Monday, November 02, 2009

First egg

November 2, 2009 at 9:30 EST

Winkum laid first egg for the Black Stars. For comparison, the one on the left is a store-bought large egg. The one on the right is from pullet Winkum - not bad for a beginner, Wot?

Saturday, October 10, 2009

O Canada!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009
World First: Canadian Scientists Decode Breast Cancer Tumour's DNA

Here's Canada causing problems for the USA again. Since cancer and all other illnesses are big business in the USA, a potential cure could cause some serious problems, or loss of profit here in the land of the free market gone wild. If we don't want Canada's cheap drugs and universal health care system, we sure as hell don't want anything that might lead to a cure for cancer. (Full disclosure, I lived in Canada for 13 years and enjoyed universal health care. Canadian health care was far superior to the care my family and I have received in the USA.)

TORONTO - In a world first, Canadian scientists have decoded all three billion letters in the DNA sequence of a metastatic breast cancer tumour and identified the mutations that caused the original tumour to spread.

The landmark study by researchers at the B.C. Cancer Agency is a major step towards unravelling the mysteries of how cancer begins and what makes it move to other parts of the body.

There are more Canadians who believe that Elvis lives than there are Canadians who want the U.S. health-care system.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Happy Re-birthday to all of us

A new birth of freedom

Quite a few bricks had to drop before the 19th Amendment became law on August 26, 1920

In 1878, a constitutional amendment was proposed that provided "The right of citizens to vote shall not be abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex." This same amendment would be introduced in every session of Congress for the next 41 years.

In May, 1919, the necessary two-thirds vote in favor of the women suffrage amendment was finally mustered in Congress, and the proposed amendment was sent to the states for ratification. By July 1920, with a number of primarily southern states adamantly opposed to the amendment, it all came down to Tennessee. It appeared that the amendment might fail by one vote in the Tennessee house, but twenty-four-year-old Harry Burns surprised observers by casting the deciding vote for ratification. At the time of his vote, Burns had in his pocket a letter he had received from his mother urging him, "Don't forget to be a good boy" and "vote for suffrage." Women had finally won the vote.

Since that time, the bricks that were thrown at women and their supporters increased in frequency and intensity. Despite this many women have put themselves out there and become powerful and influential, always facing the wrath of a society that resents and resists their claim to equality.

There are many people that were born on August 26th besides me; some even hold this day with the awe and reverence that I do because of the sacrifices of the women who came before me, most of whom never lived to see the results of their travail.

In a larger sense, August 26th is every woman's birthday. "... A new birth of freedom", such as Lincoln celebrated in his Gettysburg Address. So on August 26th, I celebrate everywoman's re-birth and thank Susan B. Anthony, for whom the Amendment was named, and all the other women who struggled by her side to give us such a great gift. For all their names and what they did, please see the timeline here:

In the years following the passage of that Amendment, those of us that had to struggle with the increasing sexism and denial of human rights are either dead or in our 80's and 90's+ - soon to shuffle off the planet. Despite the qualifications and deeds of women over the years, not one of our founding mothers has been honored with the public recognition given to men.

There is still no calendar date with a holiday in honor of a woman. Efforts have been made to make the date the 19th Amendment passed a Holiday in tribute to Susan B., OUR great emancipator, but to no avail. We all watched as the most qualified presidential candidate with the most votes lost because of her gender and the continued misogyny of the country, its media and the denial of many women to support their own and their sister's progress.

All around us are women who still try to tear down our advances in the recognition of our personhood, who aid and abet misogyny and allow/protect the use of harmful and hurtful words that demean women.

The terrific people that formed Anthony's Army opened the gates allowing all the women who came later to fight job discrimination; made it possible for girls and women to have an education and play sports; to woman the shelters for battered women; to make us all aware of our abilities and our potential - the list goes on.

Susan et al would have been so proud of all the women who continued their struggle; women that didn't just settle for second class citizenship - women who continued to push the boundaries with the all consuming goal of equal, civil and reproductive rights, and respect for all who follow after them.

Women gained the vote in 1920 after 72 years
of the LARGEST civil rights movement
in the HISTORY of the world.
What are we going to do with it now?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Black Stars - 3 months old

The 5 Black Stars are now nearly 3 months old and hard at work ridding my gardens of bugs, scratching and aerating the soil, providing lots of compost, mowing the lawn and sometimes driving me up the wall. All feather out now, they can be distinguished from one another as they have different manifestations of their parents genes. Three, mostly show the black of the barred cross parent with some neck and chest bling; two display a contrast with lots of NH Red feathering.

With the approval of another Virgo, I named three of the blacks for a favorite childhood poem by Eugene Field [1850-1895] - Wynken, Blynken and Nod. You can hear a beautiful rendition of this here: my choice. or read it here:

The other two with lots of bling, are named Twinkle and Comet. These two stand out from the others as the golden red on their chests is continued into their backs, edging their feathers with gilt so they appear more bronze than black.

Here they are sitting on their favorite outdoor resting place - an old plastic cart that I rescued from the landfill to carry garden stuff in. As you see, they have other plans for it. On your left from back to front are Comet and Wynkum. On your right from back to front are Blynkum, Nod and Twinkle. One of these days the sun will shine and I can get a good pic of the bling that outlines the back feathers of Twinkle and Comet.

The chicks outgrew their brooder in about a month so I transferred them to the hen house with the brooder light set up in one corner that they could run under if they got cold. Then as the weather got warmer, I made an lane from their door to the lawn. Fenced the lane and a portion of the lawn as a corral, with the temp fence I use - you've doubtless seen the stuff around construction sites. It's a plastic mesh and with 5' long, half inch bamboo poles, I could set up a fence in about 10 minutes.

When chicks had chewed that grass up, the fence was moved to another area. After 2 months the temp fence came down and they got most of the whole backyard and were chasing down bugs in one of the gardens with gusto. They also enjoyed dirt baths and it turned out that they are communal bathers. In this photo there are really 5 chickens here, all scratching at the dirt and ruffling it through their feathers.

