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I have loved Jackie Speier since that terrible day in November 1978 when she accompanied Congressman Leo Ryan to Jonestown, Guyana to investigate Jim Jones and his People’s Temple. Directly subsequent to their visit, Jones ordered his congregation to drink the Kool-Aid,  literally, and it is from that event that the expression derives.  It was reportedly grape-flavored and contained cyanide along with valium and other ingredients. 918 people died including children and infants. Death from cyanide poisoning is said to be excruciating.

Congressman Ryan and his delegation, including Jackie and news staff, were attacked on the tarmac at Port Kaituma while attempting to leave for home after their investigation. At that time, they were unaware of Jones’s suicide order.   You can read a full account here >>>>.

Because Jackie’s name came up in this article that has been circulating,  I thought it might be a good idea to expand a little on this courageous public servant.

She was elected to Ryan’s seat in the House in 2008.

Her given name is not Jackie. She took Jacqueline as her Confirmation name in honor of Jackie Kennedy and goes by that name. Her first husband died in an auto accident when she was pregnant in 1987.

When she lay bullet-ridden at Port Kaituma, she thought she would never live to marry and have children.

You can read an excellent interview with her on the Jonestown events and her life here >>>>

Excerpt:

Congresswoman remembers day of horror

JONESTOWN AND THE CITY HALL ASSASSINATIONS Jackie Speier remembers day of massacre and mass suicide in Guyana

Published 4:00 am, Monday, November 17, 2008

“I’m 28 years old, and I am about to die.”

I was curled up behind the wheel of an airplane on a jungle airstrip in Guyana, South America. This isn’t what I expected when I signed on to work for a United States congressman. Our fact-finding trip to investigate the Peoples Temple in Jonestown had gone horribly wrong. I lay as still as I could, pretending to be dead, as an unknown gunman pumped five bullets into me at close range. Pop-pop. Pop. Pop-pop.

When the shooting stopped, I looked around and saw bodies, including that of my boss and mentor, Congressman Leo Ryan. Wasto investigate  he, too, pretending to be dead? I called his name, but he didn’t respond. Looking down, I saw what appeared to be a bone. It was my own, and it was sticking out of my shattered right arm.

The thought raced through my mind: “I’m 28 years old, and I am about to die. This isn’t how it’s supposed to happen. I will never turn 80, never marry, never have children.”

Read more >>>>

Jackie has never backed down from a righteous battle. She accompanied Congressman Ryan on a Greenpeace mission in March 1978 to investigate the slaughter of baby harp seals in Newfoundland. Not much can be worse than witnessing babies bludgeoned before their mothers’ eyes and being unable to do anything to stop it. But Jackie has been through worse. She thought she would die and never have children. When she knew she would live, she was told she might lose limbs. Her arm and leg were shot up.

But a fighter is a fighter, and don’t tell Jackie she cannot bare arms!

Congresswoman Jackie Speier Says She and Colleagues Felt “Free” on Sleeveless Friday

Women of the House got serious about modernizing a strict dress code on Capitol Hill’s newest holiday.
July 14, 2017 4:08 pm

The Democratic women of the House have instituted a brand-new holiday in Washington: sleeveless Friday. Sparked by California Congresswoman Jackie Speier, several House Democrats arrived to Congress on July 14 wearing sleeveless dresses as part of a campaign to modernize the House dress code.

Female lawmakers began these efforts after a reporter was banned from entering the Speaker’s Lobby last week for wearing a sleeveless dress. The rules, which are enforced only on the House side of the Capitol, are not new—but after the incident last week, Speaker Paul Ryan released an announcement reiterating the dress code, per CBS:

“Members should periodically rededicate themselves to the core principles of proper parliamentary practice that are so essential to maintaining order and deliberacy here in the House.”

Speier and her colleagues took to the Capitol—and to Twitter—to make their opinions heard. On Thursday, Speier released a flyer via Twitter urging other female lawmakers to wear sleeveless dresses this Friday, and to take a photo in their sleeveless finery together Friday afternoon.

