Marginalizing Women and Slavery

DN! had a piece up this morning on the abortion debate, in Texas and across the country.

Once again, women who don’t believe in abortion are effectively silenced when put into the frame that if you don’t believe in abortion, or believe it should be limited to 12 weeks (20 weeks in the Texas law), you are anti-woman.   A woman may be a defender of equal rights, as I am, but if she does not believe in abortion, she is, as this piece illustrates, cut off from the discussion.

It’s presented as an either/or situation–if you’re a feminist, you MUST believe in abortion, at any time during a pregnancy.

I don’t agree with Carly Fiorina for lots of reasons, but this time, she did hit the nail on the head–it is framed as draconian when they want to limit abortion to five months’ gestation, but we are only a handful of countries that allow it, among them is China.   When it is framed as draconian, it cuts off any discussion of different views.

My previous blogs on abortion here and here.

The last link provides the best over-all view of how other countries approach not only abortion, but maternal care, maternal birth rates, and other measures of care of women.


It’s interesting that they ran a piece right after that on a white woman’s family history in the slave trade.   It is a tough discussion to have–emotions involved along with guilt make it difficult, as they said.    It was gut wrenching to find out my ancestors had slaves many generations ago.    You feel shame, but then defensive that you don’t condone it–this doesn’t represent your own personal view.

As I watched the piece, I thought one could easily put “woman” inserted where they mentioned that the United States was built on slavery.  Women being paid  with low wages  have allowed the wealthy to grow in this country….and is still happening today—look at Walmart and others using sweat shops in other countries and the U.S. that abuse mostly women workers.

As I mentioned before, when Mitch Daniels became governor, the already low pay of $21,000 went down to as low as $16,000 for secretaries in the state.  I believe that most state salaries went down, but the women’s wages were below livable wages.

When I was in college, there was a group fasting to protest the use of sweatshops to create the college’s retail clothing.  They gathered in the common area across from the student union and put up tents.  There was a lively discussion on this in one of my classes (one of the few discussions allowed) and a young student boasted that she and her friends were grilling steaks next to the hunger strikers.   She was angered at it and laughed at them having to smell the cooking food.

JCPenney was one of the stores that I had previously patronized regularly….over decades.  I went there as a child (I remember buying sewing supplies and 45’s there–(young kids ask your parents what a “45” was).  I shopped there as a young adult and then as a mother buying for the whole family.  When I became aware of sweatshops, and started looking at labels, I realized that I could not justify buying clothes at Penney’s anymore.  I had always bought there and it was something of a shock to my kids when I refused to buy the clothing….some arguments ending as screaming matches.

I thought I could circumvent this by sewing clothes, but alas, the fabric in the fabric stores is made in….countries that have sweatshops….

Education News

Diane Ravitch has this up on an open letter to the Los Angeles School Board.    A report here on Deasy and the electronics fiasco.

You might recall that the Smartboard in the classroom made me ill with a headache and nausea and causing adrenal distress, making me extremely tired.    I had to shut it and the “wand” used with it off and felt better within about 30 minutes. I wonder how many kids in the classroom were affected and not know enough to speak up?  (or worse–when they complain of nausea and want to see the nurse are thought to be making excuses?)

A commenter on the Deasy article posted this link on the electro-magnetic (radiation) exposure to the teachers and the kids in the classroom.

I was watching the South Bend news station last night where they were proudly promoting a woman whom had donated money to the school system to purchase smartboards for those classrooms that did not have one, I believe it was kindergarten through second grade.  For someone who hasn’t see them–these things are huge monstrosities that cover probably six feet across (guessing).

The news video showed a child at the smartboard pointing to a picture and the word that goes with it.  A teacher spoke and said it was a great way to see how well the child was learning.  While the story was running, I was thinking that a child could just as easily go to a chalkboard and demonstrate what they have learned.

And then there’s the waste of electricity plus exposure to electronic pollution.  When there is a smartboard in a classroom, there is little or no space for writing on the blackboard.   So I am left with the option of using the smartboard, which I won’t do anymore after the experience I had, or speaking in front of the class to get an idea across, which sometimes is not the best option, especially for someone who is dyslexic and needs the visual cues of writing on a chalkboard.

Finally, I don’t see where the smartboard actually helps a child to learn better.  Somebody made some major bucks on foisting yet another useless tool onto the cash-strapped public schools.


In other, more sobering news:

The New York principals write a letter outlining why Common Core is failing the kids.  Reading of the effect on children who react with physical symptoms is heartwrenching.  Those poor kids will hate learning, when it’s their natural instinct to learn and explore.  Way to go, Common Core! /snark

Additionally, the letter states that children whom have never been labeled as learning deficient are now being so labeled and missing out on music and art classes that would most definitely help them to learn.

