Celebrate Women; Every Day of the Year

Celebrate Women; Every Day of the Year

Women contribute to society every day of the year.

Celebrate Women; Every Day of the Year

By Anna Hessel with Wes Hessel

 

History In the Making

Women’s History Month 2022 is now behind us, but women’s contributions to society continue, so we are recognizing some of the Women’s History Month themes of previous years in honor of the confirmation of our first female African American Supreme Court Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.  The theme for 2022 is “Providing Healing, Promoting Hope”, which pays tribute to frontline workers, medical professionals, and caregivers.  The 2021 Women’s History Month topic saluted the strength of women in times of difficulty.

Glass Is Trash

During 2020, festivities for the centennial of women’s suffrage had to be postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions, therefore 2020’s theme, “Valiant Women of the Vote: Refusing to be Silenced”, was extended through 2021, as we celebrated the election of our first female Vice-President, Kamala Harris. The intent was to pay respect to the ladies that paved the way for women’s voting rights.  Now that the second highest office in the land has had its see-through ceiling shattered, the view to the top looks clear for breakthrough when President Biden hands over the reins.  Ladies, we should make sure we are wearing cute shoes and watch where we step, as there is glass everywhere, and more to come.

Breakouts

Barriers are falling and walls are continuing to be breached.  As Douglas Emhoff put it, “I may be the first Second Gentleman, but I know I won’t be the last.”  The foundation for more is being laid in part by the man who wrote and pushed through the “Violence Against Women” Act.  Dr. Jill Biden has a doctorate in education. Ms Biden is the only First Lady to continue her career while her spouse has led the nation.  But there were leaders before them who led the way.  Shirley Chisholm was the first woman of color elected to Congress, then the first woman to run for the Democratic nomination for president.  Geraldine Ferraro was the first woman to be a major party candidate for Vice-President.

Working From Within

The 2016 Women’s History Month theme was “Working to Form a More Perfect Union: Honoring Women in Public Service and Government.”  This sisterhood of political pioneers have opened the doors of diversity for our nation.  The National Women’s History Project for that year honored the often undervalued and overlooked women in government leadership and public service.  This collection of amazing women has stood on the forefront of change, and their dramatic influence on public policy and the assisting of building viable organizations and institutions have helped lead the way to a more democratic, safer, and stronger America.

Above And Beyond

These women have fought to insure equal opportunity for all.   With diversity of experience and tireless dedication to community service, each of these public leaders, have succeeded against seemingly insurmountable challenges.  This company of ladies and their ability to create non-partisan policies and all-encompassing solutions, in addition to their determination, art of collaboration, and amazing skill sets, will serve our nation today and inspire our future generations.  We applaud these women for their unyielding courage and faithful service.

Women In Front

Mark Twain is quoted as saying, “Behind every successful man, there is a woman”.  Behind every successful woman is one or more women who succeeded before them, breaking ground or building up new progress.  And these were not always just in the advancement of women’s rights.  Most of us know of Madame Curie, and her ground-breaking radiation work.  But what about Tabitha Babbitt, a Shaker who came up with the prototype for the circular saw?  Or Nancy Johnson, who patented the original hand-cranked ice cream freezer.

Intrepid Inventors

Josephine Cochrane created the first dishwasher to achieve commercial success, with the first use of water pressure to scrub.  Sarah Boone improved the portable ironing board to the familiar wedge shape of what we use today for our pressing engagements.  Alice H. Parker created the first natural gas central furnace.

Men Don’t Have A Monopoly

Elizabeth Magie gave us “The Landlord’s Game”, the forerunner of what we now know as probably the most recognized board game ever, “Monopoly”.  In its design she made social commentary on property owners of her time in their treatment of tenants and materialistic priorities, as well as the benefits of home ownership.

Science This!

The first female scientist hired by GE, Katharine Burr Blodgett, developed the first method to put one-molecule thick coatings onto glass or metal.  This made possible non-reflective glass, which is used for lenses on common items such as eyeglasses, cameras, microscopes, and other optics, as well as picture frames and the like.  She also invented screens during World War II to protect troops from toxins in smoke.

Even More Data

In 1944, data processing pioneer Grace Hopper worked with Howard Aiken to create the Mark I computer at Harvard, then later came up with the computer slang “bug” and its companion, “debug”, after finding an errant moth had caused a system problem.  She was also on the team that developed COBOL.  Architect Eleanor Raymond collaborated with biophysicist Maria Telkes to build the first solar heated home in 1947.

She Didn’t Just Play A Spy…

And Hedy Lamarr didn’t rest on her acting laurels – her work with George Anthiel in 1941 created a “Secret Communication System” that depended at least in part on frequency-hopping for security.  These innovations and further work on her part gave us the beginnings of “spread-spectrum” technology, which became the basis for fax machines, cell phones, GPS, Wifi, and other related wireless communication advances.

Create Like It’s 1966

1966 was a bellwether year – in it Marie Van Brittan Brown patented the first closed-circuit TV security system. Again in ’66, Stephanie Kwolek invented-Kevlar. Kevlar is one of the most important synthetic fabric fibers ever created. She developed the process while working on strengthening material for auto tires. It is still used for tires, and brake shoe linings, boat hulls, flame-resistant clothing, and many other composite materials.  It’s most significant use has saved countless law enforcement and military personnel; which we are extremely thankful for – the bulletproof vest.

