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!

Why I write about #politics, #elections, #issues and support Emily’s List #feminist #candidates

I WILL write about #politics, #elections, #issues and support Emily’s List #feminist #candidates…and so should you!

feminist activist causes
image from: http://www.list.co.uk

Maybe you think “social media” should just be for posting pictures that are funny or cute. Maybe you don’t want to offend or alienate anyone. Maybe you’re a coward. Maybe you’re undecided. Maybe you’re ignorant and don’t know enough about anything political to write about it. Whatever your reasons or rationales, cut it out.

If you are a USA citizen or a citizen of any country that allows you to vote and you do not exercise that duty and right for EVERY election, informing yourself (which is easier to do than ever before with information EVERYWHERE) and taking a stand on candidates and issues as adults who care are motivated to do, than I want you reading this post to inspire and educate yourself.

If you’re already politically active and savvy, great: SHARE!

First of all, there is a sea of candidates out there for almost every elected post and many campaigns of mis- and dis-information attempting to muddy the waters further. What’s an interested, concerned citizen to do? Utilize the groups that vet candidates and issues FOR us, that’s what. Find a group/entity who screens, analyzes, evaluates and presents, according to YOUR values and interests, those you’d want to vote for, complete with reasons, and information about whom and what to vote against as well.

Propaganda v science
image from: http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com

Better yet, if you’re so inclined, RUN for office. Offer yourself to serve on a Board or Commission. Join/donate to/volunteer for a local or state chapter of the League of Women Voters, the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), the National Organization for Women (NOW), or whatever else strikes your fancy. Start small and keep going, because city council members, school board members, mayors, sheriffs, judges and many others in local offices later become state or federal senators, congressional representatives for the state or federal government, state governors, Supreme Court judges, presidents!

As a life-long feminist committed to environmental, social, educational and other more radical values/components that mesh with my Buddhist, nonviolent foundations, I choose appropriate news sources (mostly nonprofits to boot) to help me learn and decide.

Here are a few I use and recommend:

  • Emily’s List http://www.emilyslist.org/, whose mission is: “We elect pro-choice Democratic women to office.”
  • Mother Jones magazine http://www.motherjones.com/, which has been analyzing and reporting from the center of core issues, reporting what many do NOT report and reporting truthfully, paid off by NO ONE, for decades
  • B*TCH Media, whose tagline is “Outsmart the Patriarchy,” which I love even though I do not like their name, and whose mission is to respond to “pop culture,” but does so much more than that http://bitchmagazine.org/
  • The Daily KOS, which has a weekly open thread on ELECTIONS, and with whom I often disagree but respect http://www.dailykos.com/
  • Amy Goodman, Juan Gonzales and the team at Democracy NOW!, independent, ad-free, on TV and public radio http://www.democracynow.org
  • Dissident Voice, which is “a radical [online] newspaper in the struggle for peace and justice,” that sees itself as providing “hard-hitting, thought-provoking and even entertaining news and commentaries on politics and culture that can serve as ammunition in struggles for peace and social justice.” http://dissidentvoice.org/
  • Upworthy.com, which is a curation site, gathering from many sources, including YOU, if you submit, to re-present “things that matter.” http://www.upworthy.com/
  • The Feminist Wire, with an inspiring and laudable mission: “to provide socio-political and cultural critique of anti-feminist, racist, and imperialist politics pervasive in all forms and spaces of private and public lives of individuals globally. Of particular critical interest to us are social and political phenomena that block, negate, or limit the satisfaction of goods or ends that humans, especially the most vulnerable, minimally require for living free of structural violence. The Feminist Wire seeks to valorize and sustain pro-feminist representations and create alternative frameworks to build a just and equitable society.” http://thefeministwire.com/

JFK quote
image made from John F. Kennedy quote

What else can we/should we do, if you believe, as I do, that change is necessary and that many important changes do occur via our elections and efforts in those directions? Here are some ideas. Comment and add your own, please! http://www.sallyember.com/blog

  • Some of you are lucky enough to have an alternative newspaper right in your area, still publishing in print and/or online (The Valley Advocate (New England, USA sites), The Bohemian (CA, USA, San Francisco Bay Area and Central Coast sites), The Boston Phoenix, Women’s Voices Magazine (many locations around the world) are some of my favorites).
    Read them. Subscribe. Submit comments online. Submit “Letters to the Editor.” Tell others. Buy ad space. Distribute or allow your business to become a site for distribution.

