Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Playing Possum, Spraying Spittle, and the Sneakiest Day


It’s not over till the fat lady sings; I maybe humming, but I ain’t singing yet.


Despite what you may have heard or read, HB954 is NOT dead! Thanks to you, however, it is on life-support.

 Readers, you have done an amazing job towards getting us to this point. Thank you very much. Your calls have been having the desired effect and you should be very proud.

 Now we have one final push to cut off the head of this poisonous snake. Tomorrow is the last day of the session; and it is the
sneakiest day of the session. The stories I could tell you about last-day antics would seem unbelievable. Some are hilarious, and some would scare the pants off of ya. As I write this, you can just bet your bottom dollar that the arm-twisting and horse-trading is at a fevered pitch in the back room, and you can be darn sure not much good will come to us out of it. But I am dead serious about this folks. It is not safe to blink until midnight tomorrow. So prop those eyelids open and remain vigilant.

 Now, is the time for a big push. We cannot lose ground! "Dweeby" McKillip has had a fit and fallen in it. He is whining like a three year-old, that his bill is being ambushed. And his puppeteer, the ever dangerous Dan Becker, the President of Georgia Right to Life, is foaming at the mouth and spraying spittle with every word, so keep your hankie handy.

 Here is Mr. Becker’s mantra. Taken directly off of the Georgia Right to Life web site. (bolded mine)

 It is the principle that all human life has God given, constitutionally
recognized value. The idea is simple yet bold.  Ultimately, it may provide a direct challenge to the central holding of Roe v Wade, the landmark decision that made abortion legal in the United States.  Personhood will restore respect and effective legal protection for all human beings, including the unborn.  It encompasses the threat of emerging issues, such as cloning, embryo experimentation and euthanasia.  "The prolife movement must mature beyond the singular goal of 'saving babies' and engage our current culture of death", says Georgia Right to Life President Daniel Becker.

 Boy howdy, every time I read this I have nightmares for weeks – real weeks, not "Dweeby" weeks.

 I know that your dialing finger is complaining about being over-worked lately, so promise it a vacation
starting Friday. Meanwhile, we need to make more calls. We are too close to victory and just as close to defeat. We cannot let this slip away now. You have done an excellent job of spreading the word through your networks. I have received calls from folks all over this state – Valdosta, Augusta, Calhoun, Clayton, Albany, Athens (especially Athens), plus many others hometowns, from folks who are expressing both outrage at HB954, as well as thanks for getting the word out. Many had no idea about HB954 and its unconscionable implications, until they heard from you. So, please stay vigilant and keep up the good work.

 "Dweeby" and Becker are thinking that because HB954 is being referred to as dead (I call it playing possum), and that Speaker Ralston has not (yet) appointed a conference committee, that we all will wipe our hands, pat ourselves on the back and say "job well done". And that's when they will "pull a sneaky". Well, think again bubba, because all along they have under-estimated us and think of us as politically na├»ve. Now, we may not be savvy cigar smoking, backroom deal making politicos, but we ain’t stupid.

 While they are still in the stuck in the "barefoot and pregnant" men
tality mode, we have moved on, to stiletto heels and contraception. And we ain’t goin' back. They really just can’t seem to figure this out. Perhaps they need to get out of the man cave a little more often.

 So rev up your dialing finger again good folks: Make just three simple calls.

 Lt. Governor Casey Cagle 404.656.5030

 Senator Tommy Williams  404.656.0089

 Governor Nathan Deal   404.656.1776

 Here is your message:

 Do not let Speaker Ralston bully you and the Senate on HB954.
There is a link at the bottom of the email if you would like a longer explanation about why this is the message. Of course you can just say whatever you are comfortable with saying.

 And, if your dialing finger is holding up, give your your Senator a call too. The link to find your Senator http://sos.ga.gov/MVP2/logon.aspx

 Hang in there! And remember, no blinking.

 Onward!


 http://www.ajc.com/news/georgia-government/abortion-bill-skids-to-1399907.html


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Power to Women - Call To Action – Defeat HB954 Tomorrow - March 26th


NOW IS THE MOMENT OF TRUTH.
HB954 WILL BE VOTED ON TOMORROW. 
MONDAY, MARCH 26TH– WE NEED YOU!

