart), but they must be authorized by the international community.
Japan: It’s minute by minute, but we’re currently not recommending that U.S. personnel leave the country. Based on the feedback she’s getting from the experts, there was a lot of confusion as there would be in any disaster of this magnitude. “I mean if you’re hit first by an earthquake then a tsunami [….]”
Two days ago I felt like saying, “this is going from bad to worse,” but I held my tongue thinking it was too pessimistic to put out there — just focus on recovery from the devastating earthquake and tsunami. How could it get worse?
And now, fifty people are left to protect Japan and the world from having a nuclear catastrophe at four of the six nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daichi facility. Each of the reactors is equal to one Three Mile Island.
Back up power and emergency systems are gone. There have been radioactive releases. There’s more waste in the spent fuel pools than in the reactors. Normally the water should be twenty feet above the fuel. Perhaps the rods have fallen down into the water. At Three Mile Island, it took five years for the system to cool down. Only then did they discover that there had been a fifty percent meltdown after the system was turned off for only two hours. In Japan it’s been much longer.
All the fuel could melt and go through the bottom of the pressure vessel. None of these structures is made to cope with this kind of event. If this happens, there would be an easier path through the molten vessel to the outside. Once the spent rods are in the pool, no one thinks about it (protecting them further).
Wikileaks revealed the U.S. had said that Japan wasn’t properly regulating its nuclear power industry. Japan built six reactors at one location, concentrated them there, because everyone said “not in my backyard.” (duh!) That’s never been done before, and it makes things much more complicated and likely to happen with them all subject to the same conditions.
GE whistleblower – In 1975, in the design of Mark 1 containments they hadn’t taken into account loads caused by loss of water and other events. At that time he was asked to be project manager. Event: large loss of coolant accident – break of pipe and release of steam and containment products into the pool itself. Heavy vibrations weren’t considered. The steam from a large break should be condensed by water in the suppression pool. You could have a meltdown, or an uncontrolled release of radiation.
The cause of accident is the combined earthquake and tsunami which wiped out all backup systems onsite, so they haven’t been able to cool the system as designed. On all five of the Mark 1 plants at Fukushima, the spent fuel is on the reactor fueling floor. Why? It’s handy because they don’t have to move it very far. After it cools, the fuel is moved into another storage pool that’s outside of the reactor building. Under normal circumstances, it’s water-filled.
Usually you’d have a couple of days in which to act. Unit 4, which is now under threat of meltdown due to a fire wasn’t even in operation at the time. (Now @ 9pm ET, it’s claimed the fire is out.) However, in a horrible confluence of events, Unit 4 was under a maintenance program, and all of the fuel in the reactor had been off-loaded from the reactor into the fuel pool. So, it was verrryyyy hot.
* This post is comprised of my notes from Elliot Spitzer’s interviews of nuclear energy experts on his CNN show tonight 3/15/11. Although they are experts, these interviews are opinion and likely we will not know exactly what happened for a long time — if ever.
Obama needs to re-chart his energy course, which is heavily laden with nuclear, NOW! Declare a MORATORIUM on building new plants! Here we go again: NO MORE NUKES! NO MORE NUKES!
Praying for Japan and its people. God bless us all.
As a peace-loving liberal, I won’t score points with this one. I’m certainly not a pro hit squad or targeted assassination kind-o-gal. However, what do you think of the idea that instead of probing the Mossad for sending spies to kill a top Hamas military commander in Dubai last month, or putting them on the Interpol wanted list, we just send them in to get Bin Laden?
Yeah, it’s a flawed strategy you could say, without principle, but look at all the lives, resources, money, heartache, trauma, and irreversible injury we could save by one or two smart, stealth actions. For how many more years will the U.S. play the role of “trying” to catch OBL, Taliban, and Al Qaeda? Why not let the Mossad top spies do what they do best, or at least better train our people? Let’s get it over with and “bring the troops home.” Why don’t we spend the money to rebuild our country and its defenses instead? The U.S. is such a lumbering hulk.
Speaking of Israel, did you see the small blip on CNN during the first days of Haiti’s disaster? The Israelis had set up an entire surgical hospital in Port au Prince, with separate wards for each type of injury. While they were highly organized, mobilized, and got their trauma facility up and running right away, we Americans were still struggling to get the food and supplies out of the airport.
