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March 7th was “Crossover Day” for the Georgia General Assembly, a day when all bills presented must pass the House and the Senate before midnight. (In other words, an avalanche of anti-American GOP bills in the 11th hour.)

The Atlanta Progressive News blog captures the day’s roundup of events best:

A number of regressive and oppressive measures related to abortion, charter schools, civil disobedience, and drug testing of welfare recipients passed either the Senate or House.

Meanwhile, progressive proposals related to ballot access and solar power failed.

‘The Senate has voted to allow eighteen year-olds to carry guns, has damaged women's health by limiting access to sometime necessary medical procedures [abortions], will require the most needy to pay for drug testing to receive food for their children, and next threatens to subvert the First Amendment,’ State Sen. Steve Thomspon (D-Marietta) said.

Oh, and then there’s that little thing about the continued war on women (more…)

The kicker came when the Republicans passed a set of bills: One that forbids the state paying for women's birth control, even in cases of rape and incest and the amendment of a 1999 law that stated religious institutes were not exempt from covering contraception. In a 38-15 vote, the GOP allowed all religious-affiliated institutions to deny women contraception.

To this, eight brave Democratic females stood up and walked out of the session in a clear revolt to the two bills and their Republican signers. A few weeks ago in response to HB 954, GA Representative Yasmin Neal beautifully authored a counter bill that would forbid men from seeking vasectomies, saying,

'Thousands of children are deprived of birth in this state every year because of the lack of state regulation over vasectomies.'

(Georgia has a long, proud list of strong Democratic female leaders. The Democrats in Washington sure could use a lesson in how to conduct business in Washington and at home.)

Still, Georgia Rep. Joshua McKoon insists it is the religious in this country who are being persecuted:

‘I would say that the war that’s being waged is on religious minority in this country that has strong beliefs that are protected by the First Amendment.’
And with that, I am completely done with being the GOP’s political pawn.

The following is the brief letter I wrote to Mr. McKoon. I want answers.

Dear Senator McKoon,

When you said, “I would say that the war that’s being waged is on religious minority in this country that has strong beliefs that are protected by the First Amendment,” you used sympathetic language for a technical fact that religious zealots are indeed a minority in this country. You know full well religion and religious people as a whole in this country are in no way lacking in the rights department, nor is a war being waged upon them. Tax-free lands, radio stations, television stations, government-funded charities, religious lobbyists, advisors, and top influence in government matters does NOT constitute desparity to the religious of the United States. If you truly believed in the First Amendment for a religion free of government, you would insist churches release the millions in tax-free money the government gives to religious organizations every year. Your excuses are tiring and transparent, to say the very least. Aside this, you were elected to represent the secular Constitution, not the bible, so do your job.

You do not own the right to tell me what I can and cannot do with my body. We are not a stupid people. We know we pay entirely for your health care and your benefits. We know you give yourselves uncontested raises every year. We know the Republicans have been pouring a tsunami of illegal, outdated, and desperate laws upon the American people these last two years and it is absolutely unacceptable. The GOP obviously has NO plans to repair the economy or to create jobs but does a fine job deflecting with loud and outrageous social wedge issues. If you state otherwise, you are flat out lying.

I do not want some form letter stating the stock views of the GOP party. Be a representative and write me back in your own words. Tell me why anyone with half a brain should support a party that openly hates them, their sisters, wives, grandmothers, friends, and coworkers?

Tell me, Mr. McKoon, exactly how redefining rape or Bobby Franklin's "Prenatal Murder" bill or forced ultrasounds or the "Personhood Bill" or SB460 or the "Fetal Pain" bill or the lies and attacks against Planned Parenthood or the "Heartbeat Bill" or giving doctors the right, without recourse, not to tell a woman of prenatal dangers or cutting funding to health care clinics does NOT constitute a direct, all out war on women.


(I just added this in to reiterate my disgust) ;)

I am ready to fight back 1000% with my voice and my vote to put a stop to the GOP’s tyranny. If you are ready, get to work. With all of the stunts the GOP is pulling and will pull, there is not a moment we should remain silent.