First
, watch this short, powerful video! It will explain, far better than I can, the seriousness of the situation we are facing.  The Georgia relevance is explained below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iU2BZN_GRhI&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Here is a bulleted primer on the issue we are facing. Bullets seem appropriate since this is a war, a war-on-women.
·       The national agenda for the Republican Party is to overturn
Roe v. Wade. This is no surprise to anyone who has been awake during the last decade.

·       Unless we act, this Draconian Agenda will be accomplished by chipping away at women’s reproductive rights, and putting mandated restrictive measures into effect in each state – as we have been witnessing here in Georgia over the last several years. Also, look at what has happened recently in Idaho, Virginia, Tennessee, Mississippi and other places.

·       Specific to Georgia – and this is important boys and girls – the GOP goal is to get a constitutional majority, so they can implement a constitutional amendment like the one you just witnessed in the video above. Make no mistake; we are a heartbeat away from this reality with tomorrow’s vote.

·       Towards the goal of getting to that constitutional majority, they have recruited, enticed, and cut amazing deals, (think, sold soul to the Devil) in order to get enough Democrats to turncoat to their side – Our good buddy, “Dweeby” Doug McKillip, author of HB954, is a shining example – elected as a Democrat, he switched parties to the GOP right off the bat. Even a blind pig could spot that he's soulless.

·       To further ensure that they will achieve their goal of a constitutional majority they have skillfully used the redistricting process. You can review how this happened at my blog:
http://decatur.patch.com/blog_posts/redistricting-why-women-should-care-2

 and also here at http://decatur.patch.com/blog_posts/the-good-ole-boys-133-women-47

·       HB954 is not about abortion, reproductive rights of women, etc. It is about authoritarian control over women and women's health. Pass HB954, I say, over my dead body! Which, by the way, is a viable option under HB954.

Tomorrow is the turning point. If you have never come down to the Capitol to lobby your legislators, tomorrow is the day to do it! Take a vacation day, call in sick, find child care, use your lunch hour, do whatever it takes, just please do your best to show up. You can bet your ovaries the Right-to-Life women will show up. We must overwhelm them. 
How will we be able to explain to our daughters, granddaughters, and great-grandaughters how this happened under our watch?

Action steps
: please take these steps, even if you are able to show up.
  1. Forward this email to everyone you can: friends, family, colleagues, book clubs, sorority, fraternity, and neighbors.
  2. Post this on your facebook page. 
  3. Twitter about this.
  4. If you blog, blog about it.
  5. Call your friends and carpool to the Capitol. I find MARTA the best way. You can drive to any MARTA station and park for free. Georgia State is the MARTA station exit for the Capitol.

THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP – THIS IS ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL:

Make three short and easy phone calls:

1) Call your senator, if you need help finding your Senator here is a link: http://sos.ga.gov/MVP2/logon.aspx

2) Call Lt. Governor Casey Cagle and tell him you are strongly against HB954 - 404.656.5030

3) Call Governor Deal and tell him, if HB 954 passes, He must not sign it into law.   404.656.1776

Do not be shy about making these calls. No one will question you. This is a numbers game. They are simply keeping a list of those for and those against. At the end of the day we need the “ those against” list to be the longest.
LOGISTICS FOR TOMORROW:
We will gather in the hall just outside the Governor’s office at 11:00 to go over strategy and get prepared.
I will get to the Capitol around 9AM to start organizing materials. If you get there early and you want to help, text or call me on my cell 678.775.8946;  you can also call Krista Brewer on her cell 404-314-6468. This will be the best way to locate where we are at that moment.
I will have badges with our message for everyone. I will also have 100 around-the-neck badges with the graphic below for the first 100 who show up, and other stickers for everyone else.
Onward. I will see you there tomorrow!





Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"It's time for women to stop being politely angry." - Nobel Laureate Leymah Gbowee


Now I gotta tell ya, when a group of old white guys start worrying themselves into a fit about my inner workings, it makes the hair on the back of my neck go up. And Monday it was standing at attention, and quivering.

I gotta admit, however, Monday’s Senate hearing on HB954 was educational in many ways. Just like an IRS tax audit can be educational.

A fine example of a teachable moment was when the ever fussy & dweeby Representative Doug McKillip tried his darndest to explain the new McKillip Math of “our weeks” and “their weeks” to his fellow committee members. At one point, I could swear I saw steam coming off his pointy little head.