Mostly, they go everywhere as a flock but sometimes one breaks away and shortly afterwards it starts a game of Marco Polo. Lone chick makes a croaking sound then pauses to listen for the peep peeps answer. Lone chick then runs to the others.

We have had one scary encounter with a neighborhood cat who jumped the fence and scattered the chickens in all directions. Chickens are not silent when frightened - they voice their displeasure loudly and so I was out of the house in time to see the cat going after one of the chicks. The cat saw me and left the yard in a hurry, then I looked for the chick which had flown over the gate and was now in the front yard hedge.

It took some convincing that I was one of the good guys but finally I was able to capture the chick who turned out to be Winkym. She calmed down as I stroked her soft velvet-like feathers and we went looking for the other four that had hidden in the back. They soon showed themselves and everyone got together for an after fright discussion while I tried to figure out how to prevent it from happening again.

Until the next report, here are a few facts about free range chicken eggs: Grass and insects can make up about 20% of a chicken's diet during the growing season.

Eggs from free range poultry have been found to have as much as...
●4 to 6 times as much vitamin D; 1/3 less cholesterol , ¼ less saturated fat , 2/3 more vitamin A

● 2 times more omega3 fatty acids, 3 times more vitamin E , 7 times more beta carotene

...compared to supermarket eggs from hens raised in isolation.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Ferrah Fawcett dead at 62

While the world mourns Michael Jackson, my thoughts are with a woman who began her career as one of a nearly naked trio of angels belonging to Charlie. She is remembered for being the subject of the best-selling poster of all time, with more than 12 million copies sold.

Fawcett played one of three undercover, underclothed crime fighters and "Charlie's Angels" became an enormous hit and cultural phenomenon, working to redefine gender roles.

"What we had for the first time were women operating in what was heretofore a man's world," Goldberg said.

But after only one year, Fawcett walked away from the show at the height of her fame to explore a career in film -- a move, the star told Walters, she did not regret.

But she knew she was more than just a body; she knew women were more than just bodies and deserving of consideration and respect as human beings.

I will always remember her for her role in bringing the horrible treatment of women to the public's attention.

Tired of being the sex symbol, Fawcett wanted to be taken seriously, so she dove into an unrecognizable role, playing an abused wife, Francine Hughes, driven to kill her husband in the 1984 movie "The Burning Bed."

"I knew that if I wanted to stay in the business, I had to change. I mean, I wanted to change," she told Walters in a later interview.

The TV movie became one of the most highly-rated in history and earned the actress the first of three Emmy nominations.

She will always be my hero - a woman who found riches and fame as a sex symbol yet rejected it to find herself and the real essence of womankind.

NB - Please! I someone feels the need to illustrate this with a picture of her, make it from her role in the Burning Bed - there are plenty of pics on the Net of the pin-up. Thank you for your consideration.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Boxer Rebellion

Senator Barbara Boxer is not a fav of mine although I do respect much of what she has done and is doing. When I heard that she made a polite, reasonable request that a military man testifying before her committee address her as Senator, I anticipated she would be attacked in the most vile, misogynist way. I had to look around awhile before I found anything even faintly understanding of her position.

About time women had the pride and courage to stand up for themselves. I've watched many hearings and male senators are generally called senator and sometimes sir. Many times I have heard women senators called Mrs [husband's name].

One needs to understand that ma'am and mrs are detrimental terms. I know many women feel that having a husband is a mark of success but history and society tells us this is not so. They signify possession.

Etymology dictionary

1668, colloquial shortening of madam (q.v.). Formerly the ordinary respectful form of address to a married woman; later restricted to the queen, royal princesses, or by servants to their mistresses.

1297, title of honor of a knight or baronet (until 17c. also a title of priests), variant of sire, originally used only in unstressed position. Generalized as a respectful form of address by c.1350; used as a salutation at the beginning of letters from 1425.

I've gone through it all my life as male professionals at meetings and elsewhere were always called Dr. or Professor X but I, and other women, were called mostly by Mrs or Miss [with an occasional Ms snearingly thrown in and also by our first names.

Asking that one's title be used is asking for a load of manure to be dumped on you as I know from experience. Women are supposed to take it, after all we let them get an education but that does not mean that it is equal to any man's. Yeah, I know that some women think being one of the boys means being a good sport. If he tweaks your breast, you can just tweak his genitals - he'd just love it and you'd be fulfilling the slut profile every woman has emblazoned on her chest.

In the alanagkelly blog linked above, the author tells of instances where males are allowed to demand how they are addressed. Yeah, it happens but it is so OK that one seldom notices.

It is going to take prominant women standing up and protesting and the rest of us cheering them on instead of dumping on them to even begin to make changes in the way women are respected for their abilities. They must be given the same respect as men in public office, professional status and, of course, as wife and mother. Slavery of women [possession] must be outlawed and battering of her mind and body must be stopped.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Elizabeth, Susan and Lucretia - Mothers of our Revolution

So in case you've missed all the media hoopla, we are coming up on another Mother's Day. A day to honor only those women who have done what women are supposed to do. All the rest - forget you!

We've watched and waited for generations now to have a holiday proclaimed that honored one of the many heroic, courageous American females. If we must stick to honoring only mothers, it would be great if they were The Mothers of our own revolution. There is a monument of these three women which spent most of its time in the dungeons of the Capitol Crypt while Rotunda space was reserved to the glorification of male heroics.

It seemed to be just as well that this monument stayed hidden - when it was brought out and put on display in the Capitol Rotunda, it was promptly labeled, "Three women in a bathtub" and the laughs just kept on coming.

Elizabeth Cady Stanton (1815-1902), president of the National Woman Suffrage Association from 1865 to 1893; author of the woman's bill of rights, which she read at the Seneca Falls, New York, convention in 1848; first to demand the vote for women.

Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906), abolitionist, temperance advocate, and later president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, who joined with Stanton in 1851 to promote woman suffrage; proposed the constitutional amendment passed many years after her death.

