How #Republicans Stole Every #USA #Presidential #Election They “Won” Since 1980 and How To Stop Them in 2020

How #Republicans Stole Every #USA #Presidential #Election They “Won” Since 1980 and How To Stop Them in 2020

rig-electionsfrom http://cps-news.com/wp-content/misc_html/gop-election-rigging.html

From The Washington Post to The New York Times to Mother Jones magazine to the League of Women Voters to many other independent, reputable sources (these and others quoted and linked, below), we now know how and which aspects of these elections have been rigged by Republicans and their cronies. What can we do? GET INFORMED and FIGHT BACK!

“‘This election [2016’s] was rigged.  And it needs to stop,’ said Chris Carson, president of the League of Women Voters of the United States….’We are not talking about vigilante voter intimidation,’ said Carson. ‘We are talking about official, legal voter suppression by state legislatures and election officials.'”
This article, posted on 11/23/16, lists 13 states with KNOWN voter suppression tactics that were utilized.

“Millions of would-be voters didn’t participate because of obstacles designed to discourage them….Fourteen states had new voting restrictions in place for the first time in a presidential election, and 20 have had such restrictions put in place since 2010, according to the Brennan Center for Justice, a group that opposes such laws….[T]he Leadership Conference Education Fund, a civil rights group, found that counties previously covered by the Voting Rights Act have closed down at least 868 polling places. The closures (often without adequate notice) disproportionately affect minority voters.”
From The Washington Post, 11/29/16.

On 3/20/18, we saw this headline: “Cambridge Analytica bosses were secretly filmed boasting about how they helped Trump win the US election.” By late summer, 2018, this “business” had been closed down/renamed, its managers fired and some indicted (including Mark Turnbull, the managing director, and CEO Alexander Nix), and many others under investigation who used their “services” have also been indicted/arrested via Robert Mueller‘s independent prosecution team looking into Russian AND OTHER MEDDLING in the 2016 elections, among other things.
From https://amp.businessinsider.com/cambridge-analytica-boasts-won-trump-election-facebook-data-2018-3

If you are a more visual learner, try charts and tables/graphics, which depict the extent and types of fraud committed during the 2016 election, posted on 9/18/17: “What Really Happened in 2016, in 7 charts”

And, don’t be fooled by all the Republican rhetoric: “Yes, Russian Election Sabotage Helped Trump Win; Republicans want you to think that meddling didn’t figure in the 2016 election result. Don’t.”   From 7/24/18. Very upsetting.

“[T]he modern-day swing of election rigging began with the 1980 Presidential Election. Democrat Jimmy Carter was President, running for his second term. Republican Ronald Reagan was the GOP’s nominee for President. However, the stage was set for rigging that election exactly one year earlier.

“On November 4, 1979, a mob of young Islamic revolutionaries overran the U.S. Embassy in Tehran Iran, taking more than 60 Americans hostage. The Carter Administration worked for more than a year to free the hostages, getting a small number released, then attempting a failed rescue mission. The Americans were held for a total of 444 days, only to be released peacefully just minutes after Republican Ronald Reagan took office in 1981.

“Americans were surprised at the release; in particular, the timing. Why just minutes after Reagan took office? It would be a dozen years later before the general public would know the truth….

“Republicans conspired to delay the freedom of 52 American citizens and government employees for more than a year, endangering their lives in the process, in order to win an election.” from http://cps-news.com/wp-content/misc_html/gop-election-rigging.html

And, that’s just example number ONE.

The 2016 election was the first presidential contest in more than 50 years without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act. Voter suppression, which disproportionately favors Republicans, is something the Republicans have been working toward for decades, unfortunately, and they have been succeeding.

FYI, some terms:
—The popular vote = whether the candidate won the state or not; one vote, one person
—The electoral vote = how much that state was ‘worth (how many electoral college votes that state has)’ for that election.
—About the Electoral College:
——The District of Columbia and 48 states used to have “winner takes all,” meaning. whichever candidate has the majority of popular votes gets that state’s entire electoral college vote count.
——Two states in 2016 had “proportional winning,” meaning, each candidate’s percentage of popular votes received determines how many electoral college votes that candidate gets from that state for the electoral college’s total. More states are joining this group, as of 2007 (Maryland became the first state to switch), known as the “National Popular Vote Interstate Compact.”
Connecticut and other States Dump “Winner Takes All” for Electoral College Allocations
Election Fraud = conspiracy to alter election results on the part of individuals, organizations, political parties, and/or local or regional/state/federal governmental officials by a variety of tactics, using many types of (sometimes LEGAL, now) voter suppression, such as: eliminating same-day registration; tampering with/unfairly purging or not accepting voter registrations; tampering with/miscounting votes/falsely recording votes from voting machines; unfairly altering /closing polling locations or giving false addresses and / or restricting the polling places’ open hours; restricting early voting; creating unfairly discriminatory voter ID requirements; printing false (post-election) dates or incorrect mail-back addresses on absentee ballots; sending out absentee ballots too late or not at all; not counting all votes; forcing people to use “provisional ballots,” then not counting them; barring ex-felons from becoming eligible to vote after serving their time; falsely claiming individuals are not eligible to vote and then illegally not allowing them to register or to vote; overcounting /stuffing votes; diminishing voting effectiveness by creating paper ballots difficult to read, use, understand or mark one’s vote clearly on; making it a felony for anyone other than a family member or caregiver to collect a voter’s absentee ballot; lying about a candidate’s political party affiliations, names or positions in order to confuse voters; putting up dead or false candidates; threatening to and placing ICE, police and other intimidating individuals at polling entrances while making public threats to arrest anyone guilty of anything who comes to vote; and so many more awful methods. NONE of these is the fault or responsibility of the VOTER.

voting_rights suppression map_2018from https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/10/voter-suppression-wisconsin-election-2016/

Voter Fraud—of which there is HARDLY ANY—IS the responsibility of an individual voter or group of voters. This involves people who do or attempt to vote more than once, or in more than one location, or use fake IDs or fake names to register or vote.
***************************************

How Close Were the USA Presidential Elections?

Currently (2018), 270 Electoral College votes are needed to “win” a Presidential election in the USA. Each State is allocated a number of Electors equal to the number of its U.S. Senators (always 2) plus the number of its U.S. Representatives (which may change each decade according to the size of each State’s population as determined in the Census*).

2000: George W. Bush vs. Al Gore
—Electoral College: 538 total/271 “won”
—No. of popular votes Bush received: 50,460,810 = Bush LOST by 543,816 votes
—Election decided by a Supreme Court vote, which gave the “win” to Bush
History will most likely record this as the first known illegal take-over of the White House. Dozens of people were involved, but most remember only a few names. Jeb Bush – George W’s brother – was governor of Florida and Katherine Harris was Secretary of State. With her job as Secretary of State, Harris simultaneously co-chaired George W. Bush‘s Florida election campaign, served as a delegate to the Republican National Convention, and took time off from her “day” job to go around the country stumping for Bush.

“…Harris declared George W [Bush] the winner by just a mere 536 votes (.009786%) over Democratic opponent Al Gore. Florida state election law didn’t require the Secretary of State to order a statewide recount, not even in such a ridiculously tight election. But this article by The New York Times quoted a recount by the Miami Herald which said Gore would have won a flawless Florida election by 23,000 votes. Even if the Miami Herald was 90% wrong, Gore would still have won by more than 1500 votes….

“…Choicepoint and Database Technologies, two companies (later combined into one company) hired by Katherine Harris’s office to examine the legality of registered voters in Florida, had doctored the outcome. 57,700 legal voters were removed from the list and not allowed to vote. (Later, independent experts said most of those voters would have voted for Al Gore based on their party registration.)

“Choicepoint said 8,000 of those Florida voters were felons, thus negating them as legal voters. But as it turned out, those 8,000 Florida voters had committed only misdemeanors, not felonies, which did not negate their voting eligibility.