Nearest as I could make it out, Dweeby figures that conception begins the moment the sperm is released and starts frantically searching for an egg, like a sugar crazed four-year-old on Easter morning.

Now this is important, because the clock starts ticking at that precise moment towards the 20-week HB954 deadline limit, for a legal abortion and the criminalization of doctors.

As McKillip screeched on, my mind began to ponder Dweeby’s "personhood" moment, or as I call it, “Sperm Finds Egg Theory.” I would think that precise sperm-egg moment would be pretty darn hard to pinpoint. It seems reasonable to think that really only the sperm knows for sure, and he ain’t talking. Smoking a cigarette maybe, but definitely not talking to anybody but McKillip.

All during Dweeby’s testimony and even during questioning of the panel of medical and legal experts, the terms "our weeks" and "their weeks" continued to stump them all. His fellow committee members sitting around the table never did get it. Throughout the meeting, they would continually ask Dweeby, “Now, are we talking about ‘their weeks’ or ‘our weeks?’” It was all pretty weak, if you ask me.

Gosh darn it, you just can’t make this stuff up. It was like listening to that old baseball comedy routine, Who's on First  
– only not funny.

Now all this talk about "their weeks" and "our weeks" made me a tad nervous. I'm thinking we had better start guarding the weeks we have left, or we will find them stripped away along with all our other reproductive stuff. So gird “your weeks” ladies, especially if you see Dweeby McKillip coming your way. I think we should all tear a page out of our calendars and send it to McKillip and tell him we want our weeks back.

During Dweeby’s testimony and convoluted explanation of ours versus theirs weeks, I glanced over at the medical and legal experts who were waiting to testify; they had that astonished wide-eyed disbelieving look of those uninitiated in the political process. You see that with newbies, bless their hearts.

When it was their turn at the microphone, they each explained how in the medical & legal field, contraception and pregnancy is calibrated to real math. Now I gotta say real math (although not my strong suit) has been working pretty darn well for sometime now - for most folks, that is. However, it is just not precise enough for the minutiae-obsessed Dweeby.

As is the usual course of action under the gold dome (a widely recognized logic free zone), these good ole boys, ever fact averse, totally discounted the compelling testimony of the medical and legal experts and gave Dweeby his votes, or at least the Chairman said they did. We will really never know, it being a voice vote, and Chairman Unterman denied a call for a confirming hand vote. Even the politically astute were wide-eyed at this blatant example of Georgia democracy in action.

Jay Bookman of the AJC has written an excellent accounting of Monday's meeting. http://bit.ly/GByeNk

As is his habit, he brings insight and clarity to this six-hour debacle. Read it and weep. I suggest you print it out and stick it in your calendar under July; then take it out and read it just before you go to the polls to vote in the primary. That ought to get the hair on your neck up and your dander too. Moreover, it should put you in the right frame of mind to pull that lever.

As they say, one picture is worth a thousand words; however, HB954 seems worthy of at least 2,000 words, so I have included two photos for your review and an editorial graphic.

Dweeby McKillip at the hearing - in near fetal position - trying to cipher out his new "weak" math on paper.


Classic Dweeby, as he resorts to counting on his fingers or as I call it, Dweeby's digit math.






Sunday, March 18, 2012

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. And boy howdy, have we been scorned.


If you believe that current healthcare options should be available for women to discuss with their physicians; that women’s access and choices should not be legislated – especially by good ole white boys in suits – and that medical decisions should be made between a woman, her family & her doctor, please take action now!

Tomorrow these options may disappear like barbecue at State House dinner.

Monday, March 19 at 2:30 PM the Georgia Senate Health and Human Services Committee will meet to vote on HB954 in Capitol Room 450 –  2:30 to 4:30 PM.

I urge everyone who is opposed to this bill to come to the Capitol for a show of force. These legislators claim they only hear from the Right to Life folks. I suggest they are just tone deaf to the other side.

Please wear all black, the color of mourning, as in we are gonna mourn these guys when we vote them out in the fall.

Please share this email with all your  friends, colleagues, neighbors, and family members. You can also share on facebook and twitter.

WE CAN NOT ALLOW THIS TO GO UNCHALLENGED.


