Saturday, February 27, 2016

" We cannot tolerate obstruction "

"Waiting periods, counseling, ultrasounds, trans-vaginal ultrasounds, sonogram storytelling—all of these legislative moves are invasive, insulting, and condescending because they are deeply misguided attempts to pressure women into changing their minds, to pressure women into not terminating their pregnancies, as if women are so easily swayed that such petty and cruel stall tactics will work. These politicians do not understand that once a woman has made up her mind about terminating a pregnancy, very little will sway her. It is not a decision taken lightly, and if a woman does take the decision lightly, that is her right. A woman should always have the right to choose what she does with her body. It is frustrating that this needs to be said, repeatedly. On the scale of relevance, public approval or disapproval of a woman's choices should not merit measure.” ― Roxane Gay, author of Bad Feminist

              The United States Supreme Court has made it perfectly clear that a safe medical procedure to terminate a pregnancy or abortion is a Constitutional right for women in America. So why do some state lawmakers continue to impose unnecessary and burdensome restrictions or TRAP laws for doctors and medical clinics? (Almost 300 restrictions have been written since 2010)  What is a TRAP law?  TRAP is an abbreviation for "Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers" which is forcing the closure of  healthcare clinics across the country with deceptive guidelines. Men and women need to be aware of TRAP laws because they effect all of us. TRAP laws obstruct the Constitutional rights of women-  mothers, daughters, sisters, aunts-all women to safely access legal medical procedures. Ensuring a woman's right to her own body and reproductive health is ultimately what's at stake.

         On March 2nd, the US Supreme Court will hear the case of Whole Women's Health v. Hellerstedt. Because abortion is a legal Constitutional right politicians in Washington DC cannot be permitted to impose laws which make receiving medical care an undue burden in the states they represent. If legislatures continue this burdensome assault on women they should be VOTED OUT. Anti-choice politicians in Texas have proposed and passed laws such as HB-2 which will effect the dignity and autonomy of over 5.4 million women of reproductive age leaving just ten clinics available. Ten clinics for more than 5 million women in s state with 27 million Americans. Does this sound like lawmakers who care about the health and welfare of women and families?

   Courtesy of & Last Week Tonight with John Oliver above are two equally important videos containing more information about TRAP laws and the upcoming US Supreme Court case.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

" and equal in dignity and rights.."

 "Because women and girls are not valued equally as human beings, they are treated as less than such. Female genital mutilation is an example of this and must be stopped."
- Waris Dirie, Somali model, activist

               Mental illness, child abuse, discrimination, abortion, drug addiction, rape, gun violence, - the more uncomfortable the subject the less we discuss it- and  our silence is killing us-especially women. Earlier this month February 7th was designated "International Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation" day. Many people in North America are unaware of female genital mutilation or FGM. The ritual normally performed on young girls is the cutting away of the clitoris and part of the labia is an extremely vicious and violent act with no pain killers or anesthesia. The mutilation is a clear violation of human rights but because in the past the ritual was considered part of a "cultural" practice some countries still perform FGM or a form or FGM on females as young as one year old. Banned in the United States and the United Kingdom some 200 million women alive today have endured FGM according to recent UNICEF statistics.
         29 countries in Africa and some parts of Asia still perform female genital mutilation as a way to control and completely abolish a young woman's sexuality, ensure virginity before marriage and later to promote sexual pleasure for men only. FGM has no health benefits. In fact the World Health Organization  has stated the practice causes a greater likelihood of death during childbirth, spontaneous abortion, stillbirth, infection, and severe physical and emotional trauma.
            FGM continues to be condemned around the world. It's not only a dangerous, sexist, barbaric ritual performed on young girls but it's a complete violation of human rights to health, security and physical integrity. Globally, the rights of young girls and woman to control their own bodies has been  reduced or completely stripped away by communities ruled by men or strict religious dogma. But in order to progress men have to fundamentally change the way they view women. As long as girls and women are seen as less than equal or even less than human they will continue to have their rights and dignity taken away. No more silence.

Below is the link to a article which features personal stories of women who have endured female genital mutilation.


Friday, February 19, 2016

" What you do makes a difference."

"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does."- William James, American philosopher, psychologist

     Want to help plant trees in Africa or South America without leaving the country or even the office?  Simple. Do an online word search. Go to Ecosia and search Ecosia is a search engine similar to Google or BING.   This inspiring and empowering search engine has been featured in news stories on noted websites such as Scientific American, Upworthy and The Guardian for its unique features. By searching the web with Ecosia ads generate revenue. With the income earned Ecosia plants more and more trees. Brilliant? Indeed. In fact over 3 million trees have been planted around the globe including Burkino Faso in Africa which is featured in the video above (courtesy Ecosia & YouTube )

     Drought stricken areas recover much more quickly when trees are planted allowing people, vegetation and animals to return. A healthier environment allows for economic growth which depends upon the renewal of resources. With people and livestock sustained opportunities grow such as children attending schools and job creation.
    Did you know that planting trees reduces global warming? Trees create oxygen which we need to stay alive. Trees are renewable, biodegradable and recyclable. The more trees we plant the more chance we have of reducing the air pollution humans have created. Trees are the natural habitat of birds and animals. Ensuring the survival of animals and plants allows human beings to survive. Think of Ecosia as the circle of life beginning with a simple search.

A little curiosity goes a long way to helping people around the world.

 Try it out.