“There were several thousand more purged from the voting register simply because they had the same last name as convicted felons. Some were even purged because their personal computers had notes indicating they might commit a crime in the future.

“…Bush “won” in Florida by only 536 votes”

2004: George W. Bush vs. John Kerry
Electoral College: 538 total/286 “won”
No. of popular votes Bush received: 62,040,610 = Bush “won” by 3,012,171 votes
Just as the election of 2000 was exposed as “fixed” after that election, so was the 2004 election.

“Had Kerry won Ohio, he would have won the election, he would have needed only 59,301 voters to switch their vote from Bush to win the state. The smear campaign (remember the “Swift Boat,” anti-Kerry lies**?) against Kerry, among other heinous practices, definitely impacted many people’s ability to vote and their choice of whom to vote for.” 

“59 newspapers that had backed Bush in 2000 endorsed John Kerry in 2004. The Republican Party was split on Bush with some very powerful names breaking off.

“On a level playing field, Bush could never have won again in 2004. But since their 2000 tactics worked so well, and without repercussions, he and his party once again turned to illegal means, but this time it was coupled with a highly publicized immoral attack on their opponent.”

“The following is just a small sampling of the irregularities.

  • Almost 3 million people living abroad never received their ballots or received them too late to vote. The pentagon shut down their web site used to file registrations, but they could never account for the reason the site was shut down.
  • Sproul & Associates, a consulting firm hired by the Republican National Committee to register voters in six states, was caught shredding Democratic registrations. The company was headed by Nathan Sproul, the former executive director of the Arizona State Republican Party.
  • In Ohio
    • Officials purged tens of thousands of eligible voters and neglected to process registration cards generated by Democratic voter drives.
    • Short changed Democratic precincts in voting machine allocation.
    • Some Republican precincts had a 98% voter turnout while some Democratic precincts had only a 7% voter turnout.
    • GOP election officials in Warren County invented a terrorist threat to keep the media from monitoring the official vote count.
    • One in every four citizens who registered in 2004 were not listed on the registration polls.
    • 80,000 votes for John Kerry was counted for George Bush.
    • 357,000 voters were prevented from voting or did not have their vote counted. The overwhelming majority were Democrats.
    • Phone calls were made from a hotel across the street from the Ohio Republican Party headquarters to Democratic voters threatening them if they showed up to vote.
    • Kenneth Blackwell was Ohio’s Katherine Harris this time around. Blackwell, as Secretary of State, was in charge of vote counting, yet he was co-chair of President Bush’s re-election committee. (Does this sound like déjà vu “all-over-again”? Why not, it worked in 2000.)

“Practically every irregularity of the 2004 election helped George Bush and hurt John Kerry. Pollster Lou Harris was quoted as saying ‘Ohio was as dirty an election as America has ever seen.“‘

2008: John McCain vs. Barack Obama
Electoral College: 538 total/365 won
No. of popular votes Obama received: 69,498,516 = Obama won by 9,550,193 votes
If the grassroots organizations that “got out the vote” for Obama had been less successful, Democrats would have “lost” this as well. But, winning by over 9 MILLION votes is impossible to hide. 

2012: Mitt Romney vs. Barack Obama
Electoral College: 538 total/332 won
No. of popular votes Obama received: 65,915,795 = Obama won by 4,982,291 votes
—“
About two weeks before the election, Anonymous released a video warning Karl Rove and his PAC, American Crossroads, that they were watching and if Rove and his group tried to rig the election through the electronic voting machines as they did in 2004, Anonymous would shut them down.

“When the election was over, ‘a group calling themselves The Protectors, believed to be comprised of Anonymous hackers, sent a letter to election transparency non-profit, Velvet Revolution, claiming to have thwarted attempts by GOP strategists to flip votes and rig the election in three swing states.’

“…[S]imple math produced by retired NSA analyst, Michael Dunihot:

“And mathematics showed changes in actual raw voting data that had no statistical correlation other than programmable computer fraud. This computer fraud resulted in votes being flipped from Democrat to Republican in every federal, senatorial, congressional and gubernatorial election since 2008 (thus far) and in the 2012 primary contests from other Republicans to Mitt Romney.”

2016: Donald J. Trump vs. Hillary Clinton
Electoral College: 538 total/304 won
No. of popular votes Trump received: 62,984,828 = Trump LOST by 2,868,686 votes
—“Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania were potentially manipulated, according to prominent computer scientists and lawyers who have spoken with the Clinton campaign”  https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/wisconsin-michigan-pennsylvania-election-hillary-clinton-hacked-manipulated-donald-trump-swing-a7433091.html
—“
[S]tates controlled by Republicans across the country have enacted disenfranchising voting laws that unquestionably target non-Republican voters. By doing so, Republicans won’t have to work so hard to come up with new ideas of how to rig elections. If they can achieve their goal by reducing the number of ‘qualified’ Democratic voters to something less than Republican voters, then they are home free. No need for rigging elections anymore.”

Republican election Fraud
from http://www.politicsplus.org/blog/2012/10/13/gop-election-fraud-still-going-strong/

“Election Fraud is not a new tactic, Republicans tested voter suppression in the election of the 43 President, George w. Bush. Since then the morbidly rich has only increased efforts, will they be successful in the 2018 election?” The Thom Hartmann Program, “How Republicans Tested and Got Away with Election Fraud”

A video, for those who like those:

This election was one of the worst uses of Republican-funded and -managed voter suppression to defraud, obstruct, deregister, disenfranchise and block Democratic voters in US history. “The 2016 election was the first presidential contest in 50 years without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act (VRA), because the Supreme Court ruled in Shelby County v. Holder that states with a long history of discrimination no longer need to have their proposed voting changes approved by the federal government. …14 states—including important swing states—had new voting restrictions in place.”

For example (and there are HUNDREDS like this): “Donald Trump ‘carried’ the state by 27,000 votes, but 300,000 registered voters, according to a federal court, lacked the required forms of voter ID. Turnout in Wisconsin was at its lowest level in 20 years and fell by 52,000 in Milwaukee, where 70 percent of the state’s African-American population lives.”
Historically, and particularly in 2016, African-Americans were expected to vote for Democrats, like Hillary Clinton.

Also,
“On Election Day, there were 868 fewer polling places in states with a long history of voting discrimination, like Arizona, Texas, and North Carolina. These changes impacted hundreds of thousands of voters, yet received almost no coverage in the media.”
Making voting more difficult to access (by having fewer polling places, putting them further apart geographically, closing polling stations for early voting, etc.) in areas that poorer people, elderly people and college students would vote (all individuals who ordinarily use public transportation or lack vehicles of their own) disproportionately affects Democratic voters adversely, as Republicans well know.

“[Trump‘s] campaign openly boasted that ‘we have three major voter-suppression operations under way’ to reduce turnout among African Americans, young women, and liberals….The election results showed that when more people vote, Democrats do better. That’s why the GOP is so invested in voter suppression.”
https://www.thenation.com/article/did-republicans-rig-the-election/

—“[A] report from the Government Accountability Office, …found that strict voter ID laws in Kansas and Tennessee had decreased turnout by roughly 2 to 3 percent, with the largest drops among black, young, and new voters.

“According to a comprehensive study by MIT political scientist Charles Stewart, an estimated 16 million people—12 percent of all voters—encountered at least one problem voting in 2016. There were more than 1 million lost votes, Stewart estimates, because people ran into things like ID laws, long lines at the polls, and difficulty registering. Trump won the election by a total of 78,000 votes in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin….