Dr. Jackson, Dr. Jackson…

The first black woman to receive a M.I.T. PhD, Shirley Jackson, helped develop modern communication technologies such as touch tones, call waiting and caller ID, and fiber optic cables, in addition to solar cells.  And she was the first woman to head one of the major technological institutions, in her case Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

They Figure In

Since this article is about women, we can’t forget women in American history; explorer Sacagawea, original First Lady Dolley Madison, abolitionist Sojourner Truth, women’s suffrage advocate Susan B. Anthony, famed authors Louisa May Alcott and Harriet Beecher Stowe, Red Cross founder Clara Barton and fellow super-nurse Florence Nightingale, aviatrix Bessie Coleman and Amelia Earhart, poet and author Julia Ward Howe, civil rights activists Rosa Parks and Coretta Scott King, just to name but a very few…

Wells, Wells, Wells…

Women have typically had to be multi-taskers – many took this to levels of great feats.  Ida B. Wells was a women’s rights and civil rights activist (one of the founders of the NAACP), while also wearing the hats of teacher and investigative reporter, particularly focused on the horrors of lynching.  She, working with Frederick Douglass and other African American leaders, orchestrated a boycott of the 1893 Columbian Exposition, since Blacks were not permitted to enter the exhibit areas.  Ms. Wells also advocated for school integration, and helped found many African American clubs, particularly for women of color.

Working It In

Contemporary to Ida B. was housing reformer, women’s suffragette, social work pioneer, and political administrator Jane Addams.  Harriet Tubman made a career out of multiple jobs – in addition to her famous slavery freedom trips, she was a spy for the Union, abolitionist, and political advocate.

Multi-mavens

Multiple talents aren’t just a precedent of years gone by – what about actress, director, and producer Penny Marshall?  Or dancer, choreographer, singer, and reality talent judge Paula Abdul?  Queen Latifah handles music (including songwriting), acting, and producing, equally well.  While we’re on the subject of entertainment, we can’t forget Cher and Madonna.  Then there’s the lifestyle mavens such as Martha Stewart, Rachel Ray, and Ree Drummond.  And, of course, there’s one lady we only need one word for: Oprah.

Sporting It

Great women of sports also abound.  Mildred Ella “Babe” Didrikson Zaharias excelled in baseball, golf, track and field, and basketball.  In the 1932 Summer Olympics, she received two gold medals for track and field events, then became a golf professional, and went on to win ten LPGA major championships.  In 1951 she was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame, and she was married until her death in 1956 to George Zaharias.  Babe is seen as a lady ahead of her time.

They Have the Drive

Ms. Zaharias has been followed by other outstanding female athletes, such as a professional from Sweden who is considered to be one of history’s most stellar lady golfers: Annika Sörenstam.  She has received numerous awards, including H.M. The King’s Medal, AP Female Athlete of the Year 2003-2004, Bob Jones Award, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.  Nancy Lopez’ exemplary career was also precedent setting.

Tennis Anyone?

The dynasty of the Williams’ sisters in tennis is one of the great dominations of a particular sport.  And before them was the legendary Billie Jean King, who even beat out Bobby Riggs in the “Battle of the Sexes”.

Leading From The Front

The 2017 theme was “Honoring Trailblazing Women In Labor And Business”; these are ladies that have been successful in challenging women’s roles in the paid labor force and businesses.  Although women have always been part of our workforce, they are often been underpaid and undervalued.  One well known example was popularized by the movie “Norma Rae”, which was based on events in the life of Crystal Lee Sutton.  She was a strong labor leader who fought for unionizing as a way to gain better working conditions.

Do Something…

Here are ways we can continue to commemorate women’s history:

  1. Involve yourself with female supporting groups that empower girls and women
  2. Create a brand-new book or movie club on-line, or join an existing one
  3. Treat a special lady that you receive inspiration and friendship from to a mocha latte, lunch, or bouquet of flowers
  4. Invite female entertainers, speakers, writers, and other professionals to online events
  5. Utilize all social media outlets to encourage women
  6. Utilize intersectionality to understand women of all walks of life
  7. Take an online class that highlights women’s history
  8. Help involve children and teens in art, writing, performing, and reading women’s history related material
  9. Support STEM/STEAM initiatives targeted at encouraging young women in science and creative pursuits
  • Write a play, article, song, book, or poem about women, or read one

Color Purple And White

Let’s all wear purple, the international color which symbolizes women, and white, which represents women’s suffrage, to highlight those ladies who have contributed and continue to do so.  We will keep using our voices for the advancement of female equality.  For more information, visit www.womenshistorymonth.gov.  In the words of Elle Woods, “What? Like it’s hard?”

OPINION: Put the Mask Back On Rudy

OPINION: Put the Mask Back On Rudy, We Don’t Want to See Your Face

Rudy Giuliani mask up and stay masked up, we don't want to see your stinkin' face.

OPINION:

Put the Mask Back On Rudy;  We Don’t Want to See Your Face

 

By Anna Hessel with Wes Hessel

 

“I’m Done”

When Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, the former Mayor of New York City, was unmasked on “The Masked Singer”, judge Ken Jeong walked off the stage, saying, “I’m done”, and who can blame him?  Personally, I was surprised that even a FOX show would have a man with Rudy’s lack of morality on any episode.  Shock value for sure but not a wise decision; viewership is sure to tank, one can hope. Host Nick Cannon stated, “It surprises us all that you’re here”.  Exactly Nick, it’s mind boggling that he appears on any television show, other than perhaps, “America’s Most Wanted”.

Trial By Jury, Not By “Combat”

Of course, what we want to see is Mr. Giuliani and his former client “The Donald” on trial for crimes against our nation and humanity.  His “trial by combat”, “Game of Thrones” comment regarding the January 6th, 2021, insurrection, and his client’s part in it makes my blood run cold.  This man belongs behind bars, not behind a mask on any television show.  His barbaric comment, “I was referring to the kind of trial that took place for Tyrion in that very famous documentary about fictitious medieval England.  When Tyrion, who is a very small man, is accused of murder.  He didn’t commit murder, he can’t defend himself, and he hires a champion to defend him”, borders on the insane.  The only time we care to hear him sing would be in a court of law against the Trumpster and his fellow cronies.