Sunday, February 14, 2016

"With eyes opened "

"The practice of science happens at the border between the known and the unknown. Standing on the shoulders of giants, we peer into the darkness with eyes opened not in fear but in wonder."
- Brian Cox, physicist

              Physics is fascinating to most curious minds even if we fail to fully understand a gravitational wave or the theory of relativity. One of the most  amazing discoveries of the decade was made by an international team of scientists this week at twin LIGO or Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory's, one in Livingston, Louisiana and the other in Hanford, Washington(US). On Thursday, February 11th physicists and astronomers reported that gravitational waves were detected generated by cosmic collisions or the merging of two black holes. The black holes are 1.3 billion light-years away and about thirty times the mass of the sun. (Audio "chirp" and commentary courtesy of LIGO &YouTube )
        Why is the discovery such a tremendous breakthrough?  A century ago one of the most incredible thinkers in modern academic history, Albert Einstein explained in his  General Theory of Relativity (1915-16) that the force of gravity arose from the curvature of space and time. Matter and energy such as the earth and other planets distort the shape or geometry of the universe similar to how our bodies leave an impression or distort the shape of foam padding.  Now one hundred years later the theory of interweaving space-time is vindicated with the latest information expanding on a much greater and complex understanding of galaxies and stars.
      Where can you learn more about this latest historic discovery? Visit  LIGO  at
 Scientific American




Popular Science


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

"We are far from done..."

"When you've worked hard, and done well, and walked through that doorway of opportunity, you do not slam it shut behind you. You reach back and give other folks the same chances that helped you succeed."-  Michelle Obama, First Lady of the United States of America


       "Gender equality is your issue too." states British actress, Emma Watson, UN Women Goodwill Ambassador. In her now highly praised speech in the video.above form 2014, Watson refers to "all of us"- men and women. Anyone who believes in equality for men and women is a "feminist". The negative connotations associated with the "word" are harmful because equality as a women's movement is far from over and encompasses much more than  mere words and labels. Women and men of all ages in the United States who suffer under the delusion that women and men are treated equally are denying reality. The failure to admit and recognize that Americans still have a long and painful journey to travel together is threatening our democracy. Inflexible, self-righteous rhetoric destroys human rights and our ability to make informed choices. When we become so uncompromising and so indignant we can't tolerate anyone else's opinion but our own, we lose our ability to act as human beings or continue to see others as human. Our lack of compassion prevents us from feeling or trying to understand  what others are feeling. Our lack of empathy is passed down to our children and a cycle of hatred, bigotry and misogyny continues. We are allowing our humanity to be eroded by problems we are creating for each other.  If we consider ourselves leaders in human and civil rights protections we must realize other countries in the world look to us for guidance.

      On February 8th's Kelly File, FOX News corespondent Megyn Kelly stated:
 "This is where the feminist movement goes wrong. What does pro-choice or anti-abortion, or whatever, have to be a part of the feminist platform? Do you know how alienating that is?"

    Really? It's alienating for every woman to want autonomy over her own body? It's alienating to want to make your own choices and plan your career or family? It's alienating to want to be financially able to take care of your own health or the health or your child? It's alienating to want economic security and not watch your children starve or die?  At a time in this country when women are still fighting to keep their reproductive rights and the majority of women around the world have no rights to their own body, are dying from child birth or unsafe medical treatments that's a damn arrogant and irresponsible judgment for Megyn Kelly or anyone else to make. So unless the majority of  Americans believe that women and girls should be uneducated, misinformed baby makers who keep their mouths and legs shut then I'm sorry Ms. Kelly,  choice has EVERYTHING to do with the feminist platform.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

"There is no cure for curiosity."

"The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity."
- Dorothy Parker, writer, poet, activist

      In the vast and varied world of sports, arts and entertainment every one has a personal weakness. Some individuals follow college football or fantasy leagues with the feverish addiction of a Vegas casino troll while others vote more religiously on reality programming like Dancing With the Stars and American Idol than in an election primary. No judgment. Personally, I have a curious fascination with late night talk shows. Each evening is a new adventure with interesting guests, book reviews, movie trailers, music, current topics but most importantly after a long stressful day- much needed laughter. It all started in early 2000 with Comedy Centrals The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and later Stephen Colbert's multiple award winning spin off, The Colbert Report.
     My grandparents never missed their beloved Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show. My father was a devoted David Letterman fan. Like most women and a few men I know my niece has an adorable infatuation with the irresistible Jimmy Fallon. The current fraternity competing for America's time and attention is The Late Show's Stephen Colbert, The Daily Show's Trevor Noah, Conan O'Brien, Larry Wilmore, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Myers and British sensation James Corden. Although fans would love to catch every episode of their favorite program it's impossible without DVR's or Hulu. Now insomniacs and late night talk show enthusiasts can add longest running Daily Show correspondent Samantha Bee's Full Frontal to their wishful watch list. Full Frontal debuts Monday, February 8th at 10:30PM ET and according to a recent press release will be simulcast across five networks including TBS, TruTV, HLN, TNT and Adult Swim.
      Samantha Bee is a Canadian American actor, producer, comedian, writer and mother of three who is married to actor, writer and former Daily Show contributor Jason Jones. In 2010 she published her first book (Gallery Books) I Know I Am, But What Are You?  Bee has appeared in episodes of Bounty Hunters, Game OnThe Electric Company and Sesame Street. In a late night league of her own, she can continue to Bee as creatively curious, fearless and distinct as she wants to Bee.

  For more up to the minute information check out the
 Full Frontal website