Lucretia Mott (1793-1880), Quaker reformer and preacher, who worked for abolition, peace, and equality for women in jobs and education; organizer of the 1848 Seneca Falls, New York, convention, which launched the women's rights movement.

This group portrait monument to the pioneers of the woman suffrage movement, which won women the right to vote in 1920, was sculpted by Adelaide Johnson (1859-1955) from an 8-ton block of marble in Carrara, Italy.

Inscription Originally Stenciled on the Portrait Monument







Monday, April 06, 2009


N.E. Hills are alive with the debate on whether marriage must be restricted to one husband and one wife - lesbian and gays need not apply. In Vermont, both Houses have passed bills that allow same-gender marriage but the Governor has promised a veto.

Vermont does have Civil Unions, which at the time of passage, appeared to be a big step forward but now as more states are making marriage legal, the push is on to join in or be left behind.

It is interesting to read the pros and cons and compare them to the hissy-fits that emerged during the Civil Union debates of yore. All the dire predictions of Vermont turning into California just never happened. Somehow those same gender couples that lived among us were remarkable just like us and the fervor died down to the plaintive bleating of a few diehards and of course the Fundies.

Today the debate is showing something quite different and it seems to me that it is pointing to the real fear of what same gender marriage will precipitate. Possibly this is because of the changes made by having Civil Unions and more people came to think of them as pals living together rather than a threat to their own marriage and children.

Now the caption under pictures of same gender couples identify them as Mary Roe - husband; or John Doe - wife. This has brought out one more of those hidden prejudices that manifest in sexism and misogyny. Man and his society, aided and abetted by women, have spent eons defining and enforcing gender roles. A woman husband! ? A man wife! ?

Oh, no! Our well entrenched patriarchy screams. This cannot be allowed because it will forever endanger our carefully constructed male superiority meme and challenge the Biblical admonition that: God is the head of the husband and man is the head of his wife.

Many may profess not to believe this but it is only buried in a shallow grave in the amygdala [Limbic System of the brain] because it is reinforced daily by our language, our customs, our laws and our fears.

Is it just possible that tearing down the old definition of marriage will force our society to re-evaluate women and men and gender rolls? Maybe all the Women's Movement needs is a shakeup of the shibboleths.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Women doctors? Ya gotta be kidding! Yet for the early years of the 25 that I spent in a medical school teaching and doing research that was sadly a fact. But strong women pushed and prodded to get in and one or two were finally accepted only to face a hell few people today can imagine.

“There was recently an obituary in The Lancet of a famous woman physician. The obituary writer describes her going on one of her clinical rotations, and the professor saying, "I don't want you here. They say you have to be here, but you are not welcome here. I don't want any women on my service."

One woman, Dr. Estelle Ramey, just took the all-male medical establishment on in their own science, leading the way for more women to study medicine in very difficult times.

The early anatomy lectures I audited were difficult to endure as many professors showed pornographic slides ostensible to teach about the skin. These were greeted by hoots and ribald comments from the med students – all male. As first one woman and then more were accepted in my State’s medical school, the Professors confined these fun and games to private lectures given only to the males in the class – females were not invited. Most women got around this by getting the notes from a male classmate in order to pass the exams.

Things certainly got better every year as more women instructors were hired but it was still shocking to us when a new anatomy textbook came on the scene in 1971. Anatomy faculty as is usual, got advanced complimentary copies. Understand now that the human body and all its parts was no stranger to those of us in anatomy, but this book by three anatomy professors from Duke did more that raise eyebrows, it created a storm of protest all over the country and Dr Ramey led it.

This textbook was titled: “The Anatomical Basis of Medical Practice. So you have a picture of a male torso, in which the head, the arms, and the genitals are cropped out, and little arrows point to where the muscles are of the male torso. But for the female torso, you have a full frontal nude shot, head to toe, of a woman in a seductive pose, with little lines pointing to the linea alba and the other muscles of the abdomen. You have women, nude, swinging on garden swings, with towels wrapped around their head, and splashing in the surf, ostensibly to show the effect of ultraviolet ray on the skin.

The short review above does not even begin to describe the pornography throughout a textbook written under the guise of teaching human anatomy.

This book engenders a national boycott organized by the American Association of Women in Science. Their president is Dr. Estelle Ramey-who was a physiology professor at Georgetown. She organizes a boycott of the Duke anatomy textbook. It is decried in Time magazine and Newsweek magazine, and eventually Williams and Wilkins chooses not to reprint it.

The Anatomical Basis of Medical Practice disappears from the bookshelves about six months to a year after it’s published. But the story of the pornographic anatomy book, The Anatomical Basis of Medical Practice, is a story of how women are subjected to victimization, how they’re portrayed in medical illustration, about how some professors thought there was no big deal. They were “just being cute.” By the 1970s, women were prepared to push back. If this episode had occurred a generation earlier, women would have simply looked down at the floor, and hoped the unpleasant would have gone away.”

Certainly if it happened today, lacking the strong convictions and leadership of Dr Ramey in the Women’s Movement, it would be just dandy to publish such a book. After all, so many women of today seem to feel it’s old fashion to protest sexism and misogyny or even battering.

Just imagine what Ramey’s reaction to Obama’s campaign against Clinton would have been. Unlike all the present women leaders in science, industry, politics and our Movement for Equality [like NOW] she would have had his guts for garters and women would have a leader in the White House.

Her wit and wisdom are still valid today and it took immense courage to say things like this during the early years of women’s self-revival:

“If it’s testosterone the public wants in a president, as an endocrinologist I can’t recommend a 70-year-old man in the White House. They should get a 16-year-old boy instead,” she said. “It seems the only thing the public doesn’t want to see in a president is estrogen.”

Men, she said, are clearly the weaker sex, and Mother Nature may well be a radical feminist, based on the biological evidence. The female of every species, she noted, is stronger in terms of stamina, longevity and performance under stress.

“Men were designed for short, nasty, brutal lives. Women are designed for long, miserable ones,” she opined.

We are the only animal that cries. It is a God-given emotional outlet. When men aren’t allowed to cry tears, they cry blood. They bleed internally.