  • Donate to and support National and local Public Radio, Pacifica Radio, other alternative online or actual broadcasting entities. They are fewer and further between than ever and are always operating on shoestring budgets with many volunteers. YOU could volunteer!
  • Maybe you want to get your news from a culturally, ethnically or group-specific source, like Al Jazeera, The Advocate (LGBTQIQ), Univision, The St. Louis Jewish Light, Black Press USA, or whichever you prefer.
    Support them. Donate. Buy ad space. Volunteer. Comment online. Support their advertisers.

social change
image from: http://mariamuir.com

Use my sources and ideas or get your own, but get informed and work for the candidates you support, for the issues that matter to you.

It is UNACCEPTABLE to be passive and silent, more worried more about being controversial than effecting necessary changes. Be bold! Just because you are an artistic sort doesn’t mean you get to hide!

artist as activist
image made from quote by Larry Neal

Get involved. March. Demonstrate. Speak. Donate. Host. Participate. Invite. Write. Solicit.

VOTE!!!!!

Want to Make A Difference? RUN!

North Bay, CA Peeps: inspired by today’s elections (frustrated or elated)? DO SOMETHING!

Women’s Global Leadership Initiative (WGLI) and local partners have come together to support and inspire the development of new leaders in the North Bay, CA, area (Sonoma County)!

The Rise Up Now (RUN) Forum is about becoming informed, knowing what you have to offer and taking the next steps!

Come and enjoy a day of inspiring speakers, lunch and being in the company of those who have passion to make things happen.

The RUN Forum provides attendees with the opportunity to learn what it takes to make a difference in their communities by joining committees, commissions, and boards.

Open to all in the North Bay, CA, area and close by who want to make a difference!

ONLY 2 DAYS LEFT TO REGISTER

Please share this important info.

RUN Flyer Nov 8, 2014 real

Go to http://www.wgli.org to register today!

Cost: $25.00, Student $15.00 lunch included.

For more info or to request for scholarship, call or email Wanda Tapia at 707-935-8532, wtapia@latinoserviceproviders.org

No Woman Wants to Have An Abortion, but We MUST Support EVERY Woman’s Right To Choose

No Woman Wants to Have An Abortion, but
We MUST Support EVERY Woman’s Right To Choose

Of course that is true. Books about women’s experiences in choosing to have an abortion, having it, living with the decision, have these titles:

In Necessity and Sorrow, Peace after an Abortion, Healing after an Abortion, Dealing with the Emotional Aftermath of an Abortion, and similar.

Why in 2014, DECADES AFTER after the clarity of the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v Wade, is women’s right-to-choose to terminate a pregnancy in the USA even in question?

Here is one main reason: MEN. More than a few very loud, conservative/reactionary, unfeeling, uncaring, ignorant and idiotic men. I call these men names with great care: they deserve every one of these appellations.

Men do not get pregnant

image from http://msmagazine.com

Last winter, Republican Allan Rothlisberg (Junction City, CA) who serves on a major House Committee (Commerce, Labor and Economic Development), stated: “If I was a woman over 50, I wouldn’t need gynecological services” (1/14/14). Bad grammar aside, the guy is a moron when it comes to women’s health care requirements.

Unfortunately, he is TYPICAL of the men in leadership positions spouting garbage. Offensive ridiculousness comes regularly out of those such as Todd Akin (R-Missouri), who invented the delightful term “legitimate rape” and claimed that there is no need for abortion to be legal in the case of rape because “women can just shut that down,” meaning, decide not to become fertilized, when we are raped.

I am not making this up.

Here is the other reason: RELIGION. Or, rather, the co-optation of Christian religious tenets and beliefs, tailoring and lying about the original teachings to “support” their platform. Nevermind that the same people who call themselves “pro-life” vote down tax increases or any funding for FEEDING, HOUSING, EDUCATING, and MAINTAINING HEALTH for actual, living children and adults, and that these same politicians and their supporters also want to exclude immigrants all together from ALL services. So much for being “pro-life” or even following their own Christian precepts.

Jesus policy preferences

image from http://www.criminalizeconservatism.com

As we approach another election, one in which the entire House of Representatives is up for grabs (and this part of Congress is the most culpable when it comes to misappropriation of politics and abusing their power in the name of religion), some facts seem important to know regarding abortion, a key issue (again). Please share. Please talk about this. I know I’m probably “preaching to the choir,” but we all have friends and relatives who could be better informed, and we ALL need to VOTE!

