Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright Speaks Out

 

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Madeline Albright, Former Secretary of State under the Clinton administration and Joanne Tosti-Vasey at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

Madeline Albright, a refugee herself, is spot on in her condemnation of Donald Trump’s Executive Order banning immigration and entry of refugees from Muslim countries. Even if Friday’s executive order is only “temporary,” it plays right into the hands of ISIS and is based on fear and fear alone.

 

As Franklin D. Roosevelt said in what I believe was his most famous Fireside Chat, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.” Creating policy based on fear puts us all at risk, hurts our economy, and threatens our democracy.

I believe everyone should read Ms. Albright’s statement. Trump’s fearful executive order does not reflect our American values. Once read, please go to the link at the end of her statement and add your name to this statement:

“We are a country of immigrants with a long, proud legacy of providing safe refuge for those seeking freedom and opportunity. Walls, bans and divisive politics don’t represent us. We can’t—and won’t—be silent while some at the top target the most vulnerable among us.”

Speak up now.

Central Oregon Coast NOW

By now, I’m sure you’ve heard about the executive order on immigration and refugees that the President signed on Friday. It bans Syrian refugees from entering our country, suspends the entire refugee program for 120 days, cuts in half the number of refugees we can admit, and halts all travel from certain Muslim-majority countries.

I felt I had no choice but to speak out against it in the strongest possible terms.

This is a cruel measure that represents a stark departure from America’s core values. We have a proud tradition of sheltering those fleeing violence and persecution, and have always been the world leader in refugee resettlement. As a refugee myself who fled the communist takeover of Czechoslovakia, I personally benefited from this country’s generosity and its tradition of openness. This order would end that tradition, and discriminate against those fleeing a brutal civil war in Syria.

There is…

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Picture of Pat Reuss

I know that the FIGHT OF OUR LIVES in the months and years ahead will be to Demand and Defend REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE

 

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Pat Reuss

My friend, Pat Reuss, is speaking truth to power. Thanks Pat for your coherent thoughts.

 

Central Oregon Coast NOW

By Pat Reuss December 12, 2016

Even though I have spent the last 44 years in the women’s movement working for many issues including economic and racial justice, fighting against poverty and violence against women and promoting older women’s issues, the ERA, Title IX and work/family issues, I know that the fight of our lives in the months and years ahead will be to demand and defend reproductive justice.  If we lose the constitutional and political gains we’ve made in reproductive justice, our cogency as a movement and a voice for girls and women will certainly be in question and girls and women’s lives will be at greater risk.  If we go back to treating women as disposable rather than self-determining, whole, autonomous members of humanity, then we lose standing to demand fair pay, safe homes, and equal treatment under the law in all other arenas of life. 

 So…

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Farewell, America

Originally published in Moyers & Co., Neal Gable calls upon the media to bear true witness to what is happening since the election of Donald Trump on November 8, 2016, and the consequences that result:

“…[T]he disempowered media may have one more role to fill: They must bear witness. Many years from now, future generations will need to know what happened to us and how it happened. They will need to know how disgruntled white Americans, full of self-righteous indignation, found a way to take back a country they felt they were entitled to and which they believed had been lost. They will need to know about the ugliness and evil that destroyed us as a nation after great men like Lincoln and Roosevelt guided us through previous crises and kept our values intact. They will need to know, and they will need a vigorous, engaged, moral media to tell them. They will also need us.

We are not living for ourselves anymore in this country. Now we are living for history.”

Central Oregon Coast NOW

No matter how the rest of the world looked at us on Nov. 7, they will now look at us differently.

memorial The sun sets behind the Jefferson Memorial in Washington. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

America died on Nov. 8, 2016, not with a bang or a whimper, but at its own hand via electoral suicide. We the people chose a man who has shredded our values, our morals, our compassion, our tolerance, our decency, our sense of common purpose, our very identity — all the things that, however tenuously, made a nation out of a country.

Whatever place we now live in is not the same place it was on Nov. 7. No matter how the rest of the world looked at us on Nov. 7, they will now look at us differently. We are likely to be a pariah country…

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Dear World, We are so sorry but we got this one wrong.  Really, really wrong.

Dark clouds rising over the US. Particularly for women, people of color, & anyone who teeters on the brink of healthcare or economic crisis.

So here’s what we need to do…

Stand up. Fight back. For our country. For the environment. For women & children. For all races. #HateTrumpsLove today but not forever.

Margaret and Helen

Margaret, I love you. We will survive, but now it is up to the next generation. If we raised them right, they will find the good in people and this country will find a way forward.

It is my hope that my daughters will one day see a woman as President. Like Hillary, we have fought the good fight for the right reasons. That spirit does not die tonight. It lives on in the next generation of strong, confident, smart women. Thank you Hillary. I wish we could have broken that ceiling together.