You, too, may write Senator Joshua McKoon at: … one would think he should have a government address, yes?

HAPPY WOMEN'S DAY! Today and every day.

Originally posted to jnww on Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 05:06 PM PST.

Also republished by Sluts, ClassWarfare Newsletter: WallStreet VS Working Class Global Occupy movement, and DKos Cannabis Law and Drug War Reform.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Your letter to the cowardly legislator is (12+ / 0-)

    so well done. I wish I believed he had the decency and guts to really respond to you.

    It's appalling how they've gone full scorched earth against women in Georgia, and in too many other states.

    Are women and the men who love them mobilizing in Georgian?

    If corporations are people, then I want to see some birth certificates and talk to their parents.

    by Onomastic on Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 05:37:23 PM PST

    •  Yes! (7+ / 0-)

      Occupy Atlanta, GA Equality, and the Democratic Party of GA have been very instrumental in mobilizing people.

      The other day dozens of breast feeding moms rallied across the state in protest of an anti-breast feeding bill. I was quite surprised at that one! Yasmin Neal also received a lot of support, something I don't think the GOP saw coming.

      I believe the GOP has forgotten that women have been able to vote since the 1800's... Uh oh. better check for our status on that, too! o_O

      Strange but not a stranger.

      by jnww on Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 06:00:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Anti-breast-feeding bill. (6+ / 0-)

        Unsure whether to laugh or file papers to have them committed to an institution.

        #occupywallstreet: Although I know the rhythm you'd prefer me dancing to, I'll turn my revolt into style.

        by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 06:03:47 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  We have to look at men's breasts (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Onomastic, xxdr zombiexx

          all summer long. People will get over it. It's just breasts and most of us came equipped with them.

          I did read, however, that it was to stop women breast feeding kids over the age of two. That's very, very weird to me but you know what? Even though it may be uncomfortable to see in public, it's still not my business. Women should not be made to feel ashamed of their bodies.

          Strange but not a stranger.

          by jnww on Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 06:24:37 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nor should women... (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ranton, Onomastic, xxdr zombiexx, jnww

            ... be ashamed to be comforting nurturers to feed their babies in public.  Responsible and nurturing women who care about the health and psychological and emotional comfort of their babies WILL absolutely feed them on demand.  Nothing can make my blood pressure go up faster than hearing a distress cry of a baby in a store!  My inclination is to yell at that mother:  "Feed that baby, don't stand there looking at merchandise on a shelf with with your offspring right beside you in that uncomfortable cart/baby seat and ignore it while it's crying in pain and fear and hunger!"

            In "olden days" women popped out another baby on an average of 22-26 months.  Breast-feeding a baby on demand suppresses ovulation and provides some kind of "birth control."  About the time a child grew old enough to wean itself, a woman became fertile again and got pregnant again.  "On demand" is the operative phrase that connects suppression of ovulation with not getting pregnant.

            Breast feeding is also the most convenient way of feeding a baby when weather is horrid.  During a three-day blizzard in 1966, I was at my parents' and nursing a newborn.  The adults ran out of milk for our morning cereal..., but baby was easily fed because I was nursing.  When traveling, there's no need to stop along the way to warm a bottle or fear feeding a child sour milk.  The delivery systems (mom's breasts) have fresh milk at the correct temperature on demand.  There's also no worries about giving baby toxic substances from modern plastic bottles or bottle liners or plastic/rubber bottle nipples.  All-in-all, breast-feeding is THE most convenient way to feed a baby!  Mammary glands define us, and the one common denominator between us and other mammals is that we have mammary glands with which to suckle our young!  [That's a "Duh!" factor certain males who are jealous of suckling babies just do not understand because they are firmly convinced female breasts are only for their viewing pleasure and sexual stimulation for their brains.]

