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Tuesday in Mooseville – Chipping Away at the Patriarchy 10/2/18

Moritz von Schwind: Sabina of Steinbach, painted 1844. The existence of Sabina von Steinbach may be a myth, but women chipping away at the patriarchy is not.

Last week was a painful and potent reminder that the forces of patriarchy are still strong and that there will always be men and women who embrace the image and role of the subservient woman; to paraphrase the title of Gail Collins’ book, women as “dolls, drudges, helpmates, and [only occasionally] heroines.” But for every moment of rage and despair last week, there was a moment of hope: Dr. Blasey Ford’s personal bravery; Sen. Klobuchar’s quiet but firm questioning; Ana Maria Archila and Maria Gallagher sharing their pain and outrage with Sen. Flake. Our hope comes not just from the sisters of today; it comes from knowing that our sisters from the past helped us to get this far. There’s still a long way to go. We won’t create the sculpture of equality overnight, but we have the chisel; we have the hammer, and we will not quit chipping away.

Fighting Back: Patty Murray – “Will women be listened to, will women be heard?”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Senator Patty Murray of Washington State.

(Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) Delivers Weekly Democratic Address)

“Like so many women and men across the country, I watched Dr. Ford testify on Thursday with tears in my eyes. Her courage is truly incredible—and she is an inspiration to women, girls, and sexual assault survivors across the country. Now that we have seen Dr. Ford share her experience so bravely and vividly, and we have heard what Judge Kavanaugh has to say regarding just one of the allegations he faces, the eyes of the nation are on this Supreme Court nomination—and the Republicans who control the Senate face a few very simple, but absolutely critical questions. Is the United States Senate a place where women are listened to, heard, and respected?

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Fighting Back: “We can never let what happened after Maria happen again.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez of New York.

(Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY), Ranking Member of the Small Business Committee and the first Puerto Rican woman elected to Congress, delivered the Weekly Democratic Address in English and Spanish.)

“Puerto Ricans are American citizens. They serve in our military. They shed blood in our wars. They have died for our freedoms. And, yet, in Puerto Rico’s darkest hour, this Administration failed them.

“That is wrong and the Administration must be held accountable. So far, Congressional Republicans have failed to live up to their constitutional responsibility of exercising oversight regarding the failures of the disaster response.

“We need answers. That is why I have authored legislation creating a 9/11 style Commission to investigate the response to Maria. I have also introduced ‘The COUNT Act’, which will establish federal procedures for death tolls after disasters strike.

“A year after Maria, the American people deserve to know what happened to their fellow citizens in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. And, as the hard road of recovery begins for the communities devastated by Hurricane Florence, we can only pray this Administration has learned from their mistakes. We can never let what happened after Maria happen again.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Tuesday in Mooseville – Primary Sources: Mansplaining 1870s Style 9/18/18

Written on border: ‘Jan. 10, 1878’. Just regular old 1870s style.

Every once in awhile, my curiosity leads me down obscure rabbit holes; this was one of those weeks. In the course of reading Gail Collins’ book, America’s Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines, she talks about the rise of the “New Woman” in the late 1800s; independent, educated, and involved in issues outside of the home. Collins mentions that the “first generation of female college students enrolled around 1870” (p. 297) and that their presence led to the publication of Dr. Edward Clarke’s Sex in Education, or, a Fair Chance for Girls. A quick search led me to the discovery that the entire treatise has been made available by Project Gutenberg (Sex in Education, 1873). I started skimming it and quickly settled in to read all 196 or so pages, with a mixture of bemusement, disbelief, and horror. In light of the enraging misogyny we are once again seeing, hearing, and being subjected to over the Kavanaugh attempted rape allegation, I thought it would be interesting to explore the 1870s version of mansplaining and blaming women. If we are supposed to learn from history, some folks are learning the wrong lessons.

Fighting Back: “Democrats believe that it is our duty to help our fellow Americans recover from natural disasters.”

 
 

The Democratic Leader of the House, Nancy Pelosi, held a press conference on Thursday to discuss the preparations for Hurricane Florence and the Trump Administration’s incompetent response to hurricanes that devastated Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands last year:

Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi was joined by Small Business Committee Ranking Member Nydia Velázquez, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee and Congresswoman Stacey Plaskett for a Press Conference to discuss the new threats to communities from Hurricane Florence and the need for renewed action and accountability for the federal hurricane recovery response in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Nancy Pelosi: “We owe the communities facing Hurricane Florence a solemn pledge: in these critical months of recovery to come, the government will do everything it can to save lives and make them whole – the promises we owe every American facing disaster.

But sadly that promise was not kept for our fellow Americans in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.[…]

The suffering endured by our fellow Americans over the past year has been a challenge to the conscience of our nation, yet Trump tweeted yesterday that the death toll of 3,000 people, 3,000 Americans, was made up to discredit his Presidency.

Think about that. Pray over that. Think of the people who are affected by that.

The attitude from the Administration and from the Republican Congress is unacceptable. We have a moral obligation to do better, not only to finish the job in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, but to prevent the same type of inadequate response from ever happening again.”

(The video and transcript of the press conference is below the Weekly Democratic Party Address, which was delivered by Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont)

The Nooksack River – a Treasure to Preserve

North Fork of Nooksack River at Horseshoe Bend – Mount Baker National Forest

 

I’ve written of conservation efforts to preserve our local PNW waters and the salmonids that spawn and live in these streams. In these posts I have periodically mentioned the Nooksack but I have not featured this marvelous River as it deserves.