I have worked all my life with men, and I have discovered that some of them are very smart, some of them are very stupid, and most of them are mediocre hacks. Women fall into the same categories. We will have equality when a female schlemiel moves ahead as fast as a male schlemiel. That’s equality, not when a female Einstein gets promoted to associate professor.

Asked once by a sneering lawyer if she preferred the title “chairperson,” Dr. Ramey responded, “I’d rather be a chairman. They make more.”

“I am appalled at the fact that men have not studied the differences between males and females for their own advantage,” she said in the 1980s. Such studies would help men as well as women and society, she said, because women outlive men by seven to nine years.

“Now, I like testosterone. Every home should have some,” she said. “But it becomes damaging as a man gets older. I’m trying to help men live longer, although I’m not sure all of them deserve it.”

Dr Ramsey’s medical contributions to both women and men have earned her an honored place in medical history. However, the leadership of our movement for equality has largely ignored her and few women of today have even heard of her. Perhaps this is because she spent her time bravely and forthrightly promoting women’s abilities and value rather than the political posturing we see among women in the Movement today.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Dr. Estelle Ramey turned academia and corporate America on it's collective ear - head over teakettle. Some may think as they read about her, "Oh that was 40 years ago" and they would be right, but most thinking women and men know that things have only changed on the surface.

Below the surface, tradition fiercely battles any attempt to acknowledge the human-ness of women. Proof positive of this is how openly misogyny and sexism is flaunted with very little blow back; the continued need for battered women's shelters and the lusty slave trade in women's bodies.

Dr Ramey's pithy comments, like this one, can stop people in their tracks and kick start thought:

"The women's movement has been greatly misunderstood. It's not a cause but a symptom. A symptom of social changes instituted by -- men."

In one of her lectures she explains that the way to make a man understand what it's like to be a woman is to have him remember what it was like when he was a young teenager and completely dependent on his father. He would have to ask him for everything; wheedle, pout and manipulate just to get the use of the car or increase his allowance etc . He was reduced "to be essentially an outsized child". That's the situation women are forced to be in all their lives; our society never allows them to grow out of it without a huge struggle on their part.

As women started to get out into the work force in positions higher than secretary or nurse or cleaning woman, they found that it was necessary to tread lightly. But while being careful not to wound the male's fragile ego, their own ego was being pummeled.

Some women have networked and shared their common experiences. Every woman remembers being the only female in a group of males charged by management to come up with ideas. After grabbing her courage in both hands, she offers a suggestion and is ignored. At the next meeting, Pete or Fred offer the same suggestion and it is hailed as a super idea. Ramey never let herself be cowed by men. She went right up into their faces with science.

In a 1973 lecture, Professor Ramey flung the gauntlet at her male colleges.

"Testosterone is not a bad hormone as hormones go and is is said by some to be the `take charge' hormone. But what it does to the heart and blood vessels bears thinking about. However, very little research has been done on what testosterone does to the blood vessels - that's because men do the research.

"In order to do research on the effects of testosterone, these men would have to face up to the fact that there may be a weakness in males, so they don't do the work. Out of sheer altruism, I have put in a application to the NIH to work on this problem. I care about the men in my life; I care about my husband, my son, my grandson. I think they are pretty valuable people and I would like to know what can be done to keep them alive longer."

That challenge and the telling results of her studies of the male hormone got male scientists off their collective, egotistical asses nearly 40 years ago. It also resulted in better studies of female hormones.

"As far as intelligence is concerned, everything we know about intelligence says that women are indeed members of the species Homo sapiens: IQ's average out the same for both sexes. Women can think. It is a disadvantage to them to do so, but the potential is there ...

"If all the rare genius that resides in human brains, including female brains, had been utilized, might we have a cure for cancer, or a cure for the aging of male blood vessels? Excellent minds are so rare. Can we afford to waste any?"

In the 40 years since she wrote this, countless women's minds were wasted. How much has civilization lost by denying women's leadership, women's voices and women's creativity? Well, for one thing, sexism and misogyny deprived us of a president who would have brought women and men as equals into the White House with her.

The United States Senate Sep 18, 2006 Section 24

Sen. Hillary Clinton [D-NY]: Mr. President, on September 8, our Nation lost a great American and my husband and I lost a wonderful friend of over 20 years. Dr. Estelle R. Ramey was a respected endocrinologist, physiologist, and feminist. She was a woman of great wit and wisdom who fought gender discrimination in the scientific professions and in the conduct of medical research. Dr. Ramey died of Alzheimer's disease at the age of 89.

Estelle Rubin Ramey was born in Detroit and raised in New York City. Her mother, a wise but impoverished and illiterate immigrant, insisted that her daughter be educated. At the age of 15 in the midst of the Great Depression, Dr. Ramey was able to attend Brooklyn College for the price of a library card. [ for the rest of this tribute, click on this link]

Truck Accident Lawyer
Truck Accident Lawyer


Estelle was a fantastic person, as protective of men as she was adamant for the recognition of women's rights. She approached the gender discussion with wit and science. She died three years ago but stands as an example of someone who would have been a great choice for any Council leader. Reading some of the comments on blogs, I found that she would be called a dinosaur - sadly many women have bought into the idea that any woman with experience, actions and intelligence is passe.

From the 70's on she influenced many women's lives - certainly mine as I was introduced to her while studying in medical school [not as a med student - not allowed in them there days] taking courses to get a MS. She was an endrocrinologist who told it like it is, I discovered, after I contacted her for some info on the thymus.

I intend to do a series of posts using her words and the words of others who knew her. It seems that few women or men remember much of what the recent past was like and about the women that "were the change". The following is from her obit - note how the attitudes of the DNC have not changed much.

Ramey burst into the national limelight in 1970 when she sharply contradicted a Democratic leader’s assertion that women could not perform key executive jobs because of their “raging” hormones.

The controversial comments were made by Dr. Edgar F. Berman, a retired surgeon and confidant of former Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey. At a session of the Democratic Party’s Committee on National Priorities, he dismissed Hawaii Rep. Patsy T. Mink’s call for action on women’s rights with a diatribe on what he saw as crippling differences between the sexes.