It is critical to remember this misogynistic Bill has already cleared the House. If it passes the Senate, it will go to Governor Deal to sign into law. Now he is a leaning toward signing it (pay attention here, this is important), because it will help the signers of the Bill get re-elected this fall.

So women’s rights are being stripped away, not for a deeply held belief or conviction, or that they think the cause is just and true, but because it will – they erroneously believe – help with re-election of these darlings, and even propel one to a Congressional seat.  My Goodness, these boys are just drunk with power and out of control. I, for one ain’t for sitting back and letting them get away with it, without putting up a ruckus.


TAKE ACTION******* TAKE ACTION******* TAKE ACTION******* TAKE ACTION********* TAKE ACTION

If you cannot come to the Capitol tomorrow, or even if you can, we need the phones to ring off the hook.
  
    1) First thing in the morning, call the Senate Health and Human Services Committee Members because they will not have time to read
    read emails before they vote.

    2) Tell them you strongly oppose HB954 and you want them to vote against the Bill. Or, if you want to use language they will be sure to understand, just tell them – Vote no on HB954, ‘cause that dog won’t hunt.

Committee Members
Unterman, Renee S                (404) 463-1368
Chairman

Carter, Buddy                         (404) 656-5109
Vice Chairman

Goggans, Greg                         (404) 463-5263
Secretary

Shafer, David                           (404) 656-0048
Ex-Officio

Paris, Miriam                           (404) 656-5035
Democrat Member

Wilkinson, John                     (404) 463-5257
Member

    3) Call your own Senator. If the committee passes this as expected, it will then go to the Senate floor for a vote. This is where               
    your Senator will come in.

    4) NOW THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT:  Be sure you call the Lt. Governor, Casey Cagle, he is the Big Kahuna of the Senate.   404.656.5030

     5) Here is the link to find your Senator:  http://sos.ga.gov/MVP2/logon.aspx
    After you fill out the name, county and DOB,  click to next page. Near the bottom of that page is the link to your Senator.

    6) Call him or her and ask them to oppose HB954. Be sure to let them know you are in their district.

Here is the link if you want to read  HB954    http://1.usa.gov/FQe5b2

In a nut shell, HB954 would remove the right of the woman and her family to make a decision about medical care and criminalizes medical professionals.

Other implications of HB954

Women will be forced to carry a stillborn pregnancy to term.
Women with cancer may find that their doctor will not perform an abortion in order for her to receive life-saving treatment.
Women and families could be forced to endure unthinkable pain by being forced to carry to term a pregnancy where there is a lethal fetal anomaly.
HB 954 would place a ban on abortions after 20 weeks.  Most fetal anonolomies are diagnosed between 24 - 26 weeks. This bill will force women and families to make decisions to terminate before they have an accurate diagnosis.
Doctors will be charged with a criminal abortion felony with a possible 10 year sentence for performing medical care they are licensed and trained to do.
Doctors will not be allowed to do what they consider to be in the best interest of their patient.

I leave you with these words by Joan Kirner at Women Into Power Conference, Adelaide, October 1994;  "There is no such thing as being non-political. Just by making a decision to stay out of politics you are making the decision to allow others to shape politics and exert power over you. And if you are alienated from the current political system, then just by staying out of it you do nothing to change it, you simply entrench it."

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Wisconsin Voter Photo ID Law Struck Down - It is powerful and compelling

The League of Women Voters of WI filed a lawsuit challenging one of the nation’s most restrictive photo ID laws based on the Wisconsin state constitution. Today the 9th circuit court of WI struck down the law with a permanent injunction. The court’s decision is attached.

 Excerpt: 

“Without question,  where it exists, voter fraud corrupts  elections and undermines our form of government. The legislature and governor may certainly take  aggressive action to prevent its occurrence. But voter fraud is no more poisonous to our democracy than voter suppression. Indeed, they are two heads on the same monster.
 
A  government that undermines the very foundation of its existence  – the
people’s  inherent,  pre-constitutional right to vote  – imperils its  legitimacy as a government by the people, for the people, and especially of the people. It sows the seeds  for its own demise as a democratic institution. “
 
Here is the Wisconsin decision:

http://www.wispolitics.com/1006/League_of_Women_Voters_v__Walker_SJ_decision.pdf

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Today is International Women's Day.

We aren’t in Kansas any more. 