Who gets abortions in the USA?

What are the ages of women having abortions?

Anti-choice marketers would have us believe that most abortion-seekers are “irresponsible teenagers” who need “counseling” and “guidance,” implying that ignorance, carelessness, selfishness and a wanton disregard for life are influencing circumstances and driving abortion decisions.

However (big shock), they are incorrect. Only a small percentage (0.4%) of females who obtained abortions in this time period were under 15 years old. Interestingly, almost equal percentages (7 – 8%) were for women ages 15 – 17 and also for women 35-39. What types of circumstances and emotional characteristics could these demographic groups have in common, besides having an unwanted pregnancy?

ages of women abortion

82% of the women who had abortions in the 11-year period, 1999-2010, were between the ages of 18 – 34, with 34% as the largest single group, and it was for women ages 20 – 24.

Unsurprisingly, “older” women (NOT “ignorant” or in need of “guidance”) also get pregnant and decided to terminate the pregnancy: about 3% were over 40 years old.

What the reasons women choose abortion?

The conservative, anti-choice movement wants us to believe that the “primary” reasons for women’s choosing abortion are “selfish” and therefore not to be supported by law or community attitude. Their pie chart tries to illustrate that “most” women who have abortions do so because a pregnancy comes at the “wrong time” and /or they are “not ready” to have a child at that time. Even so, by their own research (which is questionable), only about one-quarter (27%) of the women gave that as their “primary” reason.

However, look at what the other survey options were and you can understand how so many chose the “not ready” category:

  • “Lack of maturity” Who is going to self-select that reason? Very few: 8%
  • “Relationship Issues” This is so broad as to be almost useless as a survey option. Only 9% selected this.
  • “Fetal Health Concerns” and “Maternal Health Concerns” each received about the same, 3% – 4%, matching “School or Career Concerns” with 4% as well. These combined total about 12%, or one-eighth of the respondents.
  • “Can’t afford the baby” (whose wording is already emotionally loaded, labeling the fetus a “baby” and then impugning the woman’s financial status at the same time) still garnered an almost equal percentage to those who said they weren’t “ready,” at 25%.
  • “Finished childbearing” is fraught with judgment as well, but nonetheless, 20% selected this as their primary reason for terminating the pregnancy.
  • “Rape” unsurprisingly received less than any, at 0.1%, while “Incest” isn’t on this chart (one could argue that all incest is rape, but to exclude it as a reason is significant, since conservatives keep voting down the right to choose, even in the case of rape or incest….).

AbortionReasons

image from http://www.conservapedia.com

The actual facts about USA women and abortion

About half of all women experience at least one unintended pregnancy in our lifetimes. This occurs mostly due to the fact that ALL birth control, even when used correctly and consistently, has a failure rate of at least 1% and most are worse.

Birth control failure rates

image from http://www.abovetopsecret.com

The “Pill,” which is usually thought of as “effective,” fails almost 9% of the time. That means almost 1 out of every 10 women who rely on the Pill for birth control will become pregnant while taking it. In addition to causing all kinds of problems for the women that they were not expecting (no pun intended), pregnant women do not know they are pregnant until many months into the pregnancy (usually when the baby moves), which means the mothers are taking these hormones throughout the crucial first trimester. Birth control pills can have adverse effects on developing fetuses which usually causes birth defects and/or problems for these people later in life because of hormonal imbalances while they were developing in utero. The risk of ectopic pregnancies is also higher in women taking oral contraceptives after conception (which shouldn’t have occurred, but does).

Even worse, women who conceive while using spermicidal forms of birth control are counseled to have abortions because babies born to women using spermicides have astronomical rates of birth defects, up to and including stillbirth. The lesser problems include dwarfism, muscles missing or non-functional (eyelids’ muscles do not work, for example, so the eyes can’t fully open, which, without surgery, leads to blindness in newborns), hip displasia, clubfoot, cleft palate, and worse (New England Journal of Medicine), most of which, if reparable, require one or more surgeries and expensive rehabilitation.

Spermicide problems

image from http://www.nejm.org

Despite these facts, only about one-third of women who unintentionally become pregnant choose to have an abortion. This could be due to the fact that, of those with unintended pregnancies, about 60% already have one child. As I mentioned at the start: NO woman WANTS to have an abortion, and those who have already carried a pregnancy to term, parented a child, are even less likely to terminate. Statistics bear this out: most mothers choose NOT to terminate.