            I do genealogy research.  If there's not a new baby within a year of the marriage date (or before), it's very odd..., and I go in search of finding stillbirth records.  Any variation in the approx. two-year time span between babies, and there's either a stillbirth, an infant death, or miscarriages.  My midwife paternal grandmother had two babies within one year.  The first one was born Jan. 30, 1906 and died within a couple of days.  The second one, my eldest aunt who lived to adulthood, was born Dec 30, 1906.  There were four babies born between my paternal grandmother's wedding date and the first child who lived beyond a very few weeks before death; the last child was also an infant death many years later.  Of a total of 13 children, eight lived to adulthood.  I have the birth/death records for them.  I have records going back some 3-400 years for others, and the birth rate average is the same..., provided a woman did not die of child-bed fever soon after a baby was born, or die during the birth process, and provided there were no stillbirths or infant deaths, there was a new baby every two years on average.  If she kept feeding a baby on demand, she might be lucky enough to have almost three years between babies.  Still, if her health was good and her body could stand the strain, her entire adult life was spent pregnant or nursing babies until menopause set in.

            So, while there are many offensive things in this world to deplore, a normal woman doing what comes naturally to feed her child is not one of them.

            I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

            by NonnyO on Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 08:03:55 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Breast feeding = Free Milk for babies (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              NonnyO, jnww

              something capitalism abhores....

              #occupywallstreet: Although I know the rhythm you'd prefer me dancing to, I'll turn my revolt into style.

              by xxdr zombiexx on Fri Mar 09, 2012 at 03:27:06 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Insightful comment... (0+ / 0-)

                ... and very correct.

                Who profited all those years ago when male doctors told women it was healthier to bottle-feed babies?  We now know that was utterly false, and even modern-day formula makers get their products all wrong.  If a woman has inverted nipples and can't breast-feed, there's always good old reliable cow's milk, or if baby is allergic, goat's milk (which is what a friend of mine had to resort to with her eldest whom she nursed until the child weaned herself..., but for cereal and drinking from a glass at the table, goat's milk had to be obtained).  [I'm definitely an advocate of healthy and natural milk.  An uncle of mine had a Grade-A dairy and refused to give his cows BGH when other dairy operators did so.  My soft-spoken calm, placid uncle nearly shouted in frustration, he was so against adding BGH!]

                As far as modern-day baby care, who profits from laws requiring infant seats?  [Do those things ever go on sale?]  Why should a newborn be propped in a sitting position with their wobbly little heads unsupported when they are so much more comfortable laying down or being held in their mother's arms?  They could still be strapped in (say in a modified bassinet), just laying down instead so they can sleep.

                Infant/toddler car seats serve to separate mother from child, and it's reinforced by law.  [Separation anxiety origins, anyone?]  Seeing a newborn in an infant seat carried by mother or father - at an odd angle that is VERY bad on an adult's back, btw - and not wrapped snugly in a blanket in a parent's embrace... just drives me nutz!

                Yes, I realize there are "safety" issues but there are also SOME accidents where nothing whatsoever can save a life of any kind, baby or adult.  There are also rare instances where seat belts are fatal.  Years ago when seat belts were first being installed, a police officer I worked with was on patrol on a shortcut road that started out in our state, went slightly inside the state line of the next state and came out in our state again.  In that short distance, there was a railroad crossing at a steep angle, he apparently didn't see the train coming, and the train took the patrol car off at the firewall.  His seat belt snapped like it had been cut with a scissors because of the force of the impact, threw him out of the car to the ground.  The massive internal injuries (exacerbated by the seat belt) killed him.

                When walking in stores, if an infant is in one of those snug packs with its head next to parent's (or grandparent's) chest/heartbeat, the infant is normally sleeping (I've never seen one that wasn't; my granddaughter always slept when strapped to me).  It's the babies propped in hard plastic shopping cart infant seats that are fussing and crying (often with a panicked or painful fear tone to the cry)..., and worse..., the mother is standing right next to the child and ignoring it, not even trying to soothe the baby!  I've seen that repeatedly, and it's upset me repeatedly.  I just want to scream at the mother in frustration to pick up her child.

