Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Action Alert: House Expected To Vote on AHCA - Call to Oppose Today

The House is expected to vote any time now, but probably by tomorrow, on the Republican American Health Care Act, based upon Paul Ryan's frat boy dreams of getting rid of Medicare and Medicaid.

This plan would cause 24 million Americans to lose health care coverage and is opposed by the nation's doctors, nurses, senior citizens and disability rights advocates, as well as advocates for poor children and pregnant women.

Please call your Congressional Representative this morning and ask them to vote against this dangerous bill.

Thank you, Mamas.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Happy Spring!

Happy Spring!  Happy Equinox!  To the longer Light that starts tomorrow!

SDG Mondays: #GlobalGoals

Today concludes our occasional series, SDG Mondays, about the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals.

The 17 Sustainable Development Goals went into effect in January of 2016 and are expected to guide all countries in their efforts to eradicate poverty, increase equality and combat climate change over the coming years.

Please take a look at the goals and decide how you can help.  The fight to end poverty, inequality and climate change belongs to all of us.

Stand up.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Set Up A Visit At Your Congressional Representative's Office to Discuss Healthcare & Oppose the AHCA

I encourage citizens who are opposed to the GOP health plan to set up lobby visits with their Member of Congress's Chief of Staff or District Director in their district office about it. 

Constituent lobby visits are one of the most effective ways to communicate with Representatives. It has been shown that as few as seven visits from constituents on a single issue to a single Representative really influences how they feel they need to vote to be re-elected. We need the Congress to hear from a diverse group of constituents who would be impacted by the bill and from community leaders who clearly have influence - we need clergy, senior citizens, people with disabilities, doctors, nurses and families who need mental health treatment to visit. 

Setting up the visit takes persistence and follow up. 

At your visit, you politely explain your problems with the bill, let them know you do not want them to vote for it and that we need them to work for a better bill and leave behind a relevant fact sheet for them to read. It is not helpful to ask for things it is unrealistic to expect your Representative to support like universal health care with a conservative Member. You have to present yourself as someone whose vote they can win. 

Here is something you could revise and add to and use as a fact sheet if it reflects your concerns:

Oppose The American Health Care Act
·      The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that 14 million Americans would lose health insurance within the year under this bill and that 24 million would lose coverage by 2026.

·      The AHCA is opposed by the AARP due to the impact on Medicare and Medicaid access and stability.

·      The AHCA would result in Medicaid cuts that would put at risk the health and safety of 17.4 million children and adults with disabilities and seniors by eliminating much-needed services that allow individuals to live independently in their homes and communities.

·      The AHCA would  re-instate, but under-fund,  high risk pools for people with chronic and complex health care conditions which were used and  have been proven ineffective prior to the Affordable Care Act.

·      The AHCA would restrict access to critical mental health services.

·      The AHCA would greatly eliminate income-based subsidies, replacing them with age-based subsidies which would price many working families out of adequate health insurance for their children and price disabled individuals out of comprehensive coverage that they need to survive.

·      The AHCA’s  gap surcharges and wellness program “incentives” would also disproportionately impact individuals with disabilities who may lose employment due to hospitalizations and who may not be able to reach wellness benchmarks due to their conditions.

·      The AHCA is  opposed by the American Medical Association, the American Nurses Association, the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Hospital Association, the American College of Physicians, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the American Osteopathic Association, the American Lung Association, the Federation of American Hospitals, America’s Essential Hospitals, National Nurses United, the National Physician’s Alliance, and the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.

·      Instead of supporting this dangerous legislation, please listen to the expertise of doctors and nurses and experts on the health care needs of children, the elderly and people with disabilities to craft a bill that protects the progress we have made and takes American health care forward instead of backward.

Protect disabled, elderly, and sick Americans – Vote against the American Health Care Act.

The Republicans are trying to get the bill through fast so please try to visit right away if you can.  

It is also not too early to start visiting Senators if you can.


Lone Star Ma

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club: Women In Science

In honor of Women's History Month, this installment of Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club features books about women in science, because science is not a liberal conspiracy and it is not just for men, either.  Enjoy!

  • Of Numbers and Stars:  The Story of Hypatia by  D. Anne Love
  • Maria's Comet by Deborah Hopkinson
  • Black Stars:  African American Women Scientists and Inventors by Otha Richard Sullivan 
  • Rare Treasure:  Mary Anning and Her Remarkable Discoveries by Don Brown
  • Rachel Carson and Her Book That Changed the World by Laurie Lawler
  • The Watcher:  Jane Goodall's Life with the Chimps by Jeannette Winter

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

You Don't Get To Tell Your Constituents To Shut Up, Sir

Republican Representative Joe Barton told a constituent to shut up when the constituent expressed their frustration over Representative Barton's refusal to support the Violence Against Women Act in a town hall in Frost, Texas last week.

No, sir.  You do what your constituents say, no the other way around, sir.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Congressional Budget Office Evaluation of GOP Health Plan Grim

The CBO came out with its budget and coverage evaluations of the Republicans' proposed American Health Care Act today. While it does appear to save some money, if you don't mind doing that by taking away people's ability to get medical treatment, the number of people who would lose coverage under it is terrifying: 14 million people by next year and 24 million by 2026.