“[W]hen Republicans took control of 26 state legislatures in the wave election of 2010, they passed a slew of laws making it harder to vote. Twenty-two states have adopted new voting restrictions since then, more than half of which first went into effect in 2016….Republican-controlled statehouses have already passed more voting restrictions in 2017 than they did in 2016 and 2015 combined. ”
https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2017/10/voter-suppression-wisconsin-election-2016/
**************************************

It Ain’t Over ‘Til It’s Over

The WORST thing any candidate can do early in the counting process is concede. That was the key mistake made by Al Gore, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton. Once they concede, it doesn’t matter who actually “wins,” because concession means they have withdrawn from the race, formally. PLEASE tell your local and regional/state candidates: DO NOT concede, NO MATTER WHAT, until ALL legal challenges are finished and ALL votes are counted, which may take MONTHS.

Usually, it takes weeks to find out who actually wins any hotly contested races. For the 2018 mid-term races, due to the time it takes to count so many paper ballots and awaiting outcomes of legal challenges in “broken” states guilty of election fraud (polling location problems, broken machines, wrong ballots, illegal registration purging and discarding absentee ballots, etc), we could be looking at much longer.

More about the likely delays and their causes here, from 10/30/18:
https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2018/10/this-election-will-never-end/
****************************************************************
RESOURCES

General voting info and help, here:   https://www.fvap.gov/uploads/FVAP/States/eVAG.pdf
—Help track voting problems and report them here:  https://www.wral.com/how-you-can-help-track-voting-problems-during-the-midterm-elections/17905814/
If you or someone you know had their registration removed illegally/unfairly, were prevented from voting in some other way, were forced to use a provisional ballot (which may not ever be counted) or aren’t sure if your mail-in ballot was counted, here are places to call/email for help:
—For absentee ballot users, it may not be too late (postmarked on or before 11/6/18 is the rule in most states). Find out here: https://www.vote.org/absentee-voting-rules/
Protect the Votehttps://www.brennancenter.org/protect-the-vote
Provisional Ballot info here, state by state:  https://ballotpedia.org/State_by_State_Provisional_Ballot_Laws
and more info, here:
https://www.11alive.com/article/news/local/verify/verify-should-you-ask-for-a-provisional-ballot-with-a-receipt-if-you-are-challenged-at-the-polls/85-606659301

—For people with disabilitieshttps://www.aapd.com/advocacy/voting/

protect the vote

“We are happy to connect with voters however they need! Call us at 866-OUR-VOTE or text ‘Our Vote’ to 97779 with your questions or reports of problems. We’re here through election day to

“What kinds of voting problems might you run into?
✦ A problem with your voting machine
✦ If you want to change a vote you made on your ballot/machine
✦ Having your ID challenged
✦ Your name isn’t on the voter list
✦ Polls closing early
✦ Being intimidated or pressured at the polling location

“If you run into these, or any other problems while voting, take action right away.

1) Talk to a poll worker BEFORE you finish voting and tell them about the problem. They are there to help you. 

2) If they don’t or can’t help you, ask for their supervisor.

3) If you still have a problem, call Election Protection Hotline at (866) OUR-VOTE.” 

from: https://politicalcharge.org/2018/10/26/how-to-report-a-problem-with-voting/


For more information about past elections, there are great stats, explanations and comparisons offered here:  List of United States presidential elections and stats


NOTES:

*The way the USA population is counted for the every-ten-years USA Census is hotly disputed right now (2018.  For the 2020 election (unless there is a special election prior to that, WHICH IS POSSIBLE), the Census’ totals will be THE deciding factor for every state that still has “winner takes all” for its Electoral College (see above). There are also security issues (cyber and other), issues of “citizenship” being contested and may suppress participation in the Census due to fears of being deported if “counted,” and other problems: “The 2020 Census Is Already in Big Trouble”
and “Why America’s next census is controversial”
[T]he most prominent census-related debate has been the growing conversation about gerrymandering. The enumerated purpose of the census in the Constitution is to use the data gleaned to redraw congressional districts and reallocate representation to fit the population. Over the past few decades, as politics and demographics have become increasingly intertwined, the institutional incentives to game that system have mounted. Especially as Republicans have embraced their status as a party for white men, they’ve become more and more adept at using the census, especially the redistricting process, in order to maintain partisan advantage. But that advantage has been built mostly with the census data already in hand—influencing the data itself, perhaps by biasing it against noncitizens, would add another potent weapon to an arsenal that’s already proven its dominance over American electoral politics. And that is to say nothing of the possibility that between foreign and domestic interventions in data quality, the census could be rendered unusable or unreliable for those political processes altogether. Without a census, there is no American democracy. 

**”Swift Vets and POWs for Truth, formerly known as the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, was a political group of United States Swift boat veterans and former prisoners of war of the Vietnam War, formed during the 2004 presidential election campaign for the purpose of opposing John Kerry’s candidacy for the presidency….[T]here was not a speck of truth to the allegations, and the Bush inter-circle was exposed as being behind the attacks. Even John McCain questioned the ad and condemned it as “dishonest and dishonorable”

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#USA #Midterm #Elections are 11/6/18: OTHER Dates, Info, Rides, Resources

The USA Midterm Elections on 11/6/18 have never been more important than they are this year, 2018, when our democratic systems are STILL undergoing vicious internal and external attacks and many leaders are corrupt but still in office. YOUR VOTE COUNTS!

retro-midterm-elections-vote-election-pin-button-badge-M759KY (1)

National Voter Registration Day is September 25, 2018, and LYFT is helping! See article, below.

Here’s a link to a candidates list for each race and the reasons that your vote matters.
—35 of 100 seats in the Senate are currently already held by “incumbents,” meaning, the Senator in that seat is running for re-election.
—Nine of these are Republicans: VOTE THEM OUT! They have RUINED our democratic process over the last 12 years. THEY HAVE TO GO!
—Twenty-six are Democrats, and some do NOT deserve to win, but voting for them DOES make sure a Republican will not win, so suck it up and vote for the less-worse candidate, PLEASE!
—“In the House midterm elections, Democrats need to flip 23 seats to capture the 218 seats necessary for control of the chamber. There are 194 likely or solidly Democratic seats and 175 likely or solidly Republican seats. The competitive races below are listed by state and district number. Get the latest updates here.
https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/us/elections/calendar-primary-results.html 

A reblogged article, below, is geared toward California voters, but info in it applies for ALL elections and has links to resources for ALL voters.  For example:

“’A candidate’s voting history is public. If the candidate is running for federal office as a representative or senator, you can find their voting record on Congress.gov. For those who have held state office, you can contact your state legislature website.’”

and

“You can find out who is on the ballot in your district using this sample ballot tool from www.ballotpedia.org. After doing some research and studying or comparing different candidates, you will then have a better idea of who you are interested in voting for.”

Link to article:  https://summitpsnews.org/2018/09/14/midterm-elections-are-coming-up-heres-how-to-make-an-informed-decision/

Remember: 

your_vote_counts

REGISTER! 
Find out your state/locality’s deadlines and get in BEFORE that date (between 10/1 and 10/16/18 for most localities), especially if you’re registration is happening by mail, especially if you’re out of the country (much earlier deadlines!).

GET INFORMED!
Go to the above resources or those listed in the article, or go to http:///moveon.org or other progressive sites for specific issues and candidate position information.

For non-partisan candidate information for every locality, go to your state’s League of Women Voters site, which will list debates/town halls/panels, ballots, registration information, polling place information, election days’ ride requests procedure, written candidates’ position papers, and more: https://www.lwv.org/

For female candidates info and to contribute: Emily’s List is the best site for that: https://www.emilyslist.org/ 

ARRANGE TO VOTE!
ABSENTEE:
If you must vote by mail, PLEASE check deadlines (which vary by locality/state)—some are up to 10 days prior to the actual election date, which  means your ballot must ARRIVE no later than 10/26/18 to be counted!
https://www.vote.org/absentee-ballot-deadlines/

IN-PERSON:
USE PAPER BALLOTS! They cannot be hacked!