Work Cut Out for Him

The Federal Prosecutor’s office for the Southern District of New York (i.e., Manhattan) has been pursuing cases regarding Rudy Giuliani and Donald Trump for some time.  As of October, of last year, it is headed by President Biden nominee Damian Williams, the first African American to hold the position.  We wish him Godspeed.

“…In Deep Trouble”

During an interview a year ago this month with Vanity Fair, Preet Bharara, the Southern District prosecutor from 2009 to 2017, was quoted as saying, “Rudy Giuliani is in deep trouble”, as he should be.   Later in the same interview, Bharara also quipped in response to the allegations of the Justice Department under Trump and ally Bill Barr blocking search warrants related at the time, “It’s possible the delay by Justice cost Rudy Giuliani a Trump pardon.”  A pardon by Trump was given to his former campaign chairman Paul Manafort, sentenced to seven years for his wrongdoings, as one of Trump’s last actions in office during December of 2020.

Bad Company Continues to Corrupt Morals

Giuliani’s apartment was searched to ascertain if he broke political lobbying laws when he served as Donald Trump’s lawyer.  Once the top Federal Prosecutor on the island of Manhattan himself, his law license was suspended for “false and misleading statements” in regard to Trump’s loss of the 2020 election in two boroughs of the city (both Manhattan and the Bronx) he once was mayor of.  He is also suspended from practicing law in Washington, DC. Rudy could face disbarment.  What a fall from grace his involvement with Forty-Five has caused him.  As the Bible says and is often echoed, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character’” (1 Corinthians 15:33 NIV).

September 11th To January 6th?

Makes one ponder whether Rudy’s heart was ever in the right place. Clearly, the Giuliani of 9/11 is not the man that is partner in crime to the orange haired monster.  During those attacks on our nation, Giuliani was counted upon to make a phoenix rise from the ashes. He was the loving father our nation needed,  intelligent and strong.  He made a horrific situation almost bearable, doing his best against the worst nightmare our nation had faced.  He showed courage and fortitude. What has happened to the man we came to admire twenty-one years ago?   Many books have been written about the Manhattan College and NYU School of Law alumnus.

The Taller They Are…

I, for one, am saddened by his fall. It resembles a bad dream but, unfortunately, the nightmare is so very real.  It is disconcerting enough when one of Trump’s cronies is a criminal, but it is certainly all the more distressing when the person was once considered an American hero.  This reminds one of the O.J. Simpson trial.  Will Rudy’s trial be similar, “If it does not fit, you must acquit”?  How is the man we now distrust and detest, the same one we admired during one of the saddest and darkest times in recent history? It seems incomprehensible.

That Was Then, This Is Now

Rudy Giuliani handled the brutal attack on the World Trade Center with aplomb and strength, but now during our most recent hour of distress and vexation Mr. Giuliani has not only failed our nation, he supported the unthinkable acts of violence.  This brings up the same question regarding people we know personally who took a ride on “The Donald” train and lost their way (if they ever really knew it).  Is there any turning back for those afflicted with the Trump cancer?  In the case of Rudy Giuliani, it appears to be terminal.  He claims that he should not be held accountable for the Capitol riot, saying his “trial by combat“ comment was hyperbolic. Well, someone believed his words, Rudy, an insurrection certainly occurred.

Casualties Beyond That of Respect for Constitutional Practice

Four lives were lost immediately during the violence – two to “natural causes” of cardiovascular disease, one to meth overdose, and the defensive shooting of Ashli Babbitt.  Officer Brian Sicknick suffered two strokes, the second fatal, shortly thereafter as a result of the significant injuries he sustained that day. A fifteen year police veteran Howard Liebengood committed suicide three days after the travesty, followed by fellow Officer Jeffrey Smith a few days later.  One hundred and forty police officers were injured during the attack on our nation’s capital.

Since The Glove Does Fit, We Must Convict

Rudy Giuliani needs to stand trial for his role in the attempt to overthrow the 2020 election.  No one is above the law; not a former president, an associate Attorney General, or even Time Magazines “Person of the Year” for 2001. Twenty years after being named man of the year Rudy has turned to supporting violent overthrow of the government.  Rudy is no longer “America’s Mayor”, he is now part of America’s ongoing nightmare.  It is with a heavy heart that I have watched Donald Trump lead so people astray. I trust in God, not Mr. Trump or any of his cohorts.  In closing, I demand they investigate and if proven guilty, “Throw the book at this masked singer.”

Fifty-Two Ways To Celebrate Earth Day

Fifty-Two Ways to Celebrate Earth DayEarth Day is April 22nd. Time to invest in our planet.Fifty-Two Ways to Celebrate Earth Day

 

By Anna Hessel & Wes Hessel

 

There’s Just the One Earth

There are several ways to make an investment in our planet, many of which have no financial cost or little expenditure.  In fact, being earth friendly can often save you money.  Here are fifty-two ideas, one for each Earth Day we have celebrated so far:

  1. Plant a tree; in addition to their benefit of taking in the carbon dioxide we and animals breathe out and giving back oxygen we all need; trees can help save on home heating/cooling. Choose a deciduous tree (one that loses its leaves in the fall) for the south side of your dwelling, which will allow winter sun to help heat the home, as well as provide shade in the summer months. For a northern or other windy exposure, opt for coniferous (that is, pine-type trees), which can provide a wind break against the cold (or heat, if you live in a hot area).
  2. Organize a trash pickup on the side of the road, a vacant lot, or anywhere needing rid of debris – let’s show we care for what we are blessed with.
  3. Don’t litter, ever – take a moment to put recycling and trash in their proper places; everybody wins.
  4. Plan a recycling event in your community – many things are toxic to the environment if not disposed of properly, not to mention items like electronics at the end of their life can yield back needed precious metals such as gold and platinum. But maybe they are just something you’re done with but that can help someone else, like donating cell phones to organizations who refurbish them for victims of domestic violence.
  5. Watch Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth”, and its sequel, then choose at least one thing to help stave off climate change – we all benefit.
  6. Some years back our church did a children’s musical and reception to educate the public about Earth Day – try something of this nature at your place of worship or school.
  7. Read the many publications available about pollution, global warming, and climate change – learn how we can all do our part.
  8. Educate yourself with virtual or in person Earth Day events – never stop learning.
  9. Reduce your use of paper – recycle what you do use; options like e-tickets save trees and curb environmental factors, as well as they can be easier to keep track of.
  10. Join a free swap group to stop items from going into landfills – save money in the process, too.

You Can Sustain…

  1. Opt for environmentally friendly cleaning products – clean with green.
  2. Use your local library to learn more about Mother Earth – keep learning.
  3. Choose farm-to-table food items and buy from local farmers – energy used in transportation is saved, and less gas emissions go into the air we breathe, not to mention the freshness gained in eating.
  4. Shop sustainably – for instance, ordering online can save on individual car trips, combining them into more efficient delivery routes. Also opt for purchases that include materials that are recycled or repurposed, and which are made with more sustainable and safe processes.
  5. Don’t waste resources – save water, for example, by not leaving the faucet running while brushing your teeth or between dish rinses. Turn lights off in places where no one is going to be for more than a minute, literally.
  6. Keep your car running efficiently to avoid harmful emissions – not only does it improve the air we breathe, but it also saves money with less gas used.
  7. Consider an electric or hybrid vehicle – more of the same as the previous choice.
  8. Use solar energy, if possible – even opening curtains in colder months during sunny times will cut your heating bill and use less energy of other forms. Active solar such as heating or solar cells improve the benefits significantly and can bring rebates or tax savings.
  9. Compost – even a small porch/balcony-type depository for used organic materials like fruit peels and so on cuts waste going to landfills, as well as offers low-cost, safer fertilizer. Countertop units are also now available.
  10. Use environmentally friendly household products such as paper towel or bathroom tissue. Look for green items where you shop whenever possible – recycling cuts down on energy used in manufacturing and gas emissions.

Save The Planet, Save Money…

  1. Choose Earth friendly items when remodeling your home, such as double or triple pane windows letting warm sun in but keeping the cold out, or vice versa with shades or blinds in warm months.
  2. When considering cosmetic items such as sunscreen, choose environmentally friendly companies, and, of course, cruelty free also – what goes on your skin can enter the body, so choose wisely.
  3. Biodegradable balloons are available for your next party or event, or opt for other decorating choices, as balloons can be dangerous for small children.
  4. Avoid lawn products that are toxic, not just for the planet, but for pets and wildlife.
  5. Wear ecofriendly clothing and use ecofriendly linens – items using easier to wash fabrics saves on washing costs and energy used, not to mention the environmental impact of production.
  6. Shop at thrift stores – they have many items for any budget. It’s a great way to reuse/repurpose and save money.
  7. Take military showers, which is to shut the water off between rinses – water and heating energy saved. Showers heads with built-in shutoffs can make this easier.
  8. Use eco-friendly bath products – once again, more recycling, lower waste, and less wear and tear on the environment.
  9. Put a brick in your toilet tank and invest in a low flow shower head – more water saved.
  10. Consider bar soap and shampoo and recycle any plastic shampoo or conditioner containers; also choosing containers which are designed to sit upside down when not in use will increase the amount of product you can use out of each product.

Make Good Choices

  1. Use zero or low waste grooming products that are sustainable – refills with less packaging are a good environmentally friendly choice.
  2. Take a nature walk with your children or pet – not only do we then enjoy the environment we are saving but we gain the health benefits of exercise and endorphins.
  3. A bath can be greener than showering if you take very long showers but short showers can use less water than bathing – try closing the drain one time while showering to see if the water accumulated is less or more than that of a tub run.
  4. Take a quiz to ascertain your carbon footprint to reduce it – we can always do a little better.
  5. Save energy in your home, and walk, bike, or carpool, whenever possible; turn off or up/down to use less and choose more active or sharing options for transportation.
  6. Go ahead and hug that tree, you know you want to – the Earth will love you back.
  7. Avoid excessive use of aerosols – we’ll all breathe better and stop erosion of our natural UV protection in the atmosphere.
  8. Remember to give a hoot, don’t pollute.
  9. Plant flowers – beautification, exercise, and viewing recreation, as well as the benefits of saving water with plants like succulents, or flooding mitigation by plants which can absorb excess water. And choose environmentally safer methods while you’re at it.
  10. Start a community vegetable garden – working together is better for our emotional environment, and can be more sustainable, not to mention the benefits of sharing, especially with those who are in need. Find services on the internet who can take excess produce to food pantries and banks, saving on food waste and helping at the same time.