Having just flown to Cali in early February after the crotch bomber was foiled, I can’t help but think that, with how we handle security, the economy (banks rule), the job force, manufacturing, and business incentives, our government only knows how to react. We think it’s smart to simply counteract the latest “evil doers'” scheme? We have become so short-sighted as a nation, that the smartest people can’t seem to, don’t want to, or don’t care to think far enough into the future to realize the responsibility and consequences for their political, military, domestic, and foreign choices and actions.
After seeing the past two years of governmental folly, posturing, gridlock, and self-serving, ideological behavior, I say, yes, let’s start over. Only compassionate listeners and non-ideologues need apply.
Meanwhile, I finally did it . . . my heart was a bit nervous as I hit the send button. Yes, I know, I know, many or most of you did this a long time ago: I just now unsubscribed from the DCCC’s email list. I kept on way past its shelf life because it always felt like oppo research to stay up on their latest. But, I’m finally done. They only write to me to slam Republicans and blame it all on them, then to ask for money to counteract them. First, I don’t have money because I don’t have a job or work. Second, the Dems need to f’in get something done in DC rather than complain about the other guy. You know, those sixty votes and all that crap. Congress should be ashamed, and I feel liberated.
I called one of my senators’ offices (Chuck Schumer) and will call Kirsten Gillibrand and Carolyn Maloney next. Did you call yours? I’m calling the White House, too. After all, they certainly all contact me to make sure I know what they’re doing and ask for contributions.
I said simply,
I’m a constituent and want to register my opinion.
Out of Iraq (We’re still there, right? Funny, it’s fallen off the radar.)
Out of Afghanistan (I could give a flying flip about it, and vice versa.)
Start talking about jobs instead of health care (Sorry, I know it’s important, but I haven’t had health care for a long time. I need work more than I need health care.)
I can’t find work and always can. (I forgot to mention that, gasp, I think I have to apply for food stamps.)
We expect that of “our” elected Democratic Party: to fulfill its stated promises to end “the war” and promote jobs for US citizens.
I was walking home from my workout at the gym, the first in way too long, thinking about wanting to express my support for the Iranian people’s rebellion. I have friends who left Iran in the eighties (when the Jews left) and in the nineties. They were artists, musicians, poets, doctors and other professionals, hippies and free-thinkers. They left to have more freedoms, as they say. They were sick of having so much of their daily life regulated, of being told what they could wear, read, watch, see, and do — and this was before the age of the internet, facebook, and twitter.
So, on the way home, dressed in my workout clothes, taking that simple thing for-granted, I wondered: How could I talk or even think about it? I’ve read reports and blogs that ask whose revolution this is? Does the U.S. have a hand in it? Is Mousavi, with his own tarnished past, really better than Ahmadinejad? (At least Mousavi campaigned with his wife, the first candidate to do so, who brought out large crowds of women to hear about women’s rights.) What stays with me is, how could so many votes be hand-counted in only four hours?
Although there must be many undercurrents, I feel that it’s the heartfelt will of the people, pent up for thirty years, influenced by our robust election here, (no matter what we think about it). It is understandable that many people here might be suspicious because they saw a corrupted national election process in their own country — three times in a row!!! For years, both sides have seen the land of the free betray its finest principles in the name of God and Democracy. I wonder how such gigantic protests would be handled here in the good ole U.S. of A.? Then again, we PUMAs did protest.
The people of Iran are fighting and dying for the basic rights that we take for-granted everyday. Twenty-three journalists and bloggers have been arrested by the Iranian regime in the last several days. Protesters are being dragged out of their homes. In other Central Asian and Middle Eastern Muslim countries, the people are not even near the point of protesting. Look at the people of Iran, all ages, largely unarmed, only a minority of them with rocks, standing up to armed soldiers in riot gear. I asked before and do again: How many times have we voted complaining about the lesser of two evils? This may have started with an election but it is the expression of something way beyond the candidates. The people of Iran deserve the united support of the people of the world for the success of their freedom movement.
There is no doubt the people, young, old, women, are uprising in Iran. I don’t fault them for having to select what they may consider the lesser of two evils. How many times have we had to do that in our lifetime? In a “free” society, no less. The protesters are brave, considering they’re living in a repressive regime. I don’t think we know enough about the alternative candidates, also brave, whose lives are likely not safe.