You can find your local polling place here: http://www.vote411.org/
Get or give a ride! Check local announcements or the League of Women Voters site: https://www.lwv.org/

Also, LYFT is offering free and discounted rides to polling places on the day of the election! http://fortune.com/2018/08/23/lyft-free-ride-discount-election-day/ explains it, or go directly to http://lyft.com if you already have the app!  “Lyft will offer riders half-off rides booked anywhere in the U.S. on November 6. Organizations like http://Vote.org and http://TurboVote.org will help distribute a nationwide 50% off code that can be used within the Lyft app. The company says it will also provide free rides through nonpartisan, nonprofit partners like Voto Latino to help members of underserved communities who historically have had a harder time getting to the polls.”

We are all counting on each other! VOTE!

School drops archbishop’s name amid sex abuse report fallout — INKLING LEAGUE

HARRISBURG, Pa. – A Roman Catholic high school will shed the name of Washington’s archbishop, who was cited in a sweeping grand jury report as having allowed priests accused of sexually abusing children to be reassigned or reinstated while he was Pittsburgh’s bishop. The Diocese of Pittsburgh said Wednesday that Washington Cardinal Donald Wuerl made […]

via School drops archbishop’s name amid sex abuse report fallout — INKLING LEAGUE

“We’re going to need a bigger boat.” The great white shark that is the corruption that riddles and has riddled the Catholic Church, from top to bottom, won’t all be able to be hunted down and killed, nor can those who are “trying to do good” be confined to a few renamings of schools.

The Catholic Church’s institutional leaders have to do way more than that to manage the damage they’ve inflicted on hundreds of thousands over centuries. Pulling down statues of Confederate “heroes” in the USA will pale in comparison to the backlash that is already being felt all around the world.

Good luck with all that.

Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General dead — CAPIIC

Kofi Annan, the first black African to lead the United Nations, has died at age 80. He served as Secretary-General at a time when worries about the Cold War were replaced by threats of global terrorism, and his efforts to combat those threats and secure a more peaceful world brought him the Nobel Peace Prize. […]

via Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General dead — CAPIIC

 

Just lost another one of the great ones. RIP, Sec-Gen Annan.

The Lies Embedded in MAGA (“Make America Great Again”): America Was Never Great for Everyone

The Lies Embedded in MAGA (“Make America Great Again”): America Was Never Great for Everyone


image from https://andelino.wordpress.com/2016/06/08/america-was-never-great/

Please, could anyone tell me: when was America (the United States of America) “great,” and for whom?

This country’s roots are in repeated and ongoing genocidal elimination, unfair and homicidal immigration policies, stealing children from parents who are powerless to prevent these thefts, and forced involuntary incarceration of those in many groups:
—the indigenous peoples who already occupied these territories
—the Africans stolen from their home countries, imported like material goods, to be slaves and servants
—the poor and homeless people and orphans
—the disabled people, especially those with mental disabilities
—the Japanese who lived in the USA during World War II.


image from http://Historyplex.com

This country has a long and checkered history of unfairly treating women, those who do not own property (even males), anyone without sufficient financial and other resources via a prejudicial criminal justice system.


image from http://Vox.com

People from all backgrounds suffer (but not equally) in the USA by:

  • being excluded from voting by various means;
  • not being paid a “living wage”;
  • not having fair and equal opportunities for education;
  • not having sufficient shelter;
  • not having paid work available;
  • not having access to nutritious, sufficient food;
  • not being able to pursue their passions and dreams due to insufficient resources, advantages, connections and other unequally distributed privileges;
  • having more people, especially children, living in poverty than in many third-world nations;


    image from http://FollowTheMoney.com

  • not having access to adequate or any health care (preventive or treatment-focused);
  • failing to prevent or treat addictions of all types, with rising numbers of opioid addicts;
  • not being treated fairly within our policing and justice system, to the point of premature death and lengthy incarcerations for minor infractions, and having far too many wrongful convictions;
  • not having access to affordable housing;
  • being forced to drink, wash with and use polluted water and breathe polluted air;
  • becoming ill and dying—with little or no recourse or legal protection, once it is known to be needed—from industrial and military pollution of land, water and air;


    image from https://environmentalstudiesblog.wordpress.com/tag/environmental-racism/

  • having pensions, life savings, much or all personal wealth put at risk or eliminated by the still-unpunished and insufficiently regulated financial entities;
  • being at risk because of the USA’s very high rates of infant and maternal mortality;
  • being underserved veterans, with very high rates of suicide;
  • not having access to abortions;
  • being lied to about the “need” for USA’s involvement and not keeping promises made for those who enlist, and sometimes conscripted individuals into almost constant wars, causing many to lose loved ones, their own lives, their limbs, to incur brain damage and psychological trauma, for no apparent purpose except to enrich those who profit from military actions;
  • being lied to, misled, mistreated, abused, exploited, harassed and/or disrespected by almost every major and minor politician, business owner/leader, employer/manager;
  • being targeted unduly by those with authority and/or power in all types of businesses, institutions and police forces/sheriff’s departments


“If we lie to the government, it’s a felony. If the government lies to us, it’s politics.” —Bill Murray

So, please: at what point in the history or current configuration of this country was it “great” for EVERYONE?

Grateful for Musicians, Singers, Musical Leaders who “keep on keeping on” in “The Movement(s)”

Grateful for Musicians/Singers/Leaders
who “keep on keeping on” in “The Movement(s)”


from http://www.lovethispic.com/image/150339/keep-on-keeping-on

I spent a wonderful (but kind of sad; see below) evening last week (Friday, May 4), at Emerson Unitarian Universalist Chapel in St. Charles, Missouri, USA, listening to the fabulous Roy Zimmerman sing, talk, and cleverly satirize many social, political, cultural and legal developments and issues from the last several decades.


Roy Zimmerman, ReZist show, performing in St. Charles, MO, 5/4/18

Roy Zimmerman is the most recent addition to my life’s intentional collection of dozens of extremely talented and special musicians, writers, filmmakers, poets, playwrights, other artists and performers and, of course, political/social leaders who continue to inspire, encourage and demonstrate commitment to whatever movements they believe most in. These often outspoken heroes and heroines also collaborate with and support others day after day, week after week, year after year, decades on decades.

Is there a category—a title—for such a role in our culture? I wish I knew what it is or could invent one. IDEAS HERE, please: http://www.sallyember.com/blog

I wanted to take a moment, here, to name the ones I can remember best who have personally inspired, entertained, encouraged and led me, and without whom I would certainly have given up feeling optimistic and collectively working for positive change a long time ago.

“Big Mike” Lainoff

—My first and most treasured inspiration is the recently-deceased and much-missed former director of the four JCCA (Jewish Community Center Association [of St. Louis]) summer camps I attended as a child and teen: Camp Council (a day camp), and residential Lake of the Ozark area camps, Camp Hawthorn, Red Bud Camp and their successor, Camp Sabra, Harold “Big Mike” Lainoff (I wrote about him prior to this). In addition to being a recreation manager/leader, Big Mike was a gifted guitar player/singer/songleader and storyteller who could captivate, involve and educate a mess hall or a campfire of over a hundred rowdy kids, teens and staff for long periods of time despite pouring rain, high humidity, blazing heat and roaring wind. Amazing.


“Big Mike” Lainoff, circa 1965, Camp Hawthorn, Kaiser, MO (Lake of the Ozarks)

When I first heard Pete Seeger and Woody Guthrie‘s songs and stories, I thought they had stolen them from Big Mike (I was 7 when I met Big Mike…). Later, I realized it was the other way around. But, who cares? Big Mike brought Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, Arlo Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Peter, Paul & Mary, Phil Ochs, John Lennon, Tom Paxton, Donovan, Jackson Browne, Tom Lehrer, Judy Collins, Odetta, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Joni Mitchell and many more USA civil rights’ and social activists’ songwriters’ lyrics and melodies directly to us—mostly Jewish kids, from the suburbs of St. Louis, in the 1960s—while we learned to swim, make campfires, pitch tents, hike, canoe, sail, waterski and so much more.