Clean And Green

  1. Plant an herb garden – freshness adds to taste, and less energy is spent going to the store and for food processing.
  2. Put fresh mushrooms on your grocery list of sustainable foods – great benefits in multiple ways.
  3. Add avocados and bananas to your sustainable fruit and veggies basket – more health and uses beyond just as food.
  4. Create a pretty terrarium – a little more oxygen for the indoors, as well as a micro-environment reminding us of the big one, we all share.
  5. Post-Earth friendly tips on social media – it’s always good to share…
  6. Do a science experiment – try food science to learn more sustainable processes or learn ways to do things better for all of us; a good way to get our children involved.
  7. Make a do-it-yourself dry seed bomb – just make sure you use it in a place where you have permission to…
  8. Spread a pinecone with peanut butter and sprinkle birds seeds on it – instant, environmentally safe bird feeder
  9. Enjoy a nature-based scavenger hunt – more exercise and awareness of the beauty around us
  10. Recycle a small wooden box filled with pinecones, dried grass, and bark to attract insects that assist in controlling non-beneficial pests – call it a bug hotel…

Always Room for One (Or Two) More

  1. If you haven’t already, replace your light bulbs with LED-based ones – they use significantly less electricity, saving energy and money. They often have subsidized prices which make them cheaper.  But don’t forget to dispose of them safely, as with all things…
  2. Make each day an Earth Day – look for that one thing, as they say, each day, that shows the Earth it’s worth…

Earth Day is an international event that began in 1970.  For more information, and a list of events across the globe and in your own neighborhood, please visit the Earth Day official site at www.earthday.org.

Ketanji Brown Jackson; A Winning Decision

Ketanji Brown Jackson – A Winning Decision 

The confirmation of Ketanji Brown Jackson is a historic day for black Americans and the U.S. Supreme Court

Ketanji Brown Jackson: A Winning Decision 

By Anna Hessel

 

Promise To Keep

During his presidential campaign Joe Biden promised to nominate the first African-American woman to the Supreme Court.  True to his word, when Justice Stephen Gerald Breyer announced his retirement, President Biden nominated the very accomplished Ketanji Brown Jackson.  On February 25, 2022, President Biden tweeted, “I’m proud to announce that I am nominating Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to serve on the Supreme Court.  Currently serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, she is one of our nation’s brightest legal minds and will be an exceptional justice.”  Ketanji had previously made former President Barack Obama’s short list for the U.S. Supreme Court in 2016, according to NPR.

Higher Power Couple

She was born on September 14th, 1970, in Washington, D.C., the daughter of Ellery and Johnny Brown.  Ms. Brown Jackson is a graduate of Miami Palmetto Senior High School, Harvard University, and Harvard Law School, earning her law degree in 1996.  The same year, having dated for six years in college, she married Dr. Patrick Graves Jackson.  Dr. Jackson is a gastrointestinal general surgeon employed at MedStar Health at the Pasquerilla Healthcare Center, Georgetown University Hospital, and Georgetown professor, per the Miami Herald.

Side By Side

Dr. Jackson is a supportive spouse and ally. It was a pleasure watching as he proudly sat behind his wife during the Senate confirmation hearings, alongside his twin brother William.  Dr. Jackson called her a, “brilliant and compassionate partner who still takes my breath away.”  The admiration is quite mutual.  On March 21st, 2022, Judge Jackson was quoted as saying, “Speaking of unconditional love, I’d like to introduce you to my husband of 25 years, Dr. Patrick Jackson.  I have no doubt that without him by my side from the very beginning of this incredible professional journey, none of this would have been possible…We met in college more than three decades ago.  Since then, he’s been the best husband, father and friend that I could ever imagine.  Patrick, I love you.”  Dr. Jackson had wiped a tear from beneath his eye as his beautiful wife, attired in a royal blue ensemble, testified at her hearing.

Lead Me Along The Path…

The couple have two daughters, Leila, age 17, and Talia, age 21.  Judge Jackson, when describing their shared parenting techniques, points out they have taught their daughters to respect all people, while putting work before play.  Ketanji’s strong faith in God is inspiring and empowering.  When she turned 18, during her freshman year at Harvard, Ms. Jackson recalls sitting on the university steps in tears, seeking consolation for her homesickness in the Lord.  “Even in my loneliness, I thanked God for the opportunity He had given me, for the firm foundation He had provided, and also for how far I had come.  The Bible is filled with people who through faith, were able to see beyond the present, to a world of hope and glory.  God knows what lies ahead of each of us.  The best you can do, as you look forward, is to take the long view…I do know that one can only come this far by faith.”

Friends In High Places

Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, and human rights activist, praised the nomination. Ms. Markle is quoted as saying, “The civil rights history of tomorrow is being written today…Her nomination has opened new ground…For the millions of young women who will rightfully find inspiration from this moment, let’s remind ourselves that Black achievement is something that exists just not today or yesterday, and not just in moments of celebration, but as a fabric woven into the entire chronicle of the American story.”

More Glass On The Ground

I personally get misty when I recall Vice President Kamala Harris, “so help me God”, as she was sworn in as the first woman, first black female, and first biracial woman to hold the office of Vice President of the United States.  VP Harris also teared up as the glass ceiling was once again shattered when Ketanji Brown Jackson was confirmed.  Kamala had presided over the history-making Senate vote, one very historic female overseeing the ascent of another very historic woman.

Made It With Room To Spare

Unfortunately, there were no black women in the Senate to vote for Judge Jackson, however, the chamber of one hundred, does have three black men. Of those three black Senators, only Tim Scott of South Carolina voted against her confirmation.  The reasons for that vote will be long questioned. Against these odds, the predominantly male and Caucasian assembly still confirmed this stellar nominee.  Early on it was feared by both the White House and Democrats; that Harris acting as President of the Senate, might have to break a tie.  VP Harris’ vote, however, was not necessary, because of the three Republican votes by Senator Mitt Romney of Utah, Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, and Senator Susan Collins of Maine.

Judge To Justice

Ketanji Brown Jackson, cum laude graduate of Harvard Law, former supervising editor of the Harvard Law Review, and magna cum laude government graduate of Harvard’s Radcliffe College, will become the 116th Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, the first black woman to hold this position.  She watched her confirmation vote with President Biden, and they took a celebratory selfie, which the President tweeted, stating, “We’ve taken another step toward making our highest court reflect the diversity of America.”  He went on to call this vote a “historic moment” for the United States.  Justice-designate Jackson, with a 53-47 confirmation vote, will be sworn in this coming summer to the highest court of our nation.  I believe she will serve us extremely well.

