Tuesday, March 27, 2012


Many of us are concerned with the things that are happening here in our country such as the "reproductive rights" laws being passed that are trying to skirt around abortion issues as well as challenging the new federal health care law; the new photo I.D. laws being passed to try to eliminate the minority votes; and the "stand your ground" laws being passed or considered in so many states. 

I have to remind myself that as with dis-ease in the body, the unhealthy climate being spotlighted by these recent issues must first be exposed before it can be treated or eliminated just as an illness or a tumor must first be diagnosed before it can be dosed with medicine or surgically removed.

Christians Honor Trayvon Martin with Hoodies
(Public Domain)
I hear many say they were not aware of the "stand your ground" laws until the recent killing of the young unarmed man in Florida. The seeming vigilantism this law seems to have encouraged has outraged most of us. Even the author of the Florida state law admitted the use of this law in this case was not what he intended for its use. The neighborhood watch volunteer responsible has exposed the law to the light, and now it should be overturned or at the very least, rewritten so that a tragedy such as the killing of an innocent, unarmed young person can never happen again. A 250-pound man with a handgun against a 140-pound kid in a hoodie, armed with a can of iced tea and a package of Skittles? Hardly a threat! 

Hutaree Christian Militia Group (Photo from USA Today/AP U.S.Marshalls file)

The Hutaree members pictured above are anti-government rebels operating in Michigan state. They were recently charged with training and planning to kill a law enforcement officer, thus drawing in the feds, but the charges were dismissed as not being proved beyond a reasonable doubt. Two still face weapons charges. This is an armed group in a "stand your ground" state. What if they felt "threatened" by the government, as the charges against them suggested they might? Here's a link to a related article:


Remember these "Stand Your Ground" states? Well, a little research turned up the fact that the Ku Klux Klan has active groups in the following states: Alabama, Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Jersey, N. Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, S. Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia. 

Out of the 21 states with active KKK groups, only seven (7) states (AR, CA, NJ, NC, OH, PA, and VA) have not passed the same legislation permitting "stand your ground" responses. Some of those 7 states have some type of castle defense law on the books, and some are still trying to pass Stand Your Ground. I don't know about you, but the thought that a KKK member is armed and out there with this law behind him is scary indeed. Burning crosses is one thing, but shooting someone you perceive as a "threat" is quite another. 

The only time I actively joined in a protest was back in the mid-nineties in Denton, Texas. My good friend Carol, her gentleman friend at the time, and I spent an afternoon making up our protest signs to take to the Ku Klux Klan rally being held the next day in the City Park. We joined other protesters, and were successful in getting many to join in with us singing, "Love is the only power. Love is the only way. Love, love, love, love. Watch our circle grow." And it did. We sang loudly, and the Klan speakers who were there to gain recruits finally gave up and let the police escort them from the park, our song ringing all the way. The expression, "if looks could kill" was utmost in my mind that afternoon, as the KKK members threatened us the only way they could!  

I am almost afraid now to research other active extremist groups such as the White Supremacists and the Aryan Brothers. We people of reason must pay attention to what is going on in our country. Only by exposing evil can we overcome it. We have many good examples of such overcoming in our past.

The photo I.D. voter laws? Will it take "Freedom Riders" such as we had in the south during the Civil Rights movement coming again to bus the seniors and underprivileged that these laws will affect to places where they might obtain such I.D.s? What about fees if any? This harks back to the discriminatory poll taxes of our past! Texas has already implemented redistricting and has had it challenged in Federal Court as discriminatory, resulting in changing the primary election date to May 29, 2012. It has been bouncing around since the U.S. Supreme Court recently threw out the redistricting maps drawn up by a San Antonio court, which actually favored the Democrats. I don't know what the latest is on the status of the new districts - it's very confusing to me, but I received my new Voter Registration card in the mail last week. I heard that we might have to vote without them in this next election. Of course, we would have to show our photo I.D.

The Supreme Court is still hearing arguments in the Health Care Law case. I think it is pretty obvious that I support the law -- even without knowing very much about it. I do think it is time for the U.S. to join the ranks of other industrialized nations in the world in providing health care for all its citizens. The law may not be perfect, but it paves the way and can always be amended or changed. As an uninsured person for many, many years, I know how much medical care I did without -- and the consequences. I am paying for a lot of it today. Both literally and physically.

A lot is happening today. It prohibits my going back on another "news fast". None of us can afford to be uninformed.