I grew to love these songs whose lyrics explained class differences, racial injustices, yearnings for peace and equality, deep and abiding love for each other and for a special person, recognitions of mistakes and ways to rectify them, inchoate longings for a better world and to be a better person. I learned the words and melodies and sang them to myself all year long, for decades. I still remember most of them: “Banks of Marble,” “Blowin’ in the Wind,” “Respect,” “The Song is Love,” “Both Sides Now,” “Fountain of Sorrow,” “Changes,” “Peaceful Easy Feeling,” “Reel, Oh Reel,” “Oleanna,” “Ain’t Gonna Study War No More,” “Summertime,” “Leavin’ on a Jet Plane,” “If I Had a Hammer,” “We Shall Overcome,” “There But For Fortune,” “The Draft Dodger’s Rag,” “Imagine,” “One Tin Soldier,” “The Sounds of Silence,” “This Land Is Your Land,” “Universal Soldier,” “Big Yellow Taxi,” “Black and White,” “What Have They Done to the Rain?” “Oh, Freedom,” “Hair,” “The Power and the Glory,” “I Ain’t Marchin’ Any More,” “Waist Deep in the Big Muddy,” “Outside Of A Small Circle Of Friends,” “The Circle Game,” “Fixin’ to Die Rag,” “Turn! Turn! Turn!” “We Shall Not Be Moved,” “Four Strong Winds,” “Where Have All the Flowers Gone?” “I Can’t Help But Wonder (Where I’m Bound),” “The Last Thing on My Mind,” “Ramblin’ Boy,” “Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream,” “Eve of Destruction,” “How Can I Keep From Singing?” “Let There Be Peace on Earth.” I can’t ever list them all.

Big Mike helped create and then raised my social consciousness, informing without indoctrination so that we became subliminally aware of social/political music and key movements: 1963 was the height of the Civil Rights Movement in the USA, and the middle- to late 1960s were the Vietnam War’s protests’ heydays.

I hadn’t yet heard of the Freedom Riders (which was going on every summer I was first at camp!), I was too young to march in anti-war protests (14 in 1968) even if I had known about them. I was old enough to understand “Jim Crow” segregation and discrimination laws in St. Louis, Missouri, and HATED them. Big Mike and other camp songleaders chose songs whose lyrics’ sentiments felt right to me. I needed to sing, to protest, to be wishing and working for everyone’s equality and freedom. I was excited that more people felt that way I did than I had ever known existed.

At the above-mentioned camps, joining and adding to Big Mike‘s contributions, were several talented musical counselors and staff: special shout-outs to the Kean brothers, Ron and the late Mike (“Nix”); the cook, Maxine; “Fitz“; “Howdy” (Howard Schwartz) and “Twinkle” (Laura Resnick), for international and Israeli folk dancing fun; and, so many more, for adding to the songs and artistic experiences.

Big Mike‘s stories and songs my nascent ideas about social justice, fairness, anti-racism, anti-war, collaborating for peace and practicing nonviolence were developed and nurtured first. Blessings on Big Mike and his inspirations as well as his heirs and successors, forever.

Some places and people are pivotal in our lives, right? These people formed the foundations for mine, preparinhg me for the ones who came later.


Further creating a foundation and launching me into adulthood was a group of people I met in several places in the late 1970s in New England. Many of these key people lived at/founded or attended events at Boston’s mid-1970s spin off of Project Place, the Another Place Conference Center in Greenville, New Hampshire, and its spin-off, Spring Hill, Massachusetts, were then and later became great leaders of artistic social and political movements, personal growth and community-building for me and many others. Here are the “stars,” below.

Robert Gass

—It was through Another Place that I got to go to Spring Hill and meet Robert Gass and The Wings of Song band. Briefly, I performed with and sang in the band’s chorus (I am listed as “Sallie Fleishmann [neither name spelled correctly] on their first album, Many Blessings, pressed in 1980). Singing with this chorus was my first experience of spiritual uplifting through song. It had happened without my understanding it through some camp songs; Robbie‘s songs were intentionally written and selected to raise up the singers and the listeners, the audience and the dancers. We were inspired, connecting, infused with desires to serve and to love.

Robbie and his wife, Judith Ansara (Epstein) and a few others, created the formats for the popular personal growth Opening the Heart workshops (which I attended with my then-partner in 1979) which morphed into their current work, Sacred Union. Robert (as he became known, later) still sings, makes albums and leads people to inner and outer growth (now living in Colorado). Judith is also a dancer and a poet.


Robert Gass, circa 1989

I still hum and sing some of Wings of Song‘s tunes/songs to myself, but I can’t find my favorite anywhere online or for sale. Sad.

“Not My Will, but Thine” is the first line of the chorus, but I don’t know what title the song actually has. Perhaps “Teach Me to Love,” or “Kindle my Heart’s Flame” (all in the lyrics)?

If you know where to find a recording of this song, please email me at sallyember AT yahoo DOT com

Medicine Story

—I also met Medicine Story (Manitonquat, Francis Story Talbot) at Another Place in 1978. He is an author and storyteller as well as Native American activist who also lived at Another Place. Story, with his then-wife, Emmy (Emilia) “Rainwalker” Ianniello and their first son, formed the nucleus of the second of my many communal households in New England. Story and Emmy introduced me and dozens of others to Native American sweat lodges (building, experiencing ceremonies in, learning about) and to living in wiki-ups (outdoor structures more sturdy than tents), as well as to praying and connecting with the earth and animals and many other sacred rituals, origin songs and songs/chants.

Add these sweat lodge experiences to my Finnish saunas in Rhode Island (1977-78) and the Dutch-esque saunas at Stepping Stone Farm in the 1980s. When I went camping with some friends in the 1980s and 1990s (before hypertension took me out of the game) who were offering sweat lodges, they wondered how a Jewish girl from St. Louis knew so much about how to build them, use them, be in them? Why was I so comfortable with nudity in high heat and various ceremonial rituals that involved sweating and chanting? I mentally thanked Emmy and Medicine Story.

We would go into the sweat lodge to settle conflicts, build teams, get inspiration, celebrate a birth or birthday, prepare for a marriage, strengthen commitments, purify, cleanse, dream, remember, honor, be grateful, grieve, pray, sing and chant. Some participants used mind-altering substances in small amounts before or during; I did not. Many would fast beforehand; it’s recommended not to go into a sweat lodge on a full stomach.

This photo, below, is of a sweat lodge that looks a lot like the ones we built.


image from and FMI: https://adventure.howstuffworks.com/sweat-lodge.htm

If you’ve never built, prepared and then been in a sweat lodge, it’s probably impossible to imagine how close relative strangers can get and the kind of bonding that occurs during such experiences: unmatched.

Story and his second wife, Ellika Lindén, a playwright, actor, director, and collaborator, created Circle Way and currently travel around the globe to raise awareness of earth-related preservation and community-building.


Medicine Story and Ellika Linden

Bill Whyte and Katie Schwerin

—Several other songleaders, ritual organizers and community activists lived at and were my friends from that era, including those who shared our first New Hampshire collective household with Story, Emmy and their first son. Katie Schwerin and Bill Whyte and Katie’s daughter joined our group to live in Sharon, NH, in 1978-79.

In addition to learning many songs and chants from each of them, I also credit them with showing me how to live collectively, since we shared a household for two more years after that in several SW NH locations. We were pregnant at the same time and had our two home births (Katie‘s second; Bill‘s first and my only) in one of those homes in 1979-80 in Stoddard, NH. Katie and Emmy, with Cindy Dunleavy, all lay midwives, then (Cindy still delivers babies), attended the homebirth of our son.