It’s History!

Prior to the historic vote, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer was quoted as saying, “This is one of the great moments of American history…Today we are taking a giant, bold and important step on the well-trodden path to fulfilling our country’s founding promise.  This is a great moment for Judge Jackson, but it is an even greater moment for America as we rise to a more perfect union.”

Elle Woods Knows

Elle Woods fans around the world praise the accomplishments of this woman of integrity, intelligence, and grace.  “What, like it’s hard?”  Congratulations and God bless, 116th Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, the Very Honorable Ketanji Brown Jackson.

45 Reasons To Invoke 14th Amendment On “45”

OPINION:

45 Reasons To Invoke The 14th Amendment On “45”

OPINION:

45 Reasons To Invoke The 14th Amendment on “45”

 

By Anna Hessel

 History In The Breaking

There is much talk about invoking the 14th Amendment on “The Donald” to prevent him from ever holding public office again.  Senator Amy Klobocher has been instrumental in this fight, as well as Liz Cheney.  Just as a reminder, we must never forget Trump’s disastrous time in office.  Here are forty-five reasons why we must stand firm on stopping the “orange monster” from seeking office again:

The Beginning Of The End…

  1. Trump is responsible for the insurrection on January 6th, 2021 – this is the action that will allow the 14th Amendment to be invoked. He watched the violence unfold on television, doing nothing to stop it, despite being told to end the riot by more than one person close to him.
  2. He caged children at the Mexican border, ripping them from the arms of their parents.
  3. Trump only did one positive thing during his time in office, passing legislation making animal cruelty a felony but he also laughed about pet ownership during a speech and encouraged trophy hunting.
  4. None of us ladies want to be grabbed by the “pussy”.
  5. Trump openly made fun of a disabled journalist, giving license to mock the disabled.

Truth Is Relative

  1. He claims the election was stolen, when in fact Joe Biden received a record number of votes. He claimed victory well before millions of votes were tallied.
  2. He held a Bible he does not read in front of a church he does not attend for a photo op.
  3. Trump is a racist against any non-Caucasian race and encourages white supremacy and “white nationalism”.
  4. He wants to gut Social Security and Medicare; programs that many seniors and disabled Americans rely upon.
  5. Do we really want to see his orange hair, hear his annoying voice, or look at his unpleasant mug day after day, ever again?

Great Waste

  1. His campaign for the White House consisted of a waste of police force hours and foolish grandstanding. He was scheduled to have a rally in Chicago – extra officers were out in place and “The Donald” was a no-show.  He insults Chicago with comments about the number of murders in the Windy City.  His rallies have played the American people for fools.
  2. Trump lies and insults someone nearly every time he opens his mouth – our nation cannot tolerate another four years of this.
  3. He wanted to spend taxpayers money on a dictator’s military parade.
  4. He brought us a “men’s magazine” model as a “first lady”.
  5. His first lady literally stole a speech from a movie character; Elle Woods, in Legally Blonde.

More Highlights

  1. He is a sexist that encourages violence against women. He has taken women’s rights back decades and another four years of the Trumpster would undo all the progress President Biden has made for women’s rights.
  2. He wanted to fist fight President Biden, choosing violence as a way to bully the man who beat him in the election
  3. He refuses to tax wealthy billionaires, wanting middle-class and lower income individuals to foot the bill.
  4. Donald Trump dismantled the pandemic response team that was put in place by the Obama Biden administration. Instead of trusting science, he downplayed the severity of COVID-19, and then encouraged people to drink toxic bleach.  He refused a mask mandate to save lives.
  5. He removed the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement.

Which Way Is Up?

  1. He considers global warming to be a joke, again refusing to listen to science, preferring to rely on fossil fuel companies, dictators and Russian oligarchs for his information.
  2. Trump has encouraged antisemitism in our nation. Millions of Jewish people have been victims of his racism.
  3. He thinks all Muslims are terrorists and spreads this lie.
  4. Donald Trump is ignorant regarding American history. In a 4th of July speech he said Revolutionary soldiers “took over the airports”, then jumped to a War of 1812 reference of “rockets’ red glare” and Fort McHenry.
  5. Cancer causing windmills, need I say any more about this?

Agenda Schme-enda

  1. He is responsible for Postmaster General DeJoy. “The Donald” wants to see the Postal Service privatized.  Please see my article on Louis DeJoy and the reasons our mail is late.
  2. The disgraced ex-president wants to privatize prisons.
  3. His Supreme Court nominees clearly have a right-wing agenda. The appointment of Ketanji Brown Jackson will finally balance and counteract this far right mentality in our nation’s highest court.
  4. Donald Trump is a reality television personality, not an attorney. He bankrupted his own businesses and is unfit to run a country.
  5. He is supported strongly by the NRA and will not even consider common sense gun control.

How Not To Do It…

  1. Donald Trump is the first and only “president” or presidential candidate that blatantly refuses to show the American people his tax returns.
  2. He also is the only outgoing “president” to not attend the inauguration of his successor.
  3. He used the Oval Office for his own selfish wants, not for the betterment of the American people.
  4. He refused to allow his private quarters in the White House to be cleaned. There are rumors that there were mice in parts of the presidential residence.
  5. He discourages healthy lifestyles with a diet of fast food and lack of exercise.

Achievements And Accomplishments

  1. Trump’s bill count ranks last. He claimed to have broken President Harry Truman’s legislative record but according to statistics from the Truman library, “The Donald” has not even come close.  He signed less bills than the six administrations before him.
  2. He was removed from Twitter for his abusive tweet storms.
  3. Trump vetoed $741 billion in military spending as well as a three percent pay raise for our military troops.
  4. He insulted the memory of John McCain and made a horrific comment about “shithole countries”.
  5. “The Donald” proudly compared his press briefings to a Mike Tyson boxing match.