Furthermore, to refute another of the conservatives’ most specious arguments: the majority (73%) of women who choose to terminate a pregnancy ARE “religiously affiliated,” which means we are not ALL “godless heathens” (although, as a Buddhist, I am proud to be “godless” and couldn’t care less about being called a “heathen”).

Abortion stats actual

image from http://naralprochoicewashington.tumblr.com

I could, but I won’t, tell my entire personal story, here. Bare facts: I was “typical” in that I was in my middle-twenties, educated, and pro-child (I was teaching Kindergarten-First Grade at the time). I chose to terminate due to my having been financially and emotionally unready and unable to care for a child at the time I got pregnant, which occurred due to a birth control failure (diaphragm, which has a 4% failure rate).

Please, whatever your story or gender, VOTE in or keep in a pro-choice candidate this November. The right to choose to terminate a pregnancy is a HUMAN right and, unfortunately, sometimes a necessity. Even if the choices are often made in sorrow, they must be safe and legal to make.

Vote smart

image from http://www.kylelife.com

No Woman Wants to Have An Abortion, but We MUST Support EVERY Woman’s Right To Choose

No Woman Wants to Have An Abortion, but
We MUST Support EVERY Woman’s Right To Choose

Of course that is true. Books about women’s experiences in choosing to have an abortion, having it, living with the decision, have these titles:

In Necessity and Sorrow, Peace after an Abortion, Healing after an Abortion, Dealing with the Emotional Aftermath of an Abortion, and similar.

Why in 2014, DECADES AFTER after the clarity of the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v Wade, is women’s right-to-choose to terminate a pregnancy in the USA even in question?

Here is one main reason: MEN. More than a few very loud, conservative/reactionary, unfeeling, uncaring, ignorant and idiotic men. I call these men names with great care: they deserve every one of these appellations.

Men do not get pregnant

image from http://msmagazine.com

Last winter, Republican Allan Rothlisberg (Junction City, CA) who serves on a major House Committee (Commerce, Labor and Economic Development), stated: “If I was a woman over 50, I wouldn’t need gynecological services” (1/14/14). Bad grammar aside, the guy is a moron when it comes to women’s health care requirements.

Unfortunately, he is TYPICAL of the men in leadership positions spouting garbage. Offensive ridiculousness comes regularly out of those such as Todd Akin (R-Missouri), who invented the delightful term “legitimate rape” and claimed that there is no need for abortion to be legal in the case of rape because “women can just shut that down,” meaning, decide not to become fertilized, when we are raped.

I am not making this up.

Here is the other reason: RELIGION. Or, rather, the co-optation of Christian religious tenets and beliefs, tailoring and lying about the original teachings to “support” their platform. Nevermind that the same people who call themselves “pro-life” vote down tax increases or any funding for FEEDING, HOUSING, EDUCATING, and MAINTAINING HEALTH for actual, living children and adults, and that these same politicians and their supporters also want to exclude immigrants all together from ALL services. So much for being “pro-life” or even following their own Christian precepts.

Jesus policy preferences

image from http://www.criminalizeconservatism.com

As we approach another election, one in which the entire House of Representatives is up for grabs (and this part of Congress is the most culpable when it comes to misappropriation of politics and abusing their power in the name of religion), some facts seem important to know regarding abortion, a key issue (again). Please share. Please talk about this. I know I’m probably “preaching to the choir,” but we all have friends and relatives who could be better informed, and we ALL need to VOTE!

Who gets abortions in the USA?

What are the ages of women having abortions?

Anti-choice marketers would have us believe that most abortion-seekers are “irresponsible teenagers” who need “counseling” and “guidance,” implying that ignorance, carelessness, selfishness and a wanton disregard for life are influencing circumstances and driving abortion decisions.

However (big shock), they are incorrect. Only a small percentage (0.4%) of females who obtained abortions in this time period were under 15 years old. Interestingly, almost equal percentages (7 – 8%) were for women ages 15 – 17 and also for women 35-39. What types of circumstances and emotional characteristics could these demographic groups have in common, besides having an unwanted pregnancy?

ages of women abortion

82% of the women who had abortions in the 11-year period, 1999-2010, were between the ages of 18 – 34, with 34% as the largest single group, and it was for women ages 20 – 24.

Unsurprisingly, “older” women (NOT “ignorant” or in need of “guidance”) also get pregnant and decided to terminate the pregnancy: about 3% were over 40 years old.

What the reasons women choose abortion?