Katie, along with director an co-creator, Pamela Faith Lerman (also someone I met in 1978 at Another Place), with about eight other women and I were in a show in Peterborough, NH, in 1980 that included poetry, songs and dramatic scenes from many feminist artists and sources, a fundraiser for a women’s health center we were trying to start for the Monadnock region.

Katie and Bill also founded and, with two of their adult daughters, operate the family-friendly Badger Balm, a “B” (Benefit” Corporation, that “makes certified organic and all-natural body & skin care products including healing balms, natural sunscreens, skin moisturizers, muscle rubs, aromatherapy and other personal care products,” Bill Whyte and Katie Schwerin, who run the business with their award-winning two daughters, Emily Schwerin-Whyte and Rebecca Hamilton.


Badger Balm‘s 2016 founders, family and staff

Katie and Bill taught me a lot about organic food (gardening and cooking), herbal and natural healing, nutrition, raising children respectfully and living collectively, starting me on a life-long path in those areas, beginning in 1978. Bill also introduced me to creative visualization and “green” building via his company, Whyte Light Builders.

Additionally, Katie brought Waldorf education (Rudolf Steiner’s schools) and the Unitarian Universalist (UU) community into our family’s life. Because of her influence and connections, I was hired to accompany the Eurythmy movement program classes for one year, in 1987, at the newly created Monadnock Waldorf School in Keene, NH, where we then lived. The following year, our son attended the Monadnock Waldorf School from 3rd – 8th grades (1988-1994). I took over the Director of Religious Education (DRE) position at the Keene UU Church in 1988 from her when Katie left on maternity leave and then to go back to school for her master’s in Waldorf education, where I stayed until 1990, when I decided to return school to get my master’s and doctorate in education myself.

FUN FACTS:
1) The Monadnock Waldorf School‘s Eurythmy teacher then is the mother of ER and The Good Wife star, actor, Julianna Margulies;
2) Before he became my Buddhist teacher, Wyn Fischel (Lama Drimed)’s first wife, Susan, was a Eurythmy teacher;
3) Before I met him, Wyn taught woodworking at the other nearest Waldorf school, Pine Hill, in Wilton, NH.
4) For several dramatic productions, both I and my then-partner, Christopher Briggs Ember, helped with music, blocking, directing, make-up and other aspects of the plays for Monadnock Waldorf School.

It is not an exaggeration to say that my entire adult life would have been different (and much smaller and less satisfying) had I not had the great good fortune to become involved with the Schwerin-Whyte family. I am so grateful to know them. We all had so much hope, optimism, energy, faith…

Mario Cossa

Katie is also a performer whose interest in drama brought me to my long-time collaboration with Mario Cossa, playwright, actor, performer, dancer, singer, lyricist, songwriter, director, choreographer, and nonprofit manager who became a counselor and then psychodramatist.

Mario Cossa is yet another person I met at Another Place in 1978 whose contact with me altered my life’s trajectory profoundly and for the better.

Because of and often with Mario, I was able to earn money through part-time and full-time work in areas I loved and have many amazing experiences, including:

  • working in several youth-serving nonprofits;
  • co-writing and -directing, performing in, narrating/facilitating audience-interactive performances for and touring with several plays and dozens of improvisational scenes (the play I wrote, Crystal Dreams, won a prize that featured a performance of it at a professional public theatre, the Portsmouth Theatre-By-The-Sea, in 1984);


    Cast of Crystal Dreams, 1984

  • learning to tap dance;
  • learning some A.S.L. (American Sign Language) and using it in a few plays;
  • learning to and performing as a clown;
  • becoming involved in Co-Counseling International (CCI);
  • meeting Caroline Myss, who became a close friend of mine for many years;
  • practicing and learning more about conflict resolution and mediation;
  • improving my storytelling and writing;
  • expanding my repertoire for improvisational acting;
  • learning about and leading prevention/mitigation and education groups on topics ranging from substance/alcohol abuse/use, pregnancy postponement, HIV/AIDs, suicide, teen homelessness/running away, Tourette’s Syndrome, learning and behavioral disorders to family systems conflicts;
  • co-leading groups for kids, youth & adults/families that utilized expressive arts;
  • participating in collaborations with other organizations and individuals;
  • becoming more familiar with and meeting/working with interns and faculty at Antioch/New England Graduate School who were part of the Dance Movement Therapy profession (which my daughter-in-law graduated from in 2016, over twenty-five years after my first exposure to it);
  • taking groups of students to see live musical theatre productions in Boston and New York City for several years (we saw Rent, Big, Miss Saigon, and a murder mystery audience-interactive play whose name I can’t remember);
  • conducting ethnographic research on gender and sexual orientation social identities that became the basis of my dissertation for my doctorate degree;
  • co-writing, editing and figuring out how to get our nonfiction book about improvisational scenework for educational groups published, in 1996 (my first traditional publishing credit): Acting Out: The Workbook–A Guide To The Development and Presentation of Issue-Oriented, Audience-Interactive, Improvisational Theatre
  • editing and assisting with other pieces and books Mario wrote which also were published in the 1990s and 2000s;


    Acting Out book cover

  • learning to write grants (to solicit funding from individual donations and family foundations for as low as $50 to multi-million/multi-agency federal proposals);
  • developing/designing and implementing program evaluations;
  • preparing and managing budgets; and,
  • working in outreach/marketing for nonprofits (something I did for many years for several other nonprofits).

Mario founded and runs Motivational Arts Unlimited, based in Bali, Indonesia, and travels around the globe doing psychodrama and sociodrama trainings, educational programs and certifications.


Mario Cossa, circa 2008

More in each about the impact, feelings, uses, singing spiritually

Holly Near

Ellen Fleischmann, my singer/songwriter, conductor/pianist middle sister, introduced me to Holly Near in 1978. THANK YOU, again!

I had told my sister that I was bored and needed music because I worked as a packer for a wholesaler/warehouse that packaged and shipped herbs, spices and essential oils to specialty and health food shops all around the USA, Attar, in New Ipswich, New Hampshire. I spent 30 hours each week NOT using my college degree in elementary education, having been burned by several jobs and needing a break. All day, I hefted huge barrels, bags and bottles and wrestled their contents into smaller containers/bags, boxed, labeled and prepared the boxes for shipping. I was usually there alone since it was a “mom-and-pop” shop and they had a young child. So, very under-stimulated, I craved music. Ellen sent me tapes from her dorm room at Brown University to play on my boom box.

—Oh, Holly! What a revelation it was to hear Holly Near‘s amazing voice, lyrics and energy pouring into my otherwise silent space. She also sent me tapes of James Taylor, Carole King and a few others, but it was Holly I kept coming back to and memorizing. “It Could Have Been Me,” from A Live Album, 1974, inspired by the government-sanctioned murders of college students at Kent State University in Ohio during an anti-Vietnam War demonstration in 1970, made me cry, rage and want to continue to/return to ACT UP.

Her songs included sentiments about being bisexual and discovering her love for women for the first time in “Imagine my Surprise,” moved me because it spoke directly of my experiences. After my male partner and I had a child, her song “Started Out Fine,” made me laugh and cry. So many songs, so many inspirations, such great lyrics.