These protest videos, taken in various Iranian cities, were posted along with commentary from independent Middle East reporter, Michael Totten: http://www.michaeltotten.com/archives/2009/06/insurrection-da.php. Totten is the 2008 Weblog Awards winner for best Middle East or Africa blog. The video below is from Tehran in the middle of the night:
Now take a look at this video [dated 6/13/09] uploaded from the city of Isfahan. A ferocious-looking unit of armed riot police officers is shown running away in terror from civilian demonstrators.
I found this one from 6/14/09, sounds like Italians with cameras:
Many feminists were disgusted this past year by the sexist, misogynistic treatment that former NY Senator Hillary Clinton received during her Presidential run, at the hands of the mainstream media, the fauxgressive blogosphere, stalwart feminist organizations, and members of her party. This time, Republicans didn’t seem to have quite as much to add, because Clinton’s own Democratic Party, we were shocked to observe, outperformed them in maltreating her.
Amy Sewell, award-winning filmmaker of the endearing 2005 documentary, Mad, Hot Ballroom, is doing her part to help elect a woman President of the United States. Her latest thought-provoking 2008 release, What’s Your Point, Honey?, is the first social justice cause film that’s being marketed on amazon.com and on iTunes, too. I’d agree with her point that:
Feminism, gender inequality, is the longest revolution and the last social justice cause to have a great need to be brought to the surface and pushed out there.
Radio Interview Explores Feminism, Gender Equality, and Path to Politics
In January, 2009, I sat down with the dynamic and articulate filmmaker to record the audio interview from which this article is drawn. In the interview, Amy and I also discuss: women’s pay equality issues, the Lilli Ledbetter Act, gender inequality awakening of Baby Boomers as compared to the MTV generation. Plus, there’s an update about the lives of the seven diverse young women in her film, and their quest to run for political and organizational office.
Click arrow to play Lady Boomer’s interview with filmmaker Amy Sewell (1:41)
The Point of What’s Your Point, Honey?
The film’s title, What’s Your Point, Honey?, was inspired by a 2007 Jim Borgman cartoon in the Cincinnati Enquirer. The cartoon depicts Hillary Clinton standing, pointer in hand, appearing to school Uncle Sam in front of a chart entitled, “Countries That Have ALREADY HAD FEMALE Heads of State.”
Here’s the list: Haiti, Nicaragua, Panama, Ecuador, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Burundi, Liberia, Indonesia, Philippines, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Mongolia, India, Germany, Serbia, Israel, Switzerland, Finland, Norway, England, Latvia, Iceland, Ireland.
And in response, a schlumpy-looking Uncle Sam asks Hillary,
What’s your point, honey?
In our interview, Sewell expands on the cartoon’s irony: The US is 71st in the world in women’s representation in government — we’re laggin’. We’re behind the -stans and Cape Verde. . . . Despite often horrible treatment in some of the countries that have had women leaders, women are proportionally better represented and lead other countries in far greater numbers.
The filmmakers set out to influence the younger generations with their film, and to create an awareness of feminism in them, because many young women “do not believe that they’re not equal.” Additionally, Sewell says that she and the film’s director, Susan Toffler, decided to reclaim the term “honey,” in order to devalue it when used by the oppressor, so to speak
Co-stars of the documentary, “What’s Your Point Honey?,” include Sewell’s twin daughters, the generation of girls “that doesn’t believe that they’re not equal.”
They made a movie for an audience that doesn’t want to hear it, Sewell asserts, because they think they’ve got it all in the bag. They see their moms going to work and just think that everything is equal—after all, mom’s working. Girls don’t really know what their moms go through at work, regarding career advancement, pay differences, harassment, and what is expected of them as compared to men.
Girls don’t grasp that women, despite feminist gains of the last forty years, are largely responsible for taking care of: the house, the kids, doctors’ appointments, day care, child care, shopping for groceries, supplies, and clothing, cooking, cleaning up, housecleaning, laundry, and more. Additionally, their moms are often caregivers for their elderly parents or in-laws. Yet, girls of today think that life is, and will be, the same for them as it is for the boys they’re growing up with.
Forget about equal pay: Sewell says that women should actually get paid MORE than men. After all, the mom does everything, and the dad “just goes to work,” as a young boy observes in the film. Yes, we’re swimming in the patriarchy, so much so that many fish don’t know it, haven’t seen it. However, girls are beginning to see sexism and inequality at home, and more women saw it in the political atmosphere of the 2008 Presidential election.