Today, if Dorothy were to encounter men with no brains, no hearts and no courage, she wouldn’t be in Oz. She’d be in Congress!


If the recent spate of sinister and fact-averse legislation, put forth by our misguided misogynistic legislators, in their ongoing and escalating war on women – in Georgia and across the nation – has made you frustrated, angry, bewildered, beleaguered, sad, unbelieving, wounded, miserable, dismayed, discouraged, grumpy, repulsed, worried, victimized, annoyed, cross, exasperated, fuming, dispirited, furious, irascible, irate, maddened, offended, outraged, riled, wrathful and feeling like the only fireplug at the dog show; well then - have I got an opportunity for you!

It’s opportunity to raise that big clear voice of yours and speak truth to power. We must demonstrate our strength, as we did with The Komen Foundation and Rush Limbaugh.
We must send the message loud and clear. We will not stand down. We will stand up. We will not go back. We will fight back. We will not be powered down. We will power up.


See you Monday at the Capitol.


"Walk in My Shoes, Hear Our Voice"
Circle Around the Georgia State Capitol
Monday, March 12, 2012
11:30 AM – 1:00 PM

Stand With Us:
o ACLU of Georgia
o Atlanta Women's Medical Center
o Feminist Women's Health Center
o Georgia Equality
o Georgia Rural Urban Summit
o Georgia WAND
o Georgia Women for a Change
o League of Women Voters of Georgia
o MoveOn
o National Association of Social Workers - Georgia Chapter
o Planned Parenthood Southeast
o Sistersong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective
o Spark Reproductive Justice Now!

Stand with us for women's health and lives -- for freedom, equality, justice, and human dignity for all. Join us for a peaceful, but not silent, single file walk around the Gold Dome. Our voices will no longer be silent or ignored.

Organizing Principle:
We are here today to reclaim our voices. We are rejecting legislation that is being considered, or has passed, that does not comply with the following principles for all of Georgia’s women:
- to determine when and whether to have children,
- to have a healthy pregnancy;
- to become a parent and parent with dignity, and
- to have safe and healthy relationships and families.

Logistics:
11 am – Meet Up at Central Presbyterian Church Exterior Courtyard -201 Washington St. SW; Atlanta, GA 30303
MARTA is the best way to arrive. Exit at the Georgia State Station. If you drive there is plenty of parking at the Underground Deck – but it is a bit pricey, carpools encouraged.
11:30 am to 1 pm – Walk the Sidewalk in a Single File Line

Bring a sign sized no more than your body’s width. Suggested Messages (or be creative).

· Trust Georgia’s Women
· I Trust Georgia’s Women
· We are the 51%
· I Trust the 51%
· I am [fill in name] and I can be Trusted.
· Trust Georgia’s [fill in women who need a voice] - such as Trust Georgia’s Black Women, Trust Georgia’s Immigrant Women, Trust Georgia’s Lesbians, Trust Georgia’s Moms, etc.


Many politicians now openly support a denial of basic health care for women or the reversal of essential women's rights. With the 2012 elections looming this year, the culture war seems to deliver a new insult to women's dignity every day.

This has got to stop. We know that efforts to restrict reproduction, sexual, and parenting freedoms are often linked to other forms of discrimination which we oppose.

We need our elected officials to respect and protect women's individual autonomy and right of conscience. Women, men, and all communities need accurate medical information and access to affordable health care.


www.HearOurVoice.org - 404-907-0272 - GAwalkcoalition@gmail.com

Grab a friend or two and come on down Monday.











Sunday, March 4, 2012

National Women's History Month - March 3 2012

Women's History Month Day 3

Mary Elizabeth (Beth) Talbot Busbee
Died March 3, 2012 
She  was Georgia's First Lady 1975-1983 

Mary Beth Talbot was born in Ruston, LA, February 16, 1927. She graduated from Louisiana Tech  University with a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in biological sciences.

She married George Busbee in 1949.Their marriage lasted until his death July 16, 2004.

As First Lady, she actively promoted volunteerism throughout the state. She led by example and was very active in numerous cultural & health related charities and activities, including being instrumental in establishing the first Ronald McDonald House in Atlanta.

Additionally,  She was a 40 year breast cancer survivor. She authored two cookbooks, was the honorary chair of "Save The Fox " Campaign, and she was Albany's 1975  "Woman of the Year".

RIP