As I read about the students feeling like failures, my heart sinks.  I know how they feel–my dyslexia (undiagnosed) would have surely put me in the “dumb” category when that wasn’t the case.    I already felt dumb, however, and through my own will learned to adapt.  If a child is labeled as dumb by testing that does not allow for differences in learning, that child will never realize their true brain power.  They will not seek to move beyond the label placed upon them.

And this comment from Neanderthal really strikes to the heart of this debate:


I paid a young man $1000 plus just the other day for a maintenance job for my house…Graduated around 2007..

He said to me…”You know, I never could do fractions when I was in school because they wanted us to use the calculator and it made no sense to me..I could get the right answer on the calculator but I never understood what I was doing.

I took so many tests that my guessing was really good.and I passed.

My father was shocked to find there were no vocational classes that I could take so he taught me the skills I need to know .

Now that I have to measure for my job and get paid for what I do….I learned the fractions and they are so easy.

I remember the math that I did was always for test questions…

My nephew is having a hard time because it is even worse now with this new math..

His teacher tells him everyday that he has to know this or that for a test and he gets ill on every test day.

Why don;t they have classes for construction workers?
That would have made so much more sense as I do not like the math with the y’s and x’s

I am very glad I am out of school and if and when I have children. I will teach them myself”


Pretty telling, isn’t it, when  a child doesn’t learn the skills needed for a paying job.  This is just insanity.

Bombs, not food, say repubs…

Susie Madrak has this up on the continued republican war against the poor.    To say it is demoralizing would be an understatement.

Shall we play the six degrees to Clinton game?  He pushed for “workfare” , which required welfare recipients to work for free–truly a corporation’s dream of forcing people to work and not pay any wages or benefits!  Slave labor rocks!!  /snark

When I asked for assistance after first moving to FW, I was required to do community service for two and a half days.  The money I requested?  $25.  Yes, you read that right— $25,   It was a humiliating experience when having to ask in the first place and then being put down by the social worker for having moved to FW without a job.  I was, um, hoping to get a job….

The Brits who are conservative are also playing the “we want to help you help yourself” game–

links here and here.

From the last link:

There is no reason to think, however, that the criticisms levelled at workfare won’t also apply to the new scheme. Is, for example, a person spending 30 hours a week picking up litter more or less likely to find a paying job? Research which looked at similar schemes in the US, Canada and Australia found that:

“There is little evidence that workfare increases the likelihood of finding work. It can even reduce employment chances by limiting the time available for job search and by failing to provide the skills and experience valued by employers. Subsidised (‘transitional’) job schemes that pay a wage can be more effective in raising employment levels than ‘work for benefit’ programmes. Workfare is least effective in getting people into jobs in weak labour markets where unemployment is high.”


Truly disgusting how punitive these people are towards the poor.   Why not just have a public hanging and be done with it, already?

Lastly, here is the video someone suggested on crooks and liars:

Diane Ravitch on Melissa Harris-Perry

Diane Ravitch was on Melissa Harris-Perry, and had a wonderful discussion on public education.   I wish they could have had more time to go in-depth about it, but I’ll take it.  You’ll have to click on each link separately, because NBC has chosen to not run them in sequence.


New faces of soul food

Michael Twitty has a link up to a piece on soul food.  I like how he characterizes it as not necessarily West African, but a food of an enslaved people.

I recently made collard greens with chicken fat to flavor it….and I couldn’t believe the difference in taste.  It took the bitterness out and added something sweet to it.  I also put in chopped garlic cloves.  Yum.



Gluten or Not?

A member of the mercury support group posted a link to this video:

Another member questioned this guy’s assertions, because it seems like he is promoting his website and services and trying to scare people.  Good Grief, I wouldn’t be able to eat anything according to this guy.  He also fails to mention toxins in the body, and specificallly, heavy metal poisoning, which causes many of the autoimmune symptoms. And he doesn’t advocate for organic food consumption as a way to regain one’s health.

He doesn’t state whether he has additional training with a degree in nutrition, as Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride does, so I’m not as inclined to believe all of his assertions.

Rice is allowed on the GAPS diet, but I react to it.  Same with corn.  It’s an individual thing that everyone has to figure out for themselves.  I get a tell-tale red rash around my neck (redneck, heh) that shows up when I eat something that causes my body to react.

I do agree with his assertions that gastrointestinal symptoms are not the most prominent symptoms, as I did not have huge symptoms there, but do have more of the neurological with the migraines and such.

Students against Reform

Teacher under Construction has this up on a documentary by a student asking the same questions that conscientious parents, teachers, and the public who care about education are asking.

“Why do people tell me to think outside the box when they barely ever let me out of it….??”


….out of the mouths of babes…