“Suppose,” Berman conjectured, “that we had a menopausal woman president who had to make the decision of the Bay of the Pigs?” (He was referring to the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, during John F. Kennedy’s presidency.) “All things being equal,” he continued, “I would still rather have had a male JFK make the Cuban Missile Crisis decisions than a female of similar age.”

He insisted that women’s “raging storms of monthly hormonal imbalances” made them unfit for high office.

Hormonal imbalances happened to be Ramey’s specialty. When a friend told her about Berman’s comments, the endocrinologist wrote letters to the Washington Evening Star and the Washington Post criticizing the Democratic advisor. The Star published her letter, in which she wrote that she was “startled to learn that ovarian hormones are toxic to brain cells.”

She pointed out that during the Cuban missile scare, Kennedy suffered from a serious hormonal disorder — Addison’s disease, which affects the adrenal gland — and that the medications he took were capable of causing severe mood swings.

A short time after Berman made the offending remarks, he accepted an invitation from the National Women’s Press Club to debate Ramey. She claimed the advantage from the outset: When Berman opened by saying, “I really love women,” she clobbered him with “So did Henry VIII.”

The Washington Post, in its story on the debate, reported that Ramey “mopped up the floor” with Berman. He ultimately resigned his post on the Democratic National Committee and Ramey became a popular public speaker on women’s issues.

You may think this settled the hormone question but most men still think women's homones affect their brains adversely.

Friday, March 13, 2009


Veronica Guerin, right, pictured with son Cathal and husband Graham Turley

One thing we generally agree about is the lack of dedicated, or even honest, reporters in our country. It seems that all they do now is sit in their office, take phone calls and cue videos of the horrors that abound.

Although some do get off their bums during a presidential campaign, the truth seldom is in them and they are far from even-handed in their coverage of the candidates. Especially true in the recent campaign where they fell head over teakettle in love with one of the candidates. Some even admitted their bias.

Investigative reporters seem to be a dying breed so we are thrilled one did exist fairly recently. That’s part of what makes the story of Ireland’s Veronica Guerin so fascinating despite the fact that her reporting ended tragically 13 years ago followed by attempts to discredit her.

For two years, Reporter Guerin single handedly went after the drug lords in her city of Dublin. She and her family were harassed and threatened. She was beaten up but she kept on digging and reporting the facts. Her life ended in a hail of bullets.

“When the renowned crime reporter Veronica Guerin was gunned down on the outskirts of Dublin in June 1996 she became a modern-day Irish saint.” A movie was made about her and authorities vowed to punish her killers.

Two years later another Irish reporter, Emily O’Reilly wrote a book claiming that Guerin was “ruthless, devious and – worst of all – a bad mother”.

"Mrs O'Reilly says Ms Guerin blurred the line between journalist and detective in her hunt for a story and made herself and her son a target.

Veronica had a child-like ignorance of danger. No Gardai would have done what she done without back up from six squad cars and a direct phone line to the commissioner of police _ I think it was done to disarm these hard men she was interviewing."

While reluctant to criticise Ms Guerin outright she says: "It's always difficult for journalists but (former BBC war correspondent) Martin Bell didn't bring his children along to the frontline in Bosnia.

It’s not difficult to see the pattern here, a pattern of squelching the important work and life of a woman who was doing what no man dared to do. And of using a woman to do it so hopefully no one will notice the blatant sexism employed to rob a brave woman of her rightful place in history.

Expect more of this kind of reporting as SoS Clinton continues to be extreamly effective.
"NBC's Andrea Mitchell utilizes the International Women of Courage award ceremony to compare the First Lady careers of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and current First Lady Michelle Obama. Andrea presents Michelle as clearly more traditional, or wifely, than Hillary." TGW

Friday, March 06, 2009


Sticks and stones may break our bones but words will never hurt us - Baloney!

"Turning a person into a thing is almost always the first step in justifying violence against that person."
- Jean Kilbourne, lecturer and keynote speaker focusing on violence, women, and the media.

Turning a thing into a person hardly gets a second thought or consideration.

So why do women themselves contribute in many ways to being considered objects?

Why do they follow the male dictates of impersonal objects being possessions and FEMALE? Boats are she; most countries are she; cars are shes and it goes on and on with most women hardly batting an eyelash.

The male child is often referred to as a man, a big man, a young man; the female child, never as a woman, although the conditioning intent is clear when we hear her called "a young lady". Mostly though they are called objects and often named the same way. Cookie,Sweetie-pie anyone? Or the song, "Candy, I call my sugar, candy...".

Thus the male child is strengthened and identified and the female is weakened and objectified. And we wonder why it continues. Oh wait. It is mostly women who teach children their language; men teach them their social order - first class or second class. And men do this using the language taught by the mothers - the mother tongue, get it?

Another month is here that is given short shrift by media and by women. A Month called Women's. So who really cares? The media's focus and headlines is on Michelle - emphasizing her body, especially her bare arms and her clothing.

Women have let themselves be reduced to obsessers over fashion, grooming and related cattiness while ignoring how they contribute to the programming of our youth with our language.

It is so cute to be thought of as a barnyard animal that some women actually call themselves and other women, chicks, and continually refer to themselves as pre-pubic ie girls.

A small article in today's paper stated how the number of rapes has increased world-wide. The last line reminded us that most rapes are unreported. Our society still projects that it is the woman's fault so shame, awa fear, keeps the rapist in business.

And it is just too much trouble to say Chairperson. Sticks and stones, sticks and stones.

"all men are created equal" No later amendment changes those words any more that laws concerning equal pay do.

Monday, March 02, 2009


Yesterday I watched and listened to Rush Limbaugh give his speech to the faithful of CPac. Since it was covered by FOX, he jokingly announced that it was his first address to the Nation and later on he called it his first International address, slyly noting that he was not using a teleprompter. I can remember when I'd turn off the radio if he came on but that was when there was a Democratic Party that I could identify with.