Read more >>>>

Yes! Shot up arm and all, Jackie went for “Sleeveless Friday” on the Hill and took her colleagues along with her! Go Jackie! Lead on! you are a hero! We’re so glad you got to be a mom and a leader in Congress!

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Every Creative Gene

Malala Yousafzai published these thoughts on her last day of school.


This morning I go back to class after my stressful final exams that ended last week. Today is my last day of secondary school.

I enjoyed my school years and I am excited for my future. But I can’t help thinking of millions of girls around the world who won’t ​complete their education.

I was almost one of those girls. The Taliban took over our beautiful home in Swat Valley and declared a ban on girls’ education. Our teachers told us to stop wearing our uniforms because it wasn’t​ safe. Every day I wondered if this would be my last day of school.

Read more and send Malala your congrats here >>>>

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Just to keep the record straight, here are the 17 intel agencies that we have been hearing about since Hillary Clinton brought them up during one of the debates.

 

latimes.com

There’s more than the CIA and FBI: The 17 agencies that make up the U.S. intelligence community

Nina Agrawal

The U.S. intelligence community recently reaffirmed its conclusion that senior officials in Russia were behind hacks during the 2016 presidential campaign into the Democratic National Committee and emails belonging to associates of Hillary Clinton.

But what exactly is the “intelligence community?” It’s not just an amorphous term for all U.S. intelligence officials. It’s a veritable alphabet soup of 17 agencies and offices. The group includes agencies strictly focused on intelligence as well as the intelligence arms of other government agencies and of the military. Its total budget in 2015 was $66.8 billion.

Here are the 17 offices:

Read more >>>>

Matthew Rosenberg of the New York Times explains why Trump’s remarks yesterday implying that not all 17 agencies were in agreement were deceptive misleading.

 

President Trump speaking in Warsaw on Thursday. During his speech, Mr. Trump yet again raised doubt about Russian meddling in the presidential election.

President Trump speaking in Warsaw on Thursday. During his speech, Mr. Trump yet again raised doubt about Russian meddling in the presidential election. Stephen Crowley/The New York Times

Trump Misleads on Russian Meddling: Why 17 Intelligence Agencies Don’t Need to Agree

By MATTHEW ROSENBERG

President Trump said on Thursday that only “three or four” of the United States’ 17 intelligence agencies had concluded that Russia interfered in the presidential election — a statement that while technically accurate, is misleading and suggests widespread dissent among American intelligence agencies when none has emerged.

The “three or four” agencies referred to by Mr. Trump are the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, the F.B.I. and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, all of which determined that Russia interfered in the election. Their work was compiled into a report, and a declassified version was released on Jan. 6 by the director of national intelligence. It said that all four agencies had “high confidence” that Russian spies had tried to interfere in the election on the orders of President Vladimir V. Putin.

The reason the views of only those four intelligence agencies, not all 17, were included in the assessment is simple: They were the ones tracking and analyzing the Russian campaign. The rest were doing other work.

Read more »

Cross-posted at http://Still4Hill.com.

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P*ssing off Dr. Jane Goodall DBE is one of the worst things one could ever do. Apparently, though, Ivanka Trump has managed to capture Dr. Goodall’s attention – not in a good way.

Here’s the thing, Ivanka: You do not get to write your own dictionary even though your dad is POTUS and thinks he can write his own news on Twitter. We all know what the word accomplice means, and Dr. Goodall has an advanced degree and happens to BE English, so she really, really does KNOW English.

She holds the honorary title of messenger of peace for the United Nations, so you ought to take special care where you stand when you use people’s words given the positions your dad takes – for example on conservation, wildlife, and endangered species issues.

Do you know about her work?  One wonders.

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Those watching “The Handmaid’s Tale” on Hulu cannot be faulted for thinking they might be living a cyncial version of the old 1940s “Road” pictures with Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, and Dorothy Lamour. (Who gave her that name?!) A movie called “The Road to Gilead.” Emily Peck has other ideas, but there are portents that cannot be denied.

Women In The U.S. Don’t Live In A Dystopian Hellscape. Yet.