Peace, love, and understanding,


John Nance Garner, V  is known as Jack to all his friends. Among Jack's many accomplishments, he has now written a book. He has kindly agreed to allow me to post the following excerpt from his book, titled:

 "Good, Bad, and Oh, my God!", The Life and Times of  Boudrix Orlando Raphael Ignatius Nehemiah Gateaux.

  "Boo also acted in the community theater as time and opportunity would permit. He started with a very small role in 'Seven Keys to Bald Pate'. He acted with an older man named Ray Taylor. Ray lived alone, and his passion in life was the theater.

  In one scene Ray was on the floor, when the Mayor, an actor named Gary Jackson, was supposed to kick him. They showed Gary and Ray how to do it for maximum effect. Ray was on his hands and knees. They told Gary, 'Now kick, but make sure it's low enough that only your ankle makes contact with his body.' 'Ray, when you notice his kick, push hard with your right arm and that will flip you on your back as if you had taken a terrific kick. Got it?'

  Ray and Gary signaled they understood. They got in position. Gary delivered the kick. Ray reacted as planned except when he landed on his back, the super fart of all super farts sounded forth from his body. Ray, a timid man except on stage, turned the brightest shade of red ever seen on a human face. It was five minutes before everyone stopped laughing and Ray stopped blushing. The effect worked perfectly in the real performance, but the day of the opening night the cast pleaded with Ray, 'Please don't eat any beans today!'
  One incident that lived on with the theater crowd occurred when a fellow actor, a well-known surgeon, Dr. Marsh Long, finished up his work day with a few hits on the bottle. Dr. Long was a wonderful surgeon, and he did keep his love of alcohol under control. It was, however, a part of his personality.

  On the day of his wife Lottie's birthday, he had sent her twelve long-stemmed roses, a box of expensive chocolates, and a magnum of champagne.
  Lottie was quite happy, and was waiting for Marsh to come home, where they were going to enjoy a dinner for two that he had ordered from the caterers. It was her birthday, and Marsh did not want her to cook on this special day.
  At seven thirty Lottie heard his car pull into the driveway. She gazed into the mirror, gave her hair a final pat, and prepared to meet her husband. He opened the door, and Lottie exclaimed, 'Oh, Marsh, I love the roses and candy. The champagne looks wonderful, and it was so thoughtful of you to order our meal from the caterers'.
  Marsh answered with a short hiccup and a face-splitting grin. 'That's not all dear. For your birthday,' at this point he dropped his trousers and pointed downward, 'for your birthday I also gave myself a vasectomy!'
   Lottie was speechless, and then she expressed the first thing that came into her mind, 'Marsh, you shouldn't have.' She thought how ridiculous that sounded under the circumstances, looked at Marsh's drunken but grinning face, and burst out in loud laughter. She hugged her inebriated surgeon husband, and when her laughing subsided, she summed up the situation with, 'I bet I'm the only woman in the world that's ever had a birthday present like this.'"

Jack has many other colorful anecdotes contained in his book. I look forward to reading them as well as the life and times of Boo.

Peace, love, and laughter,

Friday, March 23, 2012

Where Are We Headed?

Mandatory Voter Photo I.D. laws have been enacted in the states shown in green. The Texas law has been challenged by the U.S. Department of Justice. Ostensibly, these stricter laws were passed to prevent voter fraud, even though there is no evidence of such. It appears that they were implemented for political reasons, and meant to discourage seniors, minorities, and young voters who would more than likely vote for a Democratic ticket. Not surprisingly, these states are headed by Republican Governors and legislatures with a Republican majority as well.

"Florence F. Noyes as 'Liberty' -- Suffrage Parade, 3/13/1913"
From 1867 until 1920, when Congress finally passed the Nineteenth Amendment giving women the right to vote, brave women protested, marched, and were even arrested and thrown in jail for demanding equal rights as men - the first being the right to vote. It took many more years for them to gain ground in other areas, such as property rights, Roe v Wade, and the ongoing struggle to gain equal pay for equal work. 

How can something so hard won as "equal rights" for women be in jeopardy now at the hands of white, middle-aged, mostly Republican men? If we study our history, it seems we are moving backwards to the days of the Woodrow Wilson administration! Many men are still opposed to women's rights. They would rather see them "suffer"! Or keep them at home, barefoot and pregnant!