Holly‘s songs have supported and propelled movements, such as the “zipper” song (we can insert other lyrics in key places and keep singing): “We are a gentle, angry people, and we are singing, singing for our lives,” which became the AIDS’ activists’ anthem and the LGBT-rights’ marching song. I also memorized and sang, often:

We will have peace;
we will because we must;
we must because we cherish life, and believe or not, as daring as it may seem, it is not an empty dream, to walk in a powerful path;
either the first nor the last, on the Great Peace March:
Life is a great and mighty march.
Forever, for love and tor life, on the Great Peace March.

from “The Great Peace March,” by Holly Near

I listened to Holly for several more albums/years, but never got to see her live. UNTIL I found out that my good friend, the dearly missed Jaye Alper (her death anniversary/Yahrzeit was this past Tuesday, 5/8/18; gone 6 years; I miss her all the time), had a connection. Her mother, Jackie Alper, had been an original member of the singing group, The Weavers, which had included Ronnie Gilbert, Lee Hays, Fred Hellerman , and Pete Seeger (Jackie had left the group to stop touring when she became pregnant with Jaye and to help fight the HUAC (McCarthy-era “witch hunts”).


Jackie Alper, Ronnie Gilbert, Pete Seeger,
the remaining Weavers, reunited, circa 1998.

Jackie had stayed active in the social justice/women’s music scene, having her own radio show (“Mostly Folk” on WRPI) for decades, helping start and run the Old Songs Festival (see below) in the Albany area, and staying friends with “Aunt” Ronnie, as Jaye knew her.

In the 1990s, Jaye contacted Ronnie, since Ronnie was performing, making albums and touring with Holly, and they were coming to the Boston area (where Jaye then lived). Jaye brought me backstage to meet them. I stood, starstruck, as Jaye and Ronnie hugged and talked. Holly was standing in the doorway, smiling at me and eating spaghetti, which she offered (I declined).

Holly Near, 1970


Holly Near, 2017

Holly started Redwood Records in 1972, “to produce and promote music by ‘politically conscious artists from around the world.'” She has included so many political activists/musicians on her albums, tours, and concert stages over the decades, many of which I was lucky enough to attend.

I learned a lot more about or heard for the first time the musicians affiliated with dozens of worthy causes around the world, their songs and political/social movements in the USA and elsewhere, that I never would have, otherwise, through Holly and her musical colleagues, including:
—the late Pete Seeger,
Arlo Guthrie,
—the late Mercedes Sosa,
Bernice Johnson Reagon (of Sweet Honey in the Rock),
Bonnie Raitt,
Jackson Browne
Holly Near, Arlo Guthrie, Ronnie Gilbert and Pete Seeger performed as HARP to raise money for various causes,
Meg (Shambhavi) Christian,
Cris Williamson,
Linda Tillery,
Joan Baez,
—the late Phil Ochs,
Harry Belafonte,
Emma’s Revolution (which includes Pat Humphries), and
Inti-Illimani.

Beyond being a renowned and beloved singer songwriter, Holly is a former TV/film/Broadway star and ongoing political activist, still going strong at age 68. Holly Near has mentored dozens of others (see below) and continues to fill my life with inspiration and songs. THANK YOU!

In addition to introducing me directly to Holly Near, Jaye and Jackie Alper had invited me and my family to the Albany-area’s annual Old Songs Festival (officially, the Old Songs Festival of Traditional Music and Dance in Altamont, NY) where we got in free to help Jaye (as “Crystal,” the name she had gone by in the 1970s) sell iced tea and her famous baklava, chocolava and maplelava each June. The musicians there played music which has often been featured or discussed in Sing Out! magazine walked amongst and camped with us. We encountered, met, had lunches with and heard the late Utah Phillips, Sally Rogers, The Amidon Family, Arlo Guthrie, Pat Humphries, Cheryl Wheeler, John McCutcheon, Tom Chapin, and many more. Quite a scene, for a folk music lover like me!

Olivia Records

Beyond and including Holly Near, I met fans of “women’s music” through friends, lovers, colleagues and family members throughout the 1980s and 1990s, attending many concerts/performances and enjoying festivals outdoors when possible, which expanded my repertoire to include Margie Adam. “The Unicorn Song,” “We Shall Go Forth,” “We Are The Women We’ve Been Waiting For,” “Sweet Friend of Mine,’ and many excellent piano-accompanied songs became favorites I learned to sing and play on the piano (and lead in sing-alongs, sometimes).

After I moved to California in 2002, I went to many concerts and performances that featured Holly 9she lived about an hour from where I lived) and felt lucky to be able to see her perform and hear her speak so often. She was always on top of knowing what cause needed championing, available for fundraisers, awareness-raising shows and gatherings of all kinds. Holly always remembered me; in the smaller venues, she would smile and come over to say “hello” after her last encore. Before the spring of 2012 (when Jaye passed away), she had always asked about Jaye.

Both Jaye and Jackie had passed on before Pete Seeger (who left us in the winter of 2014), so I went to the Freight & Salvage in Berkeley to attend the tribute concert for Pete, which Ronnie, ill and using a cane, also performed in and which Holly was the emcee and main performer for; Holly and Ronnie had organized most of it. During intermission, Holly came over to me and we shared a few tears and a hug. What treasures these people are/were!

Cris Williamson, solo and with Meg Christian, Teresa Trull, Tret Fure, Barbara Higbie, Linda Tillery, Lucie Blue Tremblay, and many more great women musicians, brought me and my family the inspiring and beautiful, fun-to-sing songs from Cris‘ albums, The Changer and the Changed and the musical play, Lumiere, and other amazing songs, like “Waterfall,” “The Changer and The Changed,’ “The Rock Will Wear Away,” “Lullaby” (“Like a Ship in the Harbor”), and “Lean On Me (I Am Your Sister).”


Meg & Cris at Carnegie Hall, 1982, album cover

I learned so much about feminism, bisexuality, intersectionality, positive parenting, social activism, many types of love, community and collective efforts from these wonderful musicians.

—The talented brothers, the late Happy Traum and the late Artie Traum were some of the musicians I met when I worked at Camp Med-O-Lark in Washington, Maine, in the early 1980s, because of my enduring friendship with yet again a contact from Another Place from 1978, Zea Moore. In addition to getting me and my then-partner two wonderful summers with jobs at this camp (because her then-partner, Neal Goldberg, owned and directed it), Zea introduced me to Wiccan & Goddess Chants, Libana, and so much more of the newly emerging women’s spirituality music and rituals.

Civil Rights, Environmental/Social Activist Musicians & Storytellers

Thanks to these live music venues, without whom I would not have heard most of these singers live: The Folkway (Peterborough, NH), The Iron Horse (Northampton, MA), The Colonial Theatre and the Keene State College’s 1990s Coffeehouse (Keene, NH), The Common Ground (Brattleboro, VT), Temple Mountain Ski Area (Temple, NH, outdoor concerts in the not-snowy weather), Passim Coffeehouse (Cambridge, MA), Brighton Music Hall (Brighton, MA), The Freight & Salvage (Berkeley, CA), ACTING OUT’s 1990s coffeehouse series (Keene, NH), and many more.

PLUS, radio stations that play and support “Americana,” “Women’s Music,” “Folk Music,” and many other overlapping genres that play music to inspire and activate us all. Here are some: KPFA (“Across the Great Divide” and “American’s Back 40” are my favorites, there); KRCB (used to have many shows; now, not so many); other NPR affiliates, everywhere; KDHX; WRSI; college/university radio stations also often have shows/D.J.s that feature great music like this. Check our your local or online options.

SUPPORT LIVE MUSIC!
—If you haven’t heard Christine Lavin‘s story songs, parodies and other political music, please give her a listen!
Please also go find and listen to the songs of any of the amazing individual singer/songwriters/activitists who also sometimes play as the group that includes Lavin, 4 Bitchin’ Babes:


4 Bitchin’ Babes (Christine Lavin, Sally Fingerett, Megon McDonough, Julie Gold), 1993

Patty Larkin (“Not Bad for a Broad,” “Metal Drums”)
Megon McDonough (“Amazing Things,” “Wake Up And Dream”)
Sally Fingerett (“Home is Where the Heart Is,” “Here’s to the Women”)
Julie Gold (“From a Distance,” “America,” “The New World,” “Love is Love is Love,” “Goodnight, New York/Ellis Island”)
and others have comprised this fun, talented quartet.