“The Handmaid’s Tale” resonates, but there’s reason for hope.

Peck is pretty optimistic positing that the road to Gilead is fraught with lots of potholes and obstructions, but we do well not to focus too narrowly on the falling rock on one side of the highway thereby missing the sheer cliff on the other side.

I am not watching “The Handmaid’s Tale,” much as I would like to. I simply refuse to pay another dollar beyond my already expensive FiOS service, so Hulu and Netflix are out for me.  I have, however, read the book. The coincidence of the airing of the mini-series with the Democratic “Unity Tour” should set off some bells and whistles.

This is the axiom Peck offers that Bernie supporters continue to reject.

“Progress does not happen in a straight line. Setbacks are inevitable. What’s critical is what comes next.”

They rejected it during the 2016 primaries renouncing any and all incremental policies proposed by Hillary Clinton’s campaign and stubbornly continued their opposition during the general election.  They persist in their unwillingness to allow the Democratic Party to evolve naturally and have set out to take it over and overturn the common sense principles that have been its warp and woof since the groundbreaking days of FDR.  Rather than empowering women, the party is rolling back its liberating positions on women under the influence of a man who refuses to join the party.  No, this is not a relitigation or extension of the 2016 primaries.  It is a fight for the future.

The parallels between the dystopia Atwood projected and perceived potential effects of the new administration are not limited to Trump’s positions and those of his cronies. The BernieBros continue to have a hand in suppressing female issues, concerns, and voices within the only party likely to continue to highlight them.

Women have a stake in resisting efforts on either side to curtail our rights and freedoms. Resisters must do it for ourselves.  But we must be careful not to lose the party.  That is where the strength is.  The reason the BernieBots are fighting to usurp that power is because they know that a third party will have no muscle except to do what they have done in 2000 and 2016 – split the progressive vote.

We must remember that there was a reason why, at the end of her senior thesis, Hillary Clinton spurned Saul Alinsky’s methods (i.e. change from without the system rather than within) as well as the job he offered her and opted for the discipline of law school instead.  We have to be in it to win it.

Leaving the party  is no solution.  Think hard before you do that because it is not only the Trump crowd that would happily see us in shades of red, blue, green, and stripes according to their designations of how we serve.  We cannot determine our fate from the outside.  The Bernie crowd knows this, and that is why they fight to take over the party.  Let’s not just abandon it to them.

Crossposted at Still4Hill.

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Just going to put this out there #FWIW:  If only Black and Latina women were getting abortions, would the GOP guys be trying to rule women’s bodies?

The answer is no.

What they want is age-old. The Catholic Church rules this way for the same reason.

They want white women to repopulate a diminishing white population – by force and by law if necessary.

Heads up!

White people are inexorably headed to minority status in the United States.

Even if white people remained the majority, there is no evidence that voters would tolerate racist legislation.

A few things are for sure, though.  Women constitute the majority of the electorate, and we don’t care much for white men making decisions about women’s health care.

When they banish funding for Planned Parenthood, they block necessary health care for women and men: testing for STDs and cancer – blocked. Birth control – also blocked.

You balding, white-haired men do not represent women or our best interests in any way. You just want white women to pop out as many babies as possible to sustain a demographic majority in this country. What a poorly considered agenda!

Repopulation by birth rate is a cruel and shoddy agenda. Women are not baby machines.

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Still4Hill

Hillary Clinton delivered the closing keynote speech to the Professional Business Women of California yesterday.  In her remarks, she stepped up to defend Congresswoman Maxine Waters, whom Bill O’Reilly had insulted, and journalist April Ryan, whom Sean Spicer insulted in yesterday’s press briefing.

Interesting that he said it’s a full five-day week of press briefings. This administration is briefing-shy.  The State Department is not offering daily briefings, either.

Full Remarks and Q & A here:


Transcript from Time.

Hello! Thank you, thank you all so much. It is great to be back in San Francisco, a place that has a big big spot in my heart and to be able to speak with all of you this afternoon.

Please be seated and you can jump up and down its been a wonderful but long day I hear.

I want to thank Anne not just for her kind introduction but…

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