Feminists March for ERA 1970 (Public Domain)

Under the guise of "religious objections", slowly but surely across this nation women are losing the right to say what happens to their own bodies. Many states are now instituting legislation to supposedly limit or prohibit abortion by requiring invasive sonograms as well as ridiculous questioning beforehand, such as asking women how their marriages are, are they certain they were "raped", and even asking if birth control pills -- which are hormones -- are to be used for medical or contraceptive purposes. The idea being that such programs providing these services are promoting promiscuous sex -- that is the opinion of at least one Republican presidential candidate, Rick Santorum. And Mitt Romney says if he is elected, Planned Parenthood must go! 

By pandering to the religious right, making opposition to funding of abortions by the new healthcare laws (Which, by the way, I understand not wanting to use tax dollars for abortion if one is fundamentally opposed -- but for denying women contraception coverage? Give me a break!), they stand the chance of eliminating essential health care coverage for many women who have no insurance and many who have been unemployed due to the current economic conditions. 

"Stand Your Ground" laws exist now in 21 of our 50 states (most of which have Republican Governors), some stating that you can use deadly force without attempting to retreat in any location, even outside your home. Such laws do not require that your own property is threatened. You can be anywhere, and if you feel threatened, you may shoot and kill the person you perceive to be threatening you without being prosecuted for murder. It is considered "self defense". 

This is a generalization of such laws, I know, but it is essentially what has happened to the young black male, Trayvon Martin, in Sanford, Florida. I don't know about you, but I had not heard of these laws until this recent incident. I can understand the laws that permit one to shoot an intruder into your home with the expectation your life is in danger, but "stand your ground"?? The NRA had to be involved in the passage of these laws! And the rise of right-wing, conservative Republicans in the states involved speaks to a scary trend in our country. A lot of the above states are known to have a number of white supremacist and survivalist groups, as well as being home to the Ku Klux Klan. They may well be more trigger happy than some. (I'm just sayin'.)

These are just a few of the things that cause me to wake up during the night and ponder the direction of our country. The issues of Social Security and Medicare benefits being considered for budget cuts are high on my list as well. Being a senior citizen, I am in a minority category. I did a little research on minorities in this country that included not only seniors but races and ethnicities other than "white", and have decided that if all of the so-called minorities (women actually outnumber the men in the U.S.) band together in this election year, we can stop the progress of these trends towards a repressive government, concerned more for the powerful corporations and the wealthiest 1% of our population. One only has to look at the wealthy supporters of the Republican candidates and the Super Pacs they represent to know that these folks are not out to improve the lives of the 99%! 

I know who I'm going to vote for this year! How about you?

Peace, love, and wisdom to make right choices,

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Yayyy! Travis!

He can swing...

...he can hit...

And that's the ballgame!! Now Dad needs to take a video of his pitching prowess! I understand he is going to pitch tomorrow night. 

He's small, but he's MIGHTY!

Proud Grandmommy,

Thursday, March 15, 2012


I seem to have got addicted to the news this past winter. Guess I could have given it up for Lent. Instead, I thought I'd just share some of my thoughts on things making the headlines lately.

Two thumbs up to the following people in the news:

  • Everyone who called for public ostracising of Rush Limbaugh
  • The women speaking out against the war against women being waged by politicians -- i.e., Hillary Clinton, Madeleine Albright, Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee, Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano, Gloria Steinem, et al
  • The advertisers pulling their commercial ads from the Rush Limbaugh radio show and other "offensive" programs -- i.e., Ford, GM, Toyota, J.C.Penney, Prudential, Allstate, et al
  • All of the remarkable women in attendance at the third annual Women in the World Summit
  • Jaycee Dugard and her ability to overcome the horrendous adversity of her 18-year captivity in the back yard of a sex offender
  • The U.S. Department of Justice for blocking the recent Texas Voter I.D. Law for being discriminatory
  • The CDC's graphic anti-smoking ad campaign
  • The "Don't Mess With Texas Women" rally in Austin, TX

    Thumbs down on:
    • Mitt Romney for saying Planned Parenthood has to go
    • The Republican opposition to the Violence Against Women Act
    • Ammonia-treated ground beef, or "pink slime" (H.E.B. stores do not carry any of it!)
    • High gasoline prices when oil companies are enjoying their highest profits in history
    • Santorum's statement that Puerto Rico must adopt English as the "main language" in order to become a state
    • Russia's supplying the Syrian dictatorship with $1billion of arms -- and saying they were only for "defense"
    What items in the news got your attention this past week or two? Besides the Republican presidential race, that is.