The conservative, anti-choice movement wants us to believe that the “primary” reasons for women’s choosing abortion are “selfish” and therefore not to be supported by law or community attitude. Their pie chart tries to illustrate that “most” women who have abortions do so because a pregnancy comes at the “wrong time” and /or they are “not ready” to have a child at that time. Even so, by their own research (which is questionable), only about one-quarter (27%) of the women gave that as their “primary” reason.

However, look at what the other survey options were and you can understand how so many chose the “not ready” category:

  • “Lack of maturity” Who is going to self-select that reason? Very few: 8%
  • “Relationship Issues” This is so broad as to be almost useless as a survey option. Only 9% selected this.
  • “Fetal Health Concerns” and “Maternal Health Concerns” each received about the same, 3% – 4%, matching “School or Career Concerns” with 4% as well. These combined total about 12%, or one-eighth of the respondents.
  • “Can’t afford the baby” (whose wording is already emotionally loaded, labeling the fetus a “baby” and then impugning the woman’s financial status at the same time) still garnered an almost equal percentage to those who said they weren’t “ready,” at 25%.
  • “Finished childbearing” is fraught with judgment as well, but nonetheless, 20% selected this as their primary reason for terminating the pregnancy.
  • “Rape” unsurprisingly received less than any, at 0.1%, while “Incest” isn’t on this chart (one could argue that all incest is rape, but to exclude it as a reason is significant, since conservatives keep voting down the right to choose, even in the case of rape or incest….).

AbortionReasons

image from http://www.conservapedia.com

The actual facts about USA women and abortion

About half of all women experience at least one unintended pregnancy in our lifetimes. This occurs mostly due to the fact that ALL birth control, even when used correctly and consistently, has a failure rate of at least 1% and most are worse.

Birth control failure rates

image from http://www.abovetopsecret.com

The “Pill,” which is usually thought of as “effective,” fails almost 9% of the time. That means almost 1 out of every 10 women who rely on the Pill for birth control will become pregnant while taking it. In addition to causing all kinds of problems for the women that they were not expecting (no pun intended), pregnant women do not know they are pregnant until many months into the pregnancy (usually when the baby moves), which means the mothers are taking these hormones throughout the crucial first trimester. Birth control pills can have adverse effects on developing fetuses which usually causes birth defects and/or problems for these people later in life because of hormonal imbalances while they were developing in utero. The risk of ectopic pregnancies is also higher in women taking oral contraceptives after conception (which shouldn’t have occurred, but does).

Even worse, women who conceive while using spermicidal forms of birth control are counseled to have abortions because babies born to women using spermicides have astronomical rates of birth defects, up to and including stillbirth. The lesser problems include dwarfism, muscles missing or non-functional (eyelids’ muscles do not work, for example, so the eyes can’t fully open, which, without surgery, leads to blindness in newborns), hip displasia, clubfoot, cleft palate, and worse (New England Journal of Medicine), most of which, if reparable, require one or more surgeries and expensive rehabilitation.

Spermicide problems

image from http://www.nejm.org

Despite these facts, only about one-third of women who unintentionally become pregnant choose to have an abortion. This could be due to the fact that, of those with unintended pregnancies, about 60% already have one child. As I mentioned at the start: NO woman WANTS to have an abortion, and those who have already carried a pregnancy to term, parented a child, are even less likely to terminate. Statistics bear this out: most mothers choose NOT to terminate.

Furthermore, to refute another of the conservatives’ most specious arguments: the majority (73%) of women who choose to terminate a pregnancy ARE “religiously affiliated,” which means we are not ALL “godless heathens” (although, as a Buddhist, I am proud to be “godless” and couldn’t care less about being called a “heathen”).

Abortion stats actual

image from http://naralprochoicewashington.tumblr.com

I could, but I won’t, tell my entire personal story, here. Bare facts: I was “typical” in that I was in my middle-twenties, educated, and pro-child (I was teaching Kindergarten-First Grade at the time). I chose to terminate due to my having been financially and emotionally unready and unable to care for a child at the time I got pregnant, which occurred due to a birth control failure (diaphragm, which has a 4% failure rate).

Please, whatever your story or gender, VOTE in or keep in a pro-choice candidate this November. The right to choose to terminate a pregnancy is a HUMAN right and, unfortunately, sometimes a necessity. Even if the choices are often made in sorrow, they must be safe and legal to make.

Vote smart

image from http://www.kylelife.com