                My dad's mother was a midwife, and she is reported to have said "Babies don't cry for no reason.  Pick up a crying baby!"  (She died when I was a baby so I don't remember her, but I have pictures.  She has kind eyes and a soft expression on her face.)

                Obviously, I thoroughly disagree with leaving a child to cry in fear when parents are trying to get it to sleep alone or in another room (as male pediatricians dictate).  Once a child is asleep, it can be put in a bed or crib by itself, but letting a baby/child cry in fear or frustration just causes needless stress.  Make bed time a comforting and warm time instead.

                If done right, there's no reason to keep a child out of a parental bed either.  I did so.  I laid on whichever side was next up for nursing, she ate, and when full, turned her head away.  It was the dead of winter, so she was double-wrapped for warmth; in her own blanket and with my blanket.  Of course, that's where I learned not to move while sleeping, too.  I never slept so soundly I didn't hear the slightest sound from my baby, whether across the room from her crib where she was for naps or the beginning of the night, or if she was sleeping next to me.  Often when I was nursing during the day I sat in the rocker in such a way she was propped into my arms with my legs bracing us both in the chair, and I fell asleep with her in my arms sitting in the rocking chair; when she finished nursing, she turned her head away and slept.  [True.  She never even yelled loudly or in frustration until she was several months old.  When I heard her wake up, I went to her, changed her diaper, picked her up, fed her, or whatever was necessary at that moment.]

                Every child is different.  Some need the extra cuddling to feel secure.  Some push people away from early childhood forward.  Some veer back and forth between the extremes.  I would advocate common sense and a middle ground..., and listening to a midwife or older women in the family about babies and how to care for them....

                I'm sick of attempts to steer this nation from principles evolved in The Age of Reason to hallucinations derived from illiterate herdsmen. ~ Crashing Vor

                by NonnyO on Fri Mar 09, 2012 at 03:18:47 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  Oh thank gods and goddesses for (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        nellgwen, dear occupant

        Occupy Atlanta, GA Equality, and Georgia's Democratic Party~!

        Now, is there a sane way of explaining why there is an anti breast feeding bill?
        They don't want us to have abortions or take contraceptives and now they don't like healthy babies either?

        May I say something?

        They are completely fucking delusional with no understanding of reproduction, women's health needs, or what it takes to raise happy, healthy children!!!!

        Who elected these self righteously ignorant assholes?

        Never mind.....

        Fair's fair. I don't vote in your church; don't go preaching in my government. - Crashing Vor

        by Onomastic on Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 06:24:11 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Try 1920. Ladies were marching in the streets (6+ / 0-)

        in the early 1900's protesting the lack of women's sufferage. We've been able to vote for less than 100 years - and the Republicans seem to want to send us back to the time when women had no rights, which wasn't so long ago.

        "Experience declares that man is the only animal that devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general preying of the rich on the poor" - Thomas Jefferson "I don't care about the very poor." - Mitt Romney

        by bigrivergal on Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 07:31:21 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  It was 1920 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        My grandmother fought for suffrage  It didn't happen that long ago.  She died in 1980.  We have a long way to go before we are considered equal.  

  •  If I could rec 1000x (12+ / 0-)
    Tell me, Mr. McKoon, exactly how redefining rape or Bobby Franklin's "Prenatal Murder" bill or forced ultrasounds or the "Personhood Bill" or SB460 or the "Fetal Pain" bill or the lies and attacks against Planned Parenthood or the "Heartbeat Bill" or giving doctors the right, without recourse, not to tell a woman of prenatal dangers or cutting funding to health care clinics does NOT constitute a direct, all out war on women.
    EXACTLY RIGHT, my sister. THANK YOU.
  •  Drug testing everything that moves (6+ / 0-)

    that isn't a politician is a REPUBLICAN THING and an "opposition" party MIGHT...MIGHT someday, in the very distant future want to consider opposing it.