The Nooksack River is neither a large nor a long river by most standards as it runs only 75 miles from its origin in the glaciers of the North Cascade Mountains to its delta and mouth where it empties into Bellingham Bay to become part of the Salish Sea.

However, its relatively small size does not diminish its importance to the Pacific Northwest and its marine environment. The Nooksack is one of the few streams in the PNW that supports all five native pacific salmon species as well other salmonids such as steelhead and the rare Bull trout.

Fighting Back: “Democrats are committed to protecting Americans access to health care.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Rep. Lloyd Doggett of Texas.

(Congressman Lloyd Doggett of Texas, a senior member of the Ways and Means Committee, delivered the Weekly Democratic Address. In this week’s address, Doggett highlights Republicans’ latest assault on protections for Americans with pre-existing medical conditions, in contrast to Democrats’ agenda to lower health care costs and prescription drug prices For The People. )

“This week, in a United States District courtroom in Fort Worth, a Texas Republican relied upon their tax changes to demand termination of any protection for Americans who have a pre-existing medical condition. The Trump Administration agreed, refusing to defend this current, vital safeguard upon which 130 million Americans with pre-existing conditions rely. […]

“The best way to guarantee that we strengthen health care and protect pre-existing condition coverage – the best way to strengthen and change the law for the better – is to change the lawmakers. To have a Congress that puts the needs of families ahead of the special interests.

“Ensure you make your voice heard. Together, we can stop the undermining of our health care security.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Barack Obama: “This moment is too important to sit out.”

Former President Barack Obama spoke at the University of Illinois on Friday, accepting the Paul H. Douglas Award for Ethics in Government from the U. of I. system’s Institute of Government and Public Affairs – and announcing his entry into the midterm election fray.

I’m here today because this is one of those pivotal moments when every one of us as citizens of the United States need to determine just who it is that we are. Just what it is that we stand for. And as a fellow citizen — not as an ex-president, but as a fellow citizen — I’m here to deliver a simple message, and that is that you need to vote because our democracy depends on it. […]

Look at this crop of Democratic candidates running for Congress and governor, running for the state legislature, running for district attorney, running for school board. It is a movement of citizens who happen to be younger and more diverse and more female than ever before, and that’s really useful. We need more women in charge. But we have first-time candidates. We have veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan. Record numbers of women. Americans who have previously maybe didn’t have an interest in politics as a career but laced up their shoes and rolled up their sleeves and grabbed a clipboard because they, too, believe this time’s different. This moment’s too important to sit out.

And if you listen to what these candidates are talking about in individual races across the country, you’ll find they’re not just running against something, they’re running for something. They’re running to expand opportunity and running to restore the honor to public service. And speaking as a Democrat, that’s when the Democratic party has always made the biggest difference in the lives of the American people. When we led with conviction and principle and bold new ideas. The antidote to a government controlled by a powerful few, a government that divides is a government by the organized, energized, inclusive many. That’s what this moment’s about. That has to be the answer.

Tuesday in Mooseville – A Belated Labor Day Story 9/4/18

The Battle of the Overpass, 1937

Throughout the course of Labor Day, we see reminders of what unions have accomplished for all of us; tweets like this are typical:


Sadly, this anodyne and misleading tweet from the GOP is also typical:


What gets lost amidst the parades and barbecues, speeches and parties, politicians and public is the often costly path that was necessary to make the gains we now so-often take for granted. Today, I’m going to share one story: the story of the Battle of the Overpass.

Fighting Back: “On Labor Day, Democrats honor the men and the women who built this country and who continue to power our economy.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio.

(Ahead of Labor Day, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) delivered the Weekly Democratic Address. Brown called for policies to raise wages and benefits for American workers, make it easier for workers to save for retirement, give workers more power in their workplaces, and encourage companies to invest in workers. Brown highlighted that while most of the richest Americans and companies that ship jobs overseas were able to gain tax breaks through the GOP’s tax bill last year, American workers largely are still seeing stagnant wages and are looking for promised relief for the middle class.)

American workers are our greatest asset; they are the engine behind our nation’s success for generations – whether they punch a time sheet or make a salary or earn tips. Whether they work behind a desk or a restaurant counter, on a factory floor, on a construction site, or in a hospital.

Yet for too many of these workers, their hard work doesn’t pay off. Corporate profits are up. Executive salaries have gone up dramatically. Stock prices have gone up. Workers are ever more productive. But wages have barely budged. In fact, under this administration, wages have actually declined. […]

To the millions of American workers working too many hours for too little pay, let me tell you, you aren’t invisible to me, you are not invisible to Democratic officeholders in this country.

We see you. We hear you. We fight for you.

We fight for paid family leave. We fight for sick leave. We fight for overtime pay. We fight to give workers a say on the job. We fight to save America’s pensions. We fight for those small businesses that are helping in our pension system. We want to make it easy for everyone to save for retirement.

We work to encourage companies to invest in their greatest asset – you, the American worker. That’s what Democrats fight for on Labor Day. That’s what we’ll fight for tomorrow. That’s what we’ll fight for the rest of the year and next year too, every day throughout the year. Happy Labor Day to America’s great workforce – the American worker. Thank you so much.”

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)