Full of himself with his usual bravado, the big guy seemed really nervous and coughed a lot. Like most of us he is much more confident alone behind his radio mic but despite all that he was his usual megaphone self, blasting away at the current administration and rallying the Conservatives to take back the country.

As he spoke, I was remembering his nasty misogyny, recalling a list of them I'd just read in a blog. Strangely, they didn't seem much when compared to what we endured during the Primaries from people who claimed to be Democrats, just like us.
Damn, this is getting confusing. What happened to that Party? It picked up the values I shared and slammed them into the crapper.

Rush did a great job of slapping down current Democrats in power but came nowhere near in nastiness, to what Frat Boy-speech-writer did to Hillary. I've seen just as nasty stuff against Democratic women from the Obama crowd and written in our women's blogs. This was a favorite, oft repeated and never, never denounced by Democratic leadership, [even the women].

"Never Trust Something That Bleeds Five Days A Month And Doesn't Die."

Whatever you may think of Rush, he is consistent. He's the same nasty boy wisenheimer , whether his Party is in power or out. A stark contrast to the mealy mouthed mavens of the MSM and Dem Talk. There was no tingle up my legs listening to Rush - just bewilderment that Democratic perfidy has surpassed his record for vileness.

I believe I'm on the road to recovery - but still am unable to stomach those who betrayed my trust at AARadio - that was supposed to be representing all Democrats and their values. Sadly, what made Air America attractive was that it attacked the villainous Republicans. We were surprised and devastated when it attacked Hillary. Why did we let the Rachels, Thoms, Randis, Steph and her boys manipulate us that way? More to the point and more honestly, why did we allow ourselves to be manipulated?

Like many others, if the blogs are to be believed, I am just another person without a political affiliation. The internalization of that fact was what gave me the freedom and the wisdom to listen to Rush and others who mostly do not represent my political views. No, I didn't become a fan of his nor did I instantly put on the GOP, glorious, shining mantel of ... but hold on. Those shiny robes are now worn by the Glorious one, the Precious one who represents the Party opposed to Rush.

And women's votes put him in those robes and keep him there with their adoring cries. Even some who do not worship him are quick to forgive because he appointed women or mentioned support for health care, education etc. Is this just another example of the way women are conditioned to return to their abuser? We see it every day as battered women bring their children into a help center and then recant and return to the bastards that beat the shit out of them.

Sure women think they are free, liberated from the confines of the past and escaped from the dictates of society.

But the more liberated they think they are the more they mold themselves to men's fantasies thus validating them. It takes real courage to be free. So far most take the safest path and return to their abuser who promised to bring flowers of health care or reproductive freedom.

Rush, for all his warts, is The Man, a universal symbol of women's continued acceptance of her oppression. A big old piñata for them to hit with their sticks of hatred and feel they are winning their birthright while ignoring the clanging shackles put on them by a punishing society they support out of ignorance or fear.

But there is hope. Women who have finally recognized how our society conditions them and have pulled themselves free of its disastrous evils are showing what a morass of tradition they were tangled in. More and more of our daughters are DEFINING THEMSELVES AS WOMEN. They are throwing aside the traditional roles of doormat, prom queen, worker bee, sex doll [3 aps, count them!] and punching bag.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


We are the chumps of the world and easily seduced by any fast talking con man that comes along. Oh, and hardly noticed, another husband just cut off his wife's head - no not in a 3rd world country - HERE! But the media knows most of us don't give a damn so they don't report it.

Almost daily we read about how other countries are leaving the 17th Century behind. Now here's another one that puts America to shame.

The almost equal gender balance of AMs in the Welsh assembly has transformed how politics in Wales is conducted, according to a new report.
The study showed there were more female voices at the assembly than at Westminster and in many Welsh councils.

Political debates were more consensual than adversarial as a result and had 'non-traditional' topics on the agenda such as domestic violence.

Our country, which has been called the greatest experiment in Democracy, is still knuckle dragging, not unlike many of the humans that populate it. Far from showing improvement in our collective mentality, the last presidential election process only served to demonstrate once again that women are and will stay second class citizens - allowed to vote but not to EVER assume that they are equal.

The pattern remains the same for the land of the free [men] and home of the brave [women], even as the rest of the world is changing. Women are allowed to advance just so far and then the collective misogynistic mindset erupts in putrefaction so vile it would challenge the breath of a wildebeest or a vulture. If you've been in a cave and missed it, just Google misogyny in America or misogyny is America.

The stench created in the Primary by the Democrats now permeates every pore of the White House. Forget about the stories about renting out the Lincoln Bedroom. Iniquity never had quite as famous a den as 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

And it does not stop there. Our youth have been given permission to carry on the sexist traditions. When told that such language is not acceptable and they should not use it, they laugh with glee and say, "Yes, we can". Permission comes to them from the top of the garbage heap we call a government.

Too harsh, you say? Did you actually see any change in the way government is run by the admistration that claimed it would make these changes? The media is still raving about Obama's big win even as the Majority in Congress heap praises on his leadership.

Or did you see the same 'ol, same ol of bribery, conceit, featherbedding, lobby-driven passage of a bill no one has read. A bill that hurts the lowest paid and weakest among us -the children, the elderly and most women.

A bill that rewards the money men and the hierarchy is not what the Democratic Party should be supporting - unless, as has been stated by many, that Party has ceased to exist.

But we knew that, didn't we when the most qualified candidate was summarily discarded; painfully reminiscent of the way some Asian parents disposed of their female babies.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


We swim in it daily in our homes, our work and from the media.

While nothing should be considered any worse than the buying and selling of human beings, fairness dictates that we look at the status of ALL women who were brought to this country.

Not just the ones in chains, as were the slaves, but those bound just as tightly by the religious rawhide that classified all women as a possession, by father, husband, son or any male relative.

Not many years ago, women, no matter their color, were chattel. They were not citizens, they were not allowed to gain employment of their own choosing, they could not own property, they were forced to marry the man chosen by their male relatives. They were banished with no means of support unless they agreed to remain as an unpaid, family servant for life.