    Americans are just so slobberingly stupid when it comes to druuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugs.

    Mention the term and their assholes squeak shut and their brains just shut down and they agree to it.

    Never mind that this fascist horseshit has been tried in Florida and smacked the fuck down

    Drug testing, for those that - amazingly - still don't know, mostly catches marijuana smokers. For those who still - amazingly - don't know, one can smoke today and FAIL a drug test 3-4 weeks from now, even if you don't smoke any more.

    Drug testing makes money for companies that are almost invariably donating to republican interests and arose out of republican ideology. And since democrats generally give republicans anything they want with regards to drugs, you can thank them for not doing a fucking thing about it, other then wetting their pants at the thought of crossing them.

    It is an affront to the 4th Amendment - not that anybody really gives a shit about the 'consititution" these days - it's fashionable to pose with it but not to actually, you know - respect it:

    But it cost a shitload of money and just harrasssed marijuana smokers.

    Nearly 1,600 welfare applicants have refused to take the test since testing began in mid July, but they aren’t required to say why. Thirty-two applicants failed the test, and more than 7,000 have passed, according to the Department of Children and Families. The majority of positives were for marijuana.
    You can dislike my attitude but you can't refute the facts.

    Drug testing is an asshole policy created by assholes and supported by assholes.

    Don't be an asshole.

    It is so easy to be on the right side of this issue. It's know...rocket surgery.

    #occupywallstreet: Although I know the rhythm you'd prefer me dancing to, I'll turn my revolt into style.

    by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 05:47:42 PM PST

  •  American Taliban keeping women in virtual Purdah. (9+ / 0-)

    Why are they so afraid?

    Visit my Etsy Shop - Kos Katalogue Member

    by mayrose on Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 05:55:54 PM PST

    •  Moral retardation. (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mayrose, Onomastic, nellgwen, NonnyO, ranton

      Their sense of morality is SO threatened because they are inferior to those of us with proper development. They are stuck at a primitive level in a world where most people have evolved.

      Plus...they are pre-verts.

      #occupywallstreet: Although I know the rhythm you'd prefer me dancing to, I'll turn my revolt into style.

      by xxdr zombiexx on Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 05:59:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Honey, they're skeered of everything (7+ / 0-)

      Uppity Blacks
      The Black man in the White House
      Gays taking over marriage
      Immigrants taking over jobs
      Immigrants really leaving and no Americans to do their jobs
      People getting educations
      People protesting
      Women having dominion over their own bodies
      Voter fraud (or the lack thereof)
      Sharia law (or the lack thereof)
      Children learning
      Public schools
      Big government (it's not big enough)
      Getting caught with a minor in the airport bathroom

      You know, those kind of things.

      Strange but not a stranger.

      by jnww on Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 06:32:01 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  AZ is doing the same thing. ALEC made their (8+ / 0-)

    jobs easy for them.  I've had it too.

  •  its a typical ploy to not use gov email... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jnww, Onomastic

    ... to maintain deniability..   government emails have back ups and usually legal restrictions on deletions etc..    a yahoo account can be hacked by a preschooler...  

    During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. ~George Orwell

    by Derffie on Thu Mar 08, 2012 at 07:57:16 PM PST

  •  Letters are great. Now do something (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I am sure the diarist is. I liked the letter, but you do know that the mental pygmy to whom it is addressed will roundfile it if he even sees it. . .some dimwitted staffer will likely intercept it beforehand.
        The letter is however useful as a clarion call to organize, support democratic opponents, make sure democratic opponents respect the rights of religion, and wake up all the women who are supporting Repubs. There are actually those of us who don't mind writing checks to support the campaigns of those who pledge to respect women's rights and repeal Neanderthal legislation. But we need to know who to write these checks to.

    An empty head is not really empty; it is stuffed with rubbish. Hence the difficulty of forcing anything into an empty head. -- Eric Hoffer

    by MichiganChet on Fri Mar 09, 2012 at 06:13:06 AM PST

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