Tag Archives: women’s march

Thank You: A List for 2017

thank you cardAs youngsters we were admonished to acknowledge gifts during the holiday season, and not to delay thanking Auntie for bestowing such “creative and unique” items.  That said, this isn’t an obligatory thank you — it’s a Thanks! with a capital letter to those who’ve been an inspiration this year.

 

Thanks to the ladies of the Women’s March!  Prior to that event I’d contacted my Senators and Representatives, but never with any regularity, and certainly never with multiple phone calls in any given month.  The idea of sending post cards hadn’t occurred to me.  I listened to the speakers advise more contact, more persistent contact, more urgent contact — and I bought some postcards.  I also bought a small pocket notebook.  I recorded my calls and post cards in the notebook — at first just to keep track of the topics, and then it became a habit.  The little notebook is half filled now, and I even had to add a piece of ribbon tied on as a bookmark to keep track of my place.  Perhaps I’m gaining a reputation as a pain with a couple of members of the 115th Congress. I don’t care.  They won’t be able to say they’ve not heard from anyone about protecting DACA, or the ACA, or the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, or the EPA, or women’s reproductive rights, or the rights of workers to organize.   My new year’s prediction is that the little notebook will be filled by this time next year — at least I sincerely hope so.

Thanks to the people who attended town hall meetings!  Those who are dependent on the individual health insurance market to secure health plans need our assistance.  Those on employer  group plans need to know that the provisions of the ACA will require  they have real insurance, as opposed to junk policies with outrageous co-pays, high deductibles and limited benefits.  Those who buy policies need to know mental health treatment is on par with physical health needs, and immunizations are essential services.  And, since as they say “it takes two to tango,” everyone is in the pool — men and women, meaning maternity care is also essential.  To those people who put real faces on real problems — Thank You.  To those people who supported the people testifying to those very real issues — Thank You.

Thanks to the organizers of Indivisible!  Should I run out of ideas on a given day concerning what to say and to  whom to say it, there’s Indivisible online to assist me.  I appreciate the tweets and notices from Nevada Indivisible groups, Indivisible Lake Tahoe, Indivisible Reno, and Indivisible Las Vegas.  You are doing good work, and it’s appreciated.

Thanks to the professionals working on the Special Counsel’s investigation!  I understand those investigators aren’t the total solution to the problem of foreign interference in our elections.  However, they are a key facet of the issue and they’ve endured enough flack from partisan hacks for a lifetime already.  They can’t tell us how to protect our election systems in the future, nor can they tell us what actions our state and local officials can take to prevent future assaults — but they can, and I’m sure will, give us an accurate picture of anything prosecutable.  Their efforts are appreciated.

Thanks to the independent members of the press and media!  There are reporters and broadcasters who are not allowing lies and mischaracterizations from the current administration to go unchallenged.   Not all editors are spiking stories about corruption, maladministration, and mismanagement.  Not all reporters are playing the role of stenographer for government issued blather.  Now, more than ever before in my lifetime, we need FACTS.  Good old fashioned FACTS, and good old fashioned news — the kind wherein we learn not only who is supporting a particular policy, but what the implications of the policy proposals are in real life.

Thus, the little notebook continues to sit beside the phone, the post cards are at the ready, and there’s no shortage of topics upon which to comment.  For this, I say THANKS.

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I am getting truly tired of concern trolling: Women’s Day Edition

Yes, ladies you had a fine day. It was International Women’s Day and lots of women did lots of constructive things, and needless to say, while they were doing them the concern trolls were out again. I’ll not name them, they know who they are…

I was told by one pundit on my television this morning that there was a danger of the “resistance” burning out from so many marches and things. Oh, really?  Burn out? Tell that to some women who put in a full 8 to 10 hours of work, come home, do the housework, fix the meals, do the shopping, and make time to hit the streets.  Tell that to women who can make appointments for the kids’ dental exams while fixing lunch and finding the socks that didn’t emerge from the dryer, all in the same 15 minutes.

Tell that to women who work, and know that they are making somewhere between $0.15 and $0.35 less than men for the same job.  Tell that to mothers who know that their kids need the local public schools.  Tell that to grandmothers who remember when the Cuyahoga River caught fire without being reminded by the opening scene of Major League, and don’t want that environment for their grandchildren. Tell that to the aunts of gay and lesbian nephews and nieces, whom they love without reservation and support without conditions.  Tell that to the women who gather for coffee with friends who are Hispanic,  who fear for their relatives and loved ones.  Tell that to Jewish women concerned for the safety of the graves of their elders, the Muslim women who fear for the safety of their children, and the Sikhs who fear for the safety of their community.  Burn out? These women are just lighting the tinder.