More Greatest Hits…

  1. Trump pardoned Blackwater contractors that massacred Iraqi civilians. This war criminals got away with murdering innocent people that included children and women.
  2. He told impressionable young boys at a Boy Scout Jamboree about a hot and wild party he was invited to.
  3. He is homophobic and had trounced the rights of the LBGTQ community repeatedly.
  4. His buddy “Moscow Mitch” McConnell fights the Democrats on every issue, swearing to stop all President Biden’s appointees if he comes back to leadership.
  5. He praises Putin, the man responsible for the war in the Ukraine. Showing himself as “Putin’s Puppet.”

The Answer Is Clear

We must never forget the atrocious behavior of Donald Trump and we must rally to invoke the 14th Amendment to stop him from another reign of terror.  Please support all efforts to see our Constitution used to curtail the Trumpster from seeking office ever again.  The “legacy” of agonistic torment that Donald Trump has left behind must never be repeated.

 

OPINION: Anti-“Reasons” From Anti-Vaxxers

OPINION:

Anti- “Reasons” From Anti-Vaxxers

OPINION:

Anti- “Reasons” From Anti-Vaxxers

Editor: This is a reminder to get vaxxed.  It’s importance for us as a nation to increase our vaccination level. We’re doing good, but we can and need to do just a bit better. So, here again, for those who missed the message, Anna and Wes Hessel’s take on COVID anti-vaxxers.

 

By Anna Hessel with Wes Hessel

 

To Vaxx or Not to Vaxx, That Shouldn’t Be A Question

I admit I had qualms about the COVID-19 vaccine when it first came out.  I am an anaphylactic, and side effects concerned me, but shortly after the vaccines became available, I talked to trusted friends and medical professionals, did some research, and then did the right thing by getting vaccinated.  My spouse and myself are fully Pfizer vaccinated. We’ve had our first booster, and are planning on having the second booster because we are both over 50.  We are both happily vaxxed and proud to show our vaccine cards as proof that we took a stand against this deadly virus.  Some of the worst excuses for refusing to get vaccinated follow:

Unsafe “Shortcuts”

  1. “I would rather take a horse de-wormer,” a product not intended for humans – this speaks for itself.
  2. “I would rather drink bleach” – this is toxic and has never been proven to prevent COVID. When President Biden was campaigning, he made a comment that he couldn’t believe he had to say it but, “Don’t drink bleach”.

But It Will…No, It Won’t

  1. “The vaccine will make me infertile.” Then why are fully vaccinated women getting pregnant?
  2. “There are side effects.” I will admit, I was very afraid of side effects when the vaccine first came out. I, however, did the right thing and got my two shot Pfizer vaccine along with my spouse, and got my booster, too.  My side effects were minimal, even having more than one autoimmune disease, and I not only protected myself with the shots but am helping to protect others from getting COVID-19.  Some minor symptoms are much better than in a hospital on a ventilator, having a tracheotomy, or worse.  Getting the vaccine is the right thing to do.
  3. “There will be sudden serious side effects years down the road.” There is no proof of this, and it is paranoid to think this.  If there were horrific side effects, they would have shown up by now.  The COVID vaccines have been repeatedly tested for safety.  Those of us who are vaccinated have not grown a tail or get radio frequency in our arms.

Misleading “Faith”

  1. “God is protecting me; I choose faith over fear.” As a devout Christian with Jewish heritage, this attitude appalls me.  God protects those that protect themselves and do what is right to help themselves and others.  This misuse of the “faith over fear”-type statement smacks of the misleading rhetoric of cult-like groups such as “Christian Scientists”, or the also not-Biblical tenets of the so-called “health and wealth gospel” adherents.  I listen to actual science; God gives aptitude and wisdom to medical professionals.  If you need surgery, or have other illnesses, do you go to a doctor?  Most Christians will say yes, so there is no difference between this and a vaccine.  If you don’t have polio, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), TB (tuberculosis), pneumonia, chicken pox, or shingles, it is because of vaccines.  Vaccines are effective.
  2. “It is a sin to get vaccinated.” Nowhere in the Bible is there any indication of this.  A popular gospel singer had COVID, and she spoke out in favor of vaccines, posting a photo of her getting the shot on social media.  Many of her fans were outraged, spewing hateful comments on her page.  Again hypocrisy, because the Word of God teaches us that we should not judge, lest we be judged and to love one another unconditionally, as we love ourselves.  And it is certainly not sinful behavior to listen to science.  Listening to science is listening to the God who created it and gave the knowledge of it to people He chose.
  3. “It’s ‘the mark of the beast’.” Well, I do agree Donald Trump is an anti-Christ, but check the Book of Revelation in the Bible, the war of Armageddon had not yet even begun, this prophecy has not yet come to pass, so the mark of the beast has not begun.  The Bible indicates this mark to be on the forehead, not in the arm.  The idea of any chip being inserted with a very thin fine needle and a clear liquid vaccine is ludicrous.  Technology may exist to do this, but it would cost hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions, to do so, and there is no way that the government would spend this money on so very many people, when they have your cell phone number.