They are trying to rush it through before Easter.  Please call your Congressional Representative and convince them to oppose this dangerous legislation.

Girl Guides of Canada Cancel Travel to U.S.

The Girl Guides of Canada have canceled all trips to the United States, citing concerns over travel restrictions and the need to make sure no girls get left behind. Now countries have to have travel bans about us.

SDG Mondays: Global Partnerships.

This edition of SDG Mondays features the final 17th goal of the United Nations' 17 Sustainable Development Goals: Revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.

This goal has five associated financial targets, three associated technology targets, one associated capacity building target, three associated trade targets and seven associated systemic issue targets:

Capacity building
Systemic issues
Policy and institutional coherence
Multi-stakeholder partnerships
Data, monitoring and accountability
What do you think of this goal and its associated targets?  What can you do to help meet those targets?

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club: Strong Girl Characters

In honor of Women's History Month, and International Women's Day, this installment of the Subversive Children's Book Club features fiction books with strong girl characters.  Enjoy!

Primary and Lower Elementary:

  • A Chair for My Mother by Vera Williams
  • Madeline By Ludwig Bemelmans
  • Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman
  • Mirette on The High Wire by Emily Arnold McCully
  • Chester's Way by Kevin Henkes
  • Just Us Women by Jeannette Caines
  • Rumplestiltskin's Daughter by Diane Stanley
  • The Ramona Books By Beverly Cleary
  • Tatterhood and the Hobgoblins Retold by Lauren Mills
  • Little Women By Louisa May Alcott
  • The Anne of Green Gables Books By L.M. Montgomery
  • Seven Brave Women by Betsy Hearne 
  • Becoming Naomi Leon By Pam Munoz Ryan

Upper Elementary and Teen:
  • The Tequila Worm By Viola Canales
  • The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by  Jacqueline Kelley
  • Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt
  • The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
  • Sugar by Jewell Parker Rhodes
  • One Crazy Summer & P.S. Be Eleven By Rita Williams-Garcia  
  • Ninth Ward by Jewell Parker Rhodes 
  • The Betsy-Tacy Books By Maud Hart Lovelace (the later ones) 
  • The Alice Books by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor  
  • Like Sisters on The Homefront by Rita Williams-Garcia
  • The Highest Frontier by Joan Slonczewski.

International Women's Day: Be Bold For Change

Happy International Women's Day!

The theme of International Women's Day this year is Be Bold For Change.

So many women are finding their voices today in the face of so much injustice.  Women are marching and calling and visiting their governmental representatives in ever greater numbers - we are speaking up and helping each other.  Today in the U.S., many women are participating in the Day Without A Woman.  Others are lobbying, organizing actions and running for office. 

Whatever way you can rise up and use your power to change the world for the better, let today inspire you to do it, Mamas.


Tuesday, March 07, 2017

The Republican Health Care Plan

It's not good.  Let's get to work fixing it, Mamas.

Action Alert: Down With SB6!

The Senate Committee on State Affairs is hearing testimony on SB 6, the odious Texas "bathroom bill" today.  Many thanks to those who have traveled to Austin to testify on behalf of trans Texans and intersex Texans and general kindness and decency in Texas.

There has not been one incident of a trans woman ever attacking a cisgender woman or girl in a bathroom ever, but trans women are frequently beaten and murdered and the men's room is no safe or appropriate place for them.  Let Texans pee where they need to pee.

If, like me, you cannot make it to Austin to testify, call your state senator today to protect our trans and intersex brothers and sisters.  This bill is especially rough on public school children who so need our support and loving acceptance in a world that is often so bigoted.

Call, Mamas.

Monday, March 06, 2017

SDG Mondays: Peace, Justice & Inclusive Societies

This edition of SDG Mondays features the 16th of the United Nations 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): Promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies.

This Goal has twelve targets:

 What do you think of this goal and its associated targets? What can you do to help meet the targets?

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club: Rock That Herstory!

In honor of Women's History Month, this installment of Wednesdays with The Subversive Children's Book Club features books about herstory.  Too often, history is written by the oppressors, and it is up to us as parents to right that wrong and teach the history of everyone.  So put on your pink knitted caps, Mamas, and read some herstory for kids:

  • Cool Women: The Thinking Girl’s Guide to the Hippest Women in History By Pam Nelson
  • Rad American Women A-Z:  Trailblazers, and Visionaries who Shaped Our History...and Our Future! by Kate Schatz
  • Warriors Don't Cry by Melba Pattillo Beals
  • The Ballot Box Battle By Emily Arnold McCully
  • Dolores Huerta:  A Hero To Migrant Workers By Sarah E. Warren
  • You Forgot Your Skirt, Amelia Bloomer By Shana Corey
  • The Librarian of Basra  By Jeannette Winter
  • Amelia and Eleanor Go For A Ride By Pam Munoz Ryan
  • The Value of Friendship: The Story of Jane Addams By Ann Donegan Johnson
  • Wangari's Trees of Peace By Jeannette Winter
  • Rare Treasure: Mary Anning And Her Remarkable Discoveries By Don Brown
  • Maria’s Comet By Deborah Hopkinson
  • Almost Astronauts:  13 Women Who Dared To Dream By Tanya Lee Stone