If this weren’t patronizing (do I want to use the word ‘condescending?’) enough, the boo-birds from the Occupy moments are back.  It’s OK to be “intersectional” just don’t talk about it so much.  Huh?  I get the part where the leadership should just DO it, but talking is part of the process, and women do like to talk things out.  If that offends male ears, so be it, but don’t disparage efforts to combine efforts and find common grounds for activities.

And, then there’s the “don’t make busy work” argument.  It’s tangential to the Please Focus of the people who found fault with the Occupy people.  What’s the good, they ask, of having a thousand  post cards on a thousand different subjects?  Where to begin?

First, this resistance isn’t a carefully articulated and organized Madison Avenue campaign for a new laundry detergent, and shouldn’t be treated as such. It certainly shouldn’t be evaluated that way.    What’s the matter with having a thousand post cards sent by individuals who have never before engaged with their Representatives and Senators?  That’s a thousand little pieces of contact that weren’t happening before. The more phone calls, letters, and post cards, the less often Senator Sludgepump and Representative Bilgewater can say “I haven’t heard from anyone in my state (district) about this subject.”

Secondly, this argument disparages the efforts of those who are not political professionals. Yes, it would be nice to have a single issue, like George W. Bush’s efforts to privatize Social Security, to address. However, this mis-administration is different. It’s not just the assault of Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid; it’s a full on attack on environmental protection regulations, on immigrants and their families, on Muslims and their neighbors, on consumer protections, on financial reform legislation, on the rights of labor and working people, on the pensions and health benefits of coal miners, on the neutrality of Internet services…

And, there are those whose circumstances are such that phone calls, letters, and post cards are what they CAN do. Given the seriousness of the assault on American institutions, values, and government, it’s all hands on deck.  Everyone doing what they can when they can, and taking a break every now and then to let someone else run with the baton for a lap.

When politicians focused on signal issues — like Social Security — it was relatively easy to target campaign promises and compare them to delivery.  The current political situation is more properly compared to the ducks on the shooting gallery tracks, forever emerging, forever repeating themselves, forever streaming past; aiming at a single one means the next dozen are missed.  The administration, and its allies in Congress, need to know that every attempt to degrade the values of this country, to dismantle the social safety nets that secure us, will be met with resistance.

The process of comparing campaign policies to governance policy is slowly becoming more clear.  For example, it’s becoming ever more obvious that The Wall, is morphing into a fence, and the fence into fiscal insanity.  What does it do for security to spend money on a highly questionable wall while slashing the budgets for the Coast Guard, and the TSA? What does it do for national security to issue unconstitutional executive order after unconstitutional executive order establishing a Muslim ban?   There’s another issue that will solidify with time.

Jobs, jobs, jobs, and no jobs. A national right to work bill is not in the interest of any worker anywhere in this country, but the Republicans will push it through if they can. It’s all well and good to talk about Buy American, but that sounds a bit hollow considering there are pictures of Russian steel being unloaded recently on New Jersey docks. The parsing was pathetic — pipelines built with American steel became pipelines built with steel already contracted from the Russians.  Making lovely announcements about infrastructure projects are soothing to the ears until we get to the part wherein it’s new construction, with copious benefits for the financiers and not so many for the workers on the projects. Then, “I love coal,” doesn’t quite cover inaction on health benefits for retired miners whose pension funds are running out.

Affordable health care insurance?  Coverage for everyone becomes coverage for those who can afford it? Or, it’s nice to have access, but if a person can’t afford a policy covering personal and family needs access is perfectly meaningless. Remember, the promise was that premium costs would go down, but the average premium increase under the ACA including the outlier in Arizona was a 23% average increase; now the GOP is promising a 30% increase and calling it an improvement!

These, and other issues will solidify into more attractive targets, but it will take some time for the accretion to establish itself.  There will be time for focused attacks, and by then a wonderful horde of newly energized resistance ‘fighters’ will be used to making phone calls, writing letters and postcards, attending protests, going to town halls, and organizing social events for political purposes.  Politics, it is to be hoped, will no longer be a spectator sport.  Perhaps it’s time for the pundits to, as the saying goes, “Lead, follow, or get out of the way.”

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Filed under Politics, Republicans, Women's Issues, Womens' Rights