Also, these musicians/singers/songwriters are great to find/remember:
Nanci Griffith (“Cold Hearts/Closed Minds,” “If These Old Walls Could Speak”),
Fred Small (who began his career as a lawyer and later became a Unitarian Universalist minister and climate change activist/leader; “Peace Is,” “Only Love,” “No More Vietnams,” “The Peace Dragon”),
Judy Small (unrelated to Fred, and a judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia who was previously an Australian entertainer, folk singer, songwriter, and guitarist. Known for her feminist, often patriotic, and political songs, usually following a traditional theme, she produced twelve albums) (“You Don’t Speak for Me,” “How Many Times?” “Montreal, December ’89 (What is it about men?”),
—the late Rosalie Sorrels (“I am a Union Woman,” “Always a Lady,” “The Baby Rocking Medley”),
—the late Stan Rogers (“The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” “The Mary Ellen Carter”),
RosenShontz, Bill Shontz and the late Gary Rosen (“Hugga Hugga,” “Share It!”)
Betsy Rose (“I Can’t Imagine Life Without … (Popcorn),” “For the Mothers,” “Welcome to the Circle,” and who shares others’ songs, such as, “Return Again,” “Sending You the Light”),
—the late Malvina Reynolds (“Little Boxes,” “It Isn’t Nice,” “Turn Around,” “What Have They Done to the Rain?” “Magic Penny”),
—the late Peggy Seeger (half-sister to Pete, full sister to Mike) (“I Want to be an Engineer”),
—the late Dave van Ronk,”The Mayor of MacDougal Street,” who re-arranged and covered many “traditional” and others’ songs so well,
Gould and Stearns (Stephen Stearns and Peter Gould),
Ani DiFranco, founder/owner of Righteous Babe record label, a la Redwood Records and Oliva Records,
Ruth Pelham, founder of “The Music Mobile,” which “brought singalongs, simple musical instrument construction, merriment and a message of hope to generations of youths at inner-city parks” in the Albany area for 39 years (“Look to the People,” “The Turning of the World,” “Under One Sky”),
Bill Staines (“The Roseville Fair,” “A Place in the Choir,” “Child of Mine,” “River”),
David Mallett (“The Garden Song,” “Open Doors and Windows,” Parallel Lives”),
The Roches–Maggie, Terre, and Suzzy Roche (“Dear Mr. Sellack,” “Another World”),
Eric Bogle (“The Band Played ‘Waltzing Matilda,'” “No Man’s Land/The Green Fields of France”),
Cosy Sheridan (“Quietly Led,” “The Losing Game,” “Sharp Objects”)
Catie Curtis (“People Look Around,” “Truth from Lies”),
Dar Williams (“When I Was A Boy,” “The Christians and the Pagans”),
Lucy Kaplansky (“This Morning I am Born Again,” “Reunion”),
Susan Werner (“Sunday Morning,” “Help Somebody,” “Heaven So Small,” “Did Trouble Me”),
Cry Cry Cry, = Dar Williams, Lucy Kaplansky and Richard Shindell, with many others accompanying/doing back-up vocals (“Arrowhead,” “Ascent” — Shindell; “I Know What Kind of Love This Is,” “Fall on Me”—Cry Cry Cry),
Molly Scott—not the politician! (“Centering Home,” “We Are All One Planet”),
Si Kahn (“Gone, Gonna Rise Again,” “Aragon Mill”),
Sarah Pirtle (“Earth, My Body” and more, here: http://sarahpirtle.com/hope-sings/index.htm)
Susan Osborne, Paul Winter, David Darling and the rest of the Paul Winter Consort,


image of Paul Winter Consort band, circa 1978, from http://www.paulwinter.com/the-consort/

and many others previously mentioned in this post or which you find while wandering around YouTube and the internet listening to these. These singers/musicians share songs that are inspiring, moving, intelligent, funny, thought-provoking and insightful as well as musically very fine.

—There are many ministers, singers and song leaders I met through the Unitarian Universalist (UU/UUA) Association’s events and fellowships/churches, starting with Rev. Rick Paine (co-founder of Spring Hill and co-creator of the Opening the Heart workshops, with Robert Gass, Judith Epstein and others) and Rev. Sydney Amara Morris (co-founder of Another Place, with Bill Whyte and Mark Sarkady). Later, I met and sang with Nick Page (who doesn’t love to sing “More Love”?), and so many others. In 2011, the UUA published a great compilation of their music, 50 YEARS OF UU MUSIC, available here: https://www.uua.org/ga/past/2011/worship/185029.shtml , which features “Let It Be a Dance”). Also, check here: https://www.uua.org/worship/music and here: http://www.recessionals.org/ and here: https://www.uua.org/worship/music/hymnals

—Have to mention the great storyteller, singer, performer, Jay O’Callahan, since his stories and songs kept us happy on long car trips across the country in the 1980s, and we got to see him perform live in Boston during that time.

A Cappella Women’s and Other Choruses Respecting Socially Conscious Diversity

—I sang with and joined several choirs that are part of the Threshold Choirs as founded and formatted by Kate Munger,who led two groups I was part of in California in the mid 2000s. If you know someone ill, dying, or giving birth, that is the time these singers will come when asked (if there is a choir near you): A Capella singing at its best.

—The A Cappella singing of the singers of Sweet Honey in the Rock inspired many women to start community women’s choruses, and I was lucky enough to belong to two: the /Brattleboro Women’s Chorus, founded and conducted by Becky Graber, and Keene, NH’s Animaterra Women’s Chorus, founded and conducted by Allison Aldrich Smith (but now also conducted by Becky since 2016, after Allison moved to Maine), in the 1990s.

I miss those groups a lot and have never found any like them since then that met close enough to other places I have lived. If you are looking for a women’s chorus like these, check out this site and see if you get fortunate enough to live near one!

The Sister Singers Network is an international, “cooperative web of feminist choruses and ensembles, composers, arrangers, and individual singers working together to support and enrich the women’s choral movement.”
http://www.sistersingers.net/index.shtml#.WvNEeKQvypo

The Threshold Choirs (see above) are a part of this network, but have a specific mission.

[NOTE: I found and temporarily joined Charis: The St. Louis Women’s Chorus here in St. Louis, MO, and it is all females (except for the conductor, which I found odd), but the style, the music, the format, the ambiance weren’t at all like the A Cappella choirs in New England that I’d loved, so I dropped out after a few months. Not for me. Many love it, though, so if you’re local, you should try it out!]


As I said at the beginning of this post, this is what I meant when I said that attending and listening to Roy Zimmerman‘s lyrics and being at that performance was somewhat sad, bittersweet, in this horribly disappointing, discouraging, horrifying period in our lives.

Our generation, and specifically, some of the people I knew and admired enough to mention in this and other posts, HAVE accomplished a lot. However, so much of what we fought for and won is threatened, unraveling, already destroyed beyond repair: it’s happening RIGHT NOW.

What else can do besides sing, listen to and make music? VOTE! ORGANIZE! MARCH! OBJECT! RESIST! Please?

I end with this, one of my favorites, written by Sally Rogers, who also gives us “What Can One Little Person Do?” “In the Name of All of Our Children,” and so many more great songs,

“Love Will Guide Us”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8xWMnf9SYjo or

#TEDGlobal2017 line-up, here

On August 27, 2017, an extraordinary group of people gathered in Arusha, Tanzania, for TEDGlobal 2017, a four-day TED Conference for “those with a genuine interest in the betterment of the continent,” said curator Emeka Okafor. As Okafor put it: “Africa has an opportunity to reframe the future of work, cultural production, entrepreneurship, agribusiness. We…

via Sneak preview lineup unveiled for Africa’s next TED Conference — TED Blog