A few privileged women were allowed some rudimentary education but most were punished if they tried to access it on their own. Her husband could banish her from her home on a whim and take her children from her. The home and the children she bore belonged to her husband. Marital rape and beatings were commonplace and considered to be a husband's right.

It took immense courage and many years for a few fantastic women to change this. The changes came slowly and only after great effort and sacrifice. We saw a great surge in the 60’s and 70’s, after that, women just coasted believing the fight was won.

Not all women, of course. There were many that still suffered from the great gap in pay for equal work or the restrictions on the type of position a woman might aspire to. But the grassroots burned out as the Woman’s Movement moved itself loftily above the common woman and devoted itself to feminizing everything back into the same old mold society was more comfortable with.

Our youth looked for other inequities to champion against and many found the treatment of African Americans one cause they had to support. It was in this same spirit that many women of the present day devoted themselves to helping a black man become president.

But many more women and supportive men saw that real change and progress was in a woman, Hillary Clinton, whose qualifications towered above a Johnny-come-lately, Barack Obama, who had no ties to the Civil Rights Movement; whose family had never known slavery.

When these women and men listened to Obama’s inauguration address they heard the emphasis on founding fathers and MLK as if no woman ever existed along that trail of history – only men. No Sojourner Truth, no Harriet Tubman, no Rosa Parks, no Corretta Scott King was even alluded to or acknowledged for their part in the Civil Rights Movement.

He called for everyone to pitch in and work for his better America and we remembered his gestures and misogyny during the Primary campaign. We women heard him call for sacrifices in Medicaid and Social Security that would grossly affect the old and the ill – the majority of these being women. Since women are paid less than men over their working life, their retirement packages are smaller and they depend on Social Security benefits.

The media still raves about one sentence of POTUS’ Address. We paraphrase it for a more relevant, realistic twist:

Women “have tasted the bitter swill” of misogyny and sexism. We swim in it daily in our homes, our work and from the media. It does not abate; it grows stronger and comes continuously from many sources unrestricted by the very government officials that should be condemning it.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


When someone appropriates one persona after another, it is difficult to ascertain just who the hell they are or who they will be tomorrow. Obama is such a person, slithering in and out, portraying the famous; appropriating their wisdom, passion and ideas because he has none of his own.

We cannot forget how he morphed into President Jack Kennedy while on the campaign trail with uncle Ted and daughter Caroline; Or the elaborate columns and settings where he evoked MLK and Julius Caesar with everything but a wreath around his head and a scepter in his hand.

And what of the omnipotent declarations from his campaign? Just like the Supreme Being in many religions, he was held forth as THE ONE - The One we have been waiting for. JC incarnate? No, nothing less than the All Mighty.

The Hopey-Changey mantra prayer satisfied the masses of youngsters and media but when substance was needed he just took from everyone without sourcing. He denounced Senator Clinton’s proposals one day and the next day claimed many of them as his own initiatives. His cabinet choices have been called, Clintonesque, because he chose several people from former President Clinton’s administration.

Which persona will be taking the oath of office? Some think he will be Lincoln for inauguration day - a reprise of his staging in Springfield, Ill, when he first threw his hat into the presidential ring. Certainly the preparations appear to indicate that.

It’s reported that the bible used to swear in Honest Abe will be used for Obama to swear on, and the food for the Congressional luncheon will be based on Abe’s preferences and served on replicas of Mary Todd Lincoln’s china.

The luncheon’s theme is "A New Birth of Freedom," to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of President Abraham Lincoln on Feb. 12. Women, gird your loins and prepare for the birth pangs.

When he announces the members of his administration, he informs us that he is emulating Abe’s "team of rivals". He will also go by train to Washington DC via the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia, just like Lincoln did.

The Sunday before the glorious Holy Day, he will hold a rally at [wait for it] the Lincoln Memorial. One can but wonder if he will eschew the Charmin for the old log cabin staple, corn cobs, to wipe his royal a$$.

Too bad there are no Lloyd Benson’s of the Lincoln era who can come forth and tell us, “I knew Abe Lincoln, he was my friend. Obama is no Abraham Lincoln.”

Sunday, January 11, 2009


As many in the world are focused on honoring our next selected president, I honor two old friends who have left the battle field of life and gone on to The Rainbow Bridge.

They came to me at the turn of the century. Two small bundles of feathers, one brown, one black and white. They arrived in a big cardboard box and were not pleased at being jostled around during their ride to my backyard which would be their home for the next nine years.

I named the Barred Rock, Xena, and the New Hampshire Red, Gabrielle, and there was no doubt that they would carry out their tasks like the warriors they were named for. On being de-boxed, they flexed and fluttered their feathers into order and immediately began a fight against bugdom that would not cease until they died.

I grow most of my food and am fortunate that my yard is enclosed on three sides with a stockade fence which keeps dogs and most other vegetable tramper-downers out. Not so with woodchucks, who just dig under the fence [but that's another story] or other predators of the insect kind. I will not use pesticides so Xena and Gab were hired on as exterminators. A job they were not only fitted for but one they took on with alacrity.

Besides their diligent warrior-work they kept me supplied with fresh eggs and added their contributions daily to my compost pile. Bird droppings are so rich that they would burn plants if used on them directly so they have to be composted first.

Perhaps best of all and most memorable was the great pleasure they gave me. We often conversed as they followed me around the yard. They had noticed that I stirred up insects which they quickly eliminated so they found uses for me other than food and shelter provider.

They lived off the land most of the year, the exception being when the cold and snows of winter came. I shoveled paths in the snow to a "bath" constructed in a dry sandy area of the yard. It was just a tarp covered area where they could periodically find sandy soil to nestle into and work it through their feathers to clean off the dregs of "cabin fever" induced by days confined to their residence.

We had few differences. The greatest was disagreement about bedtime or roost time. They would happily stay out to near dark on lovely warm summer nights but I knew of the lurking fox and other predators. So I would walk them toward their quarters and just as we got to the door, each would shoot off in opposite directions. Just one example of how smart they were. They quickly learned that when I picked up a shovel it meant worms and they would fly to help me dig them.

