Letter to VP Biden upon release of gun/public safety recommendations

January 15, 2013
Dear Vice President Biden – I am overjoyed that you were charged with heading up the task force on gun control reform recommendations.

There are millions of us who are now “soldiers” for this cause, since the Sandy Hook devastation. We are grassroots lobbyists -more powerful than the NRA, if we continue to mobilize and put the full force of our power upon Capitol Hill.

This is why I’m so distressed at the news of Senator Harry Reid and Congresssman Mike Thompson publicly talking politics and pre-emptively striking down the possibility of an assaults weapon ban passing.  Correction – I’m am disgusted!!!

I have already left messages at both their offices to tell them that not only do they diminish the work of people like me, but they continue to hurt the Democratic Party when their messages appear to put politics above people.

They need to get out of their D.C. bubble if they think we give a rat’s ass about whether the ban will pass the first time vs. the importance of putting it forth. They have been playing this kind of wimpy politics for years and it needs to end.

We need serious and sweeping reforms on many critical issues that the majority of Americans support:  climate change, election and campaign finance laws, to name just a couple.  But, time and time again, the Dems bow to pressure of funders and lobbyists, leaving us voters who keep putting them in office in the dust.

Let those who would oppose an assaults weapons ban so soon after Sandy Hook stand up and be counted!!!  Why does the Democratic leadership continue to cover for these cowards?  Put their names on the front of every news publication across the country on the sad day they would dare to vote against banning the weapons that killed everyone at Sandy Hook and kill thousands more every year in our country.

I would revel in that day and I hope it’s soon.  You see, VP Biden – the rest of us in this country are not as wimpy as the Democratic senators and congresspeople.  But, I think you knew that already.

So, I urge you to do what you can to give Reid & Pelosi some marching orders for how they need to keep themselves and their people in line.

We are in the majority on this issue and we’re not going to stand for anything less than serious gun reforms.

I leave you with Elizabeth Edwards’ words:  “Those who need a champion cannot afford compromise, in the face of forces that are powerful, persistent and greedy.”


Op-Ed in Arizona Capitol Times: “Wrongful birth, wrongful life” law is anti-motherhood

Wrongful birth, wrongful life: SB1359 is anti-motherhood
Published March 12, 2012 in Arizona Capitol Times

If Karen Santorum — mother of six, wife of GOP presidential contender Rick Santorum — had been subjected to Arizona’s proposed “wrongful birth, wrongful life” legislation back in 1997, she could have very possibly died.

Doctors informed Karen back in 1996 during her 19th week of pregnancy that her unborn child had a fatal defect and would die if she attempted to carry the child to term. In an attempt to save the life of the child, Karen underwent a rare and risky surgical procedure. She herself became sick soon after the surgery, and according to her doctors, her life was in jeopardy.

As many know, the pro-life Santorums ultimately lost the child.

“If the physician came to me and said if we don’t deliver your baby in one hour you will be dead, yeah, I would have to do it,” Karen said to Steve Goldstein of the Philadelphia Inquirer in May 1997.

She said ultimately she would have agreed to intervention for the sake of her other children.

I am hoping that Sen. Nancy Barto and other Arizona legislators who are supporting SB1359 are merely ignorant of the potential outcomes of this proposal. I have to hope for that because otherwise I must draw the conclusion that they are interested in endangering the lives of mothers.

SB1359 encourages doctors to lie by withholding critical, life-saving information from their female patients or failing to perform necessary tests in the first place. Many of these women are already mothers who have other children they need to be there for.

If this legislation had been in effect in Pennsylvania at the time Karen was under doctors’ care — doctors who specialize in high-risk births — she very likely could have been given false information or no information at all about her medical condition. There is a very real chance she would have died as a result, leaving behind a husband and children.

Are Arizona’s legislators interested in mothers dying as a result of this legislation protecting doctors from malpractice suits? I sincerely hope not. I and many others around the country will be watching the outcome to see how many Arizona legislators truly care about women’s health and lives.

Featured Activism… Fossil Fuel Divestment

Yes, it’s been almost 2 months since we last visited.  Sandy Hook happened.  Our nation and the world collectively grieved – and continue to grieve –  for the victims.  And,  for our country.  I haven’t taken a break from activism, but did from reporting  it.  More on that in another post.

My earnest and compassionate activist friend Perry in Indiana brought me back here.  He sent me a transcript of his activism this week to post.   I am flattered he wants to share and promote his good works here.  He called one of his favorite podcasts – Best of the Left – to share a great idea.  After reading his plea, visit Go Fossil Free and tell your school or alma mater to divest from fossil fuel companies.  Especially alumni with deep pockets, who give back to your alma mater – they listen to you!

“Jay –  this is Perry from Greene County, Indiana: First I want to say ‘Thanks’ for all you do and especially for putting out the best podcast on the web. Its extremely smart, extremely well-produced, consistent and entertaining. So, keep up the good work.

Second I’d like to leave an activist call for action. My guess is that a good percentage of your listeners are either students or college graduates and for all of those people in those two groups I’d like to urge them to go to gofossilfree.org and sign a petition to get their school to divest from fossil fuels.

We know that 200 publicly-traded companies hold the vast majority of the world’s proven coal, oil and gas reserves. We also know that colleges and universities have billions of dollars to invest in their endowments. We don’t think that the bastions of knowledge, populated with some of the smartest people who know the most about climate change should be making investments that will destroy the planet that the students they’re teaching are going to inherit.

We’ve already got 210 campus campaigns on the map, so go to gofossilfree.org and sign or start a petition urging your college to hit the fossil-fuel companies where it hurts- in the wallet. Thank you.”

Perry also started a petition for his alma mater a month or so ago and shared it with an on-campus environmental group he used to be a part of. Go Perry – Proud to know you!!!

What Have You Done to Create Change Today?
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