Big Brother or Big Business

  1. “The vaccines contain magnetic government implantation and/or “mark of the beast” inserts.” I feel the way President Biden felt about warning against drinking bleach.  I don’t believe I need to say this, but the syringe is full of a clear, see-through liquid and the needle is far too thin to contain anything but the clear thin liquid.  The so-called metal that magnets supposedly cling to is either adhesion caused by sweat and body oils on the skin or, even less likely, the iron and other metals found naturally in the bloodstream.  No magnets or implants; it’s a vaccine to prevent COVID, nothing more.
  2. “The government has no right to tell me what to do with my body” – this comment is mostly made by the same individuals that claim denying a woman’s right to choose is not telling her what to do with her own body. I am not making a pro-choice or a pro-life statement here, but simply pointing out hypocrisy.  No, the government is not “trying to control me”, the government is trying to control COVID-19.
  3. “This vaccine is just a way for pharmaceutical companies to make money.” Just like any for profit company, drug companies do need to make money to stay in business and bring us medicines.  I agree that they often gouge prices, but the vaccines are free of cost, including the boosters, so consumers are not paying out of pocket for the vaccinations.  Democrats and our current administration are trying to get large corporations to pay their fair share in taxes also – this is in direct contradiction to the idea that liberals who agree with vaccines are simply trying to put money into the deep pockets of the drug manufacturers.  Yes, this vaccine took a shorter period to create than other vaccines but with the number of COVID-19 deaths, time was of the essence, an emergency situation and worldwide pandemic.  When Jonas Salk created the polio vaccine, he refused to patent it to make it as widely and swiftly available as possible.  Medical technology is far better today than it was when other vaccines were being created, allowing those working tirelessly to create a safe and effective vaccine much more quickly.  The competing cooperating research units of the pharmaceutical companies means the groups who develop safe, effective vaccines first make the most profit from the paid for vaccinations.  Conversely, a group creating a vaccine which has serious side effects or high risks would open that corporation to the vulnerability of liability and the associated lawsuits. In the end costing them hundreds of millions or more, so it behooves them to make a product that will help, and not harm.

Selective Science

  1. “Vaccines should not need a booster shot.” Flu shots are annual, and for the same reason as the need for coronavirus booster shots: COVID-19 is a virus, which means it mutates quickly, making it harder for the body to adapt to fighting variants.  I will gladly get additional jabs to avoid a ventilator and death.
  2. “The vaccines were created too quickly.” With millions of people dying from the COVID-19 pandemic, it was imperative to act fast.  We have medical technology that is far more sophisticated today, than yesteryear when the other vaccines were created. We have the ability to create safe vaccines much faster than scientists did back in the day.  When Jonas Salk and his team had created the polio vaccine, the testing was done over one year – 1954 to 1955.  Computer modeling and so many other medical research improvements have occurred in the 65 years since then.
  3. “Having COVID-19 will cause you to have better immunity against it.” Again, like many of the anti-vaxxers arguments, this is not proven and there is the little factor of if you don’t actually die from COVID involved here or suffer from long-term effects from the virus which are becoming apparent.
  4. “Getting the vaccine will change or destroy my DNA”- this again makes no sense. It’s a vaccine, to save lives just like the ones for polio, diphtheria, shingles, or chicken pox.  It is not DNA altering, it is just a weakened or “killed” virus which protects us from getting COVID or getting a worst case scenario bout of the virus.
  5. “COVID-19 is not really a pandemic of the unvaccinated’” – yes, it is. Even with some vaccinated individuals getting Omicron or other variants.  While “breakthrough” infections will occur, studies continue to show that vaccinations, especially boosted, significantly reduce death and hospitalizations.
  6. “COVID is just like the flu”, as many anti-vaxxer, anti-maskers want to believe – scientific fact proves otherwise. WHO estimates about 1 billion people get influenza every year, with around 290,000 to 650,000 flu-related deaths per year (presumably the fluctuation due to the flu variants prevalent at the time).  Per Johns Hopkins online COVID-19 statistics (https://www.arcgis.com/apps/dashboards/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6), as of the morning of April 5th, 2022, there have been over 494 million identified cases of the coronavirus, and over 6.17 million related deaths worldwide.  In the United States alone, there have been almost 81.5 million cases of COVID, and approaching one million connected deaths.  Reasonable people with intelligence recognize this truth and get vaccinated.  Those refusing to believe this do often end up dying or hospitalized from the virus but anti-vaxxers choose not to see reason.  This frightening belief among those refusing to do their part to eradicate COVID is alarming.  People who insist that we should just enjoy one another and live life without regard to COVID-19, in my opinion, are lying to themselves.  I find their attitudes to be irresponsible and appalling, especially when it is done in the name of the Lord.  It is certainly not possible to simply enjoy life or one another if you are dead or on a ventilator.

But…

  1. “I don’t have time to get vaccinated” – the reality is, it takes a little waiting time, a few minutes for the actual shot, and 15 minutes for safety observation after. If you don’t get vaccinated, you will lose all time after your death, or the time eaten up in a hospital.
  2. “I hate needles” – so do I, very much. But presumably, you had other vaccinations when you were young, and you got through it.  Focus on the good it does for you, rather than the little pinch.  Also, my husband cued in the nurse who did our first injections, and she chatted me up while in the process.  The distraction of conversation or the like can also help.
  3. “I don’t want to.” Ultimately, this is what almost all the so-called “reasons” to not get the vaccination boil down to justifying – selfishness.  The idea in psychology of “the personal fable” strongly applies – that is the concept of denial which says, “it won’t happen to me”, and these days it seems, the “me” is all that matters.  This isn’t borne out in the number of COVID-19 infections, and the significantly stronger likelihood of serious complications if you are unvaccinated.  Not to mention in general, if everyone is only looking out for “me”, then all the other “me’s” are at risk, which sooner or later will lead back around to your “me”.  And as a Christian, I see the Bible via Jesus’ words to be clear: “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31).

Religious or true medical reasons aside, most human beings have no legitimate reason to not vaccinate.  So, let’s not continue to focus on the self in this or any other way, because to do so will eventually seriously threaten oneself.