And, like me, they got older. In September, Gabby refused a proffered worm and went to her nest box. I stroked her head and thanked her, wishing her a smooth transition. Xena endured on into the next year but she was so lost without her friend and with the cold weather coming on, I fixed up quarters for her in my sunroom. She was a great house guest, entertaining the cats and announcing visitors with a stern warning to behave themselves.

For awhile she rallied and joined into the life in the big house, then she too let me know it was time. I fixed up an open end box and filled it with more of the sweet, dry grass clippings full of summer fragrance that was in her old nest box. I do not grieve their passing, I honor their life and their patience with me. And I miss them.

"I think I could turn and live with animals, they're so placid and self contain'd,
I stand and look at them long and long.
They do not sweat and whine about their condition,
They do not lie awake in the dark and weep for their sins,
They do not make me sick discussing their duty to God,
Not one is dissatisfied, not one is demented with the mania of owning things,
Not one kneels to another, nor to his kind that lived thousands of years ago,
Not one is respectable or unhappy over the earth.
So they show their relations to me, and I accept them;
They bring me tokens of myself - they evince them plainly in their possession."
- Leaves Of Grass by Walt Whitman

Sunday, January 04, 2009


It’s been nearly a hundred years since the Great Depression [GD], and now here we are on the verge of another one. It’s been 89 years since women’s brave and persistent efforts won them the vote. For a timeline of their efforts to achieve this:

The GD lasted for 10 years and during that time forward, women held onto their slim gains of equality by the skin of their teeth. While men of property and wealth were devastated and several corporate fat cats defenestrated, women, always the most depressed class, suffered more than any other group.

A revival of the movement followed some time after the end of the depression, advanced by WWII, which provided the need for women to work outside of the home. They were magnificent; building planes and ships; working in factories and on farms.

Although on balance, this period ushered in several years of change for the better, some of the changes were cosmetic. Many women took their newfound freedom and ran with it – right into the pits that their mothers had so recently dug their way out of.

And what a boon to men it was when these women took the attitude that they could be and dress and do anything they wanted to. What the women called freedom, the men saw as their just deserts – women were accepting their proper place as serving mankind – continuous eye candy.

Women were allowed better jobs and education by acts of Congress but for many of them it was a bloody battle to secure and keep these rights. The money and power still belonged to the establishment. For many women, to get along meant to go along. It meant to go along with the sexism in the workplace and campus – just laugh and pretend it didn’t hurt.

Others resisted and fought back. Some have recorded their experiences and written about them as fiction to avoid threatened lawsuits. The Gutenberg Project chose one of these, Wild Justice, for their on-line book collection. Anyone may read or download this ebook at:

One of the most horrific things in the Woman’s Movement for Equality is the incidence of woman on woman misogyny. We can celebrate the many men who support our cause despite the real risks they take from the brotherhood, but oceans of tears cannot remove this blatant perfidy of women.

The mere fact that a superbly qualified woman could win the most votes and the most delegates in her Party’s Primary and be denied the candidacy by the illegal acts of the men and women of the Party should tell you something.

Amy Siskind wrote in A Year Ago Today, about her awakening to the fact that the Democratic Party did not support women. She wrote graphically of how our children have been programmed to hate women by the media.

“It’s when your 5th grade daughter’s friend gets into your car after school one day. And her friend is crying because a gang of boys had acted out on her. And the girl is told she is a “bitch” and a “whore” by a pack of circling boys for breaking up with their friend. And then you see that it starts very early. And then you notice the familiarity of those words as having heard them in prime time on the cable news. And then, with eyes now open, you realize that you can no longer sit at the sidelines and still live with yourself.”

Many women woke up just recently when the male national media went absolutely ga ga at pictures of Obama in bathing trunks. They realized that hard bodies are what many men really desire to look at and admire; women’s bodies were only for carnal conquest and possession.

[We are generalizing here. There are men who have evolved beyond the juvenile developmental stages of reporters and Democratic speechwriters.]

To many men, women’s bodies are in the same class as their cars, sports, boats etc which they own. This may be the true indicator of why they have no compunction in the way they refer to her as bitch, c*unt or barnyard animal. It may also explain why the “preferred” or “prized” woman is a stick figure with breasts.

Many men admire the bodies of a Putin or an Obama and admire the men too, but are content with their own appetites and the resulting beer bellies and DD size drooping male boobs, er, pecs. They walk around our beaches dressed only in shorts. They are kings and privileged to display and enjoy themselves by right of gender.

Women, even those with good healthy bodies or even the “Twiggys”, must keep certain areas of their bodies covered in public. Although décolletage is allowed as it “appeals sexually” to the male, a woman may not breasts feed a baby in public without consequences. As one person said, “women’s breasts are to fondle, not to feed.”

Sadly, many women spend their lives trying to obtain bodies our society approves of, bodies like those that are constantly taunting them in commercials, TV and movies. They may even forfeit their health to attain them.

So what sank the Woman’s Equality Movement? Probably a long list of things but we think at the top of the list was the use of the word feminist and then the splitting off of various groups: economic, sexual preference, race and age for example. Then, and still continuing, came the creation of various cults such as Post Feminist, Neo-Feminist etc, as academia beat the hell out of any common sense, united type movement.

Now we see Blogs attempting to rally women to activism and mercifully they are not all using the feminist word. Just when we need all our strength to pull together, really great, well-meaning people may be pulling us apart. Who has the time and money to support all these great efforts?

Here are just 3 that appear to be making an effort to politically and actively unite women to actively fight against sexism and misogyny: Puma, 51 Percent and The New Agenda – and they are just the tip of the iceberg, there are many more. Is there any way to unite all of us to make a powerful movement that will make it clear that women will no longer tolerate misogyny and sexism?

We saw how easily many women, who formerly supported HRC, turned happily to Obama, ignoring the misogyny and sexism of his campaign.

Will the women of ’09, who are again being hit hard by the economic depression, persevere and rise united again stronger than ever? Or will they just jump out of the windows of expediency again?

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