Eyes Wide Open—Lessons from Sarah
Sewell claims Sarah Palin lit a fire under many liberal women who thought, “hey if she can do it, why can’t I?” We should be running for local offices and positions that grow us into more and higher national prominence. A way to begin is to step up and get active about the projects and issues you really care about in your local community, and just go ahead and start to run things.
She enumerates three lessons women learned from Palin’s Vice Presidential run:
Women can be raising a family and become a major player, with the right support systems.
If you multiply out all the ways you run your household, you can do it on a larger scale in your community, city, state, and nation.
If Sarah can do it, why are we liberal women still on the sidelines, waiting for men or somebody to hand this to us?
The White House Project: “Beyond Gender to Agenda”
Wilson believes strongly in having a nonpartisan organization, because her philosophy is that all women bring the same basic life issues to the table, such as: child rearing, child and elder care, the wage gap, working in male-dominated fields, and, of course, who owns their bodies. The goal is to get more women into office. Women are 51 percent of the population, and 80 percent of the purchasing power. Women decide how 80 cents of every dollar in American households will be spent.
I questioned Amy: If women treat each other so poorly when running for office—as they did with Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin last year—will women be discouraged from running in the future, expecting that they might face a similar fate? Introducing the pipeline theory, she said that “it’s not about one. As long as you have only one woman running, everyone will always rip her apart.”
Sewell contends that if you have just as many women running as men, you get “beyond gender to agenda,” to quote Marie Wilson. There are many amazing, accomplished, powerful women out there; we just haven’t seen it happen in enough numbers yet, so we have to make our own way! But the environment is changing: Initially, Wilson asked women to run for office, because she knew that women needed to be asked. However, there seems to be an attitude shift in that women are beginning to step up and run. There were 100 applicants for the program in NY State, and several women who were in the film announced their plans to run for office right after completing their training.
Winners of the 2024 Project, co-sponsored by The White House Project and COSMOgirl, gather in front of The White House during the making of the documentary
The Key to Success: Fill the Pipeline with Young Candidates
As a way to keep the ball rolling and get younger generations involved, What’s Your Point, Honey? shows inequalities in their world today “wrapped around the metaphor of a woman running for President.” The filmmaker sees that girls can look up to the current women in power, like Hillary and Sarah Palin, but they don’t relate to them as they do to twenty year-olds, like those in the film.
If we build the pipeline, the more women we have wanting to come into political power, the easier it will be for all male political figures in the future to have a pool of applicants to choose from [for cabinet and other appointments.] [. . . ]
Our hope is someday that it won’t even be a question. We’ll have so many women in politics that we’ll de-genderize it.
Further, an educational pilot program is being rolled out by North Carolina Political Center for Women: the What’s Your Point, Honey? DVD and study guides will be used as part of high school programs in North Carolina. This will be followed by programs throughout the US in middle schools, high schools, and colleges, accompanied by study guides appropriate for each educational level. Amy has generously provided the Viewers’ Guide here for you to download FOR FREE, which you can use when you buy the DVD, or rent or buy the video-on-demand (VOD) download.
Women Have Power
Sewell sees little advantage in fighting with people who do not and will not ever agree fundamentally, and I agree! Women need to join together and get involved with whatever social justice causes that move them. Furthermore, WOMEN have the purchasing power. Money speaks, and we have power here. For example, ads and products that call for our attention to speak out against: Boycott! The PUMA and some of the feminist movement made a difference by boycotting MSNBC, CNN, PBS, NPR, and network television due to their commentators’ misogynistic and biased stances about then Presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, and VP nominee, Sarah Palin.
The movie purposely uses a light touch to draw new people into wanting to be active, and has a carryover affect. Viewers report that they begin to notice more instances of inequality or sexism in their daily lives, whereas before they wouldn’t have seen it. I encourage everyone to see and discuss this film, especially families. Be sure to rate, comment, and see what others are saying.
This is such an enthusiastic, supportive article, you’d think I have an ulterior motive, or am receiving some kind of net gain. I hope I am and do. I believe passionately, based on my spiritual and community background, that the societal road forward, onward, and upward must be: positive, collective, supportive, have dignity—and—be ignited, and driven by and for women. We can accomplish this by expanding girls’ and young women’s horizons, education, and opportunities for governance, and yes, the Presidency. Elect a woman? . . . “It’s not about one.”
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