Hang in there. I mean it. Really.

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For Many Women, Trump’s ‘Locker Room Talk’ Brings Memories of Abuse

A version of this article appears in print on October 11, 2016, on page A1 of the New York Times.

Central Oregon Coast NOW

OCT. 10, 2016

assault Jill Gallenstein of Los Angeles wrote on Facebook about her experience with sexual assault. “This is RAPE CULTURE — the cultural conditioning of men and boys to feel entitled to treat women as objects,” she said. Credit Emily Berl for The New York Times

It was the author Kelly Oxford, a social media powerhouse, who got things started on Friday night.

“Women: tweet me your first assaults,” she wrote on Twitter at 7:48 p.m. “They aren’t just stats. I’ll go first: Old man on city bus grabs my ‘pussy’ and smiles at me, I’m 12.”

When she first posted the message, Ms. Oxford said in an interview later, she did not expect more than a handful of replies. “It was such a personal question,” she said. “I thought, ‘No one is going to share anything on Twitter.’”

Yet by Saturday morning, she was getting…

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Three women holding up posters that say "Love it! Improve it! Medicare for All!"

Add Medicare for All to DNC Platform: My Testimony

Three women holding up posters that say "Love it! Improve it! Medicare for All!"

Advocating for Medicare for All – a universal, single-payer healthcare program. Photo Courtesy of National Nurses United.

The full Democratic Platform Committee is meeting this weekend in Orlando, Florida two weeks prior to the Democratic National Convention. I will be attending the National Convention in Philadelphia as a PA-PLEO (Public Leader/Elected Official) delegate.

My biggest issue is access to health care for all. The Affordable Care Act that was passed in 2010 has gained access to healthcare for more people in the US.  But not for everyone.  It’s time to take the next step to build upon what is currently in place.

So as part of my advocacy for access to Universal Health Care, I wrote and sent in testimony to the entire Platform Committee and to the members of the PA members of the committee for whom I had an email address.

Here’s that testimony.  If the Medicare for All amendment isn’t added to the platform this weekend, I will do what I can to get it back in at the Convention in Philadelphia.

nighttime picture of the US Capita

We need Medicare for All/aka Universal or Single Payer Health Care at both the national and state levels. Picture of the US Capital courtesy of Rep. Katherine Clark.

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Advocates for Single Payer Healthcare Rallying in 2009 in Harrisburg, PA

Friday, July 08, 2016

RE: Adding Medicare for All Amendment to the DNC Platform: My Story

To Whom It May Concern:

I’m writing to ask you to add the Medicare for All amendment language into the Democratic Platform.  As I understand, the amendment language that is being proposed says,

“While making various changes would improve the ACA, the social insurance model, single-payer system, is our goal, and we will continue to fight for it. Health care is a fundamental human right and an important measure of social justice. Achieving universal health care will not come from mandating everyone to buy a health insurance policy from a private insurance company. Instead, we must build on the experience of Medicare, which shows that the most cost-effective and equitable way to provide quality care is through a single-payer system. “Medicare for all” would require updating and expanding the program’s benefits to fit the working population and children, as well as negotiating prices with physicians, providers, and with Pharmaceutical companies for medications that working families–and the country–can afford. Until we achieve a -payer model at the national level states should be allowed to implement universal, publicly financed health care coverage on their own so long as that coverage is affordable and provides a full range of benefits, commensurate with the requirements that apply to all states under the ACA.”

I strongly urge you to add this paragraph into the platform.  FYI, I have read the entire ACA (yes, I’m a glutton for punishment – J ).  I read the entire ACA when it was passed because I wanted to make sure that individuals who have to have a transplant would have both their treatment as well as the treatment of their donor covered without a fight amongst the insurance companies.    I almost died in 1989 because of such a fight – two insurance companies fighting over who would NOT pay for the donor portion of my bone marrow transplant and the hospital refusing to do the transplant until they were guaranteed payment by one or both of the insurance companies.

Here’s an excerpt of my story.  You can read the full story here on my blog — https://civilrightsadvocacy.net/2013/02/20/why-i-support-universal-health-care-a-right-not-a-privilege/.

My life was threatened by the multi-company, private health insurance system we currently have.

I received a bone marrow transplant in 1989 from my identical twin sister. Although I had no problem finding a match, I had to jump through many hoops and barriers put up by the two health insurance companies covering my sister and myself. In the case of my insurance provider, I was refused coverage of the donor portion of the transplant because my twin sister wasn’t on my health insurance plan. In the case of my twin sister’s insurance provider, they refused to cover her portion of the transplant because she “wasn’t sick.” Then the hospital administration said that they would not perform the transplant until this conflict between the two insurance agencies was resolved with a guarantee of payment by either or both companies. And my doctors said that if the resolution did not occur rapidly, I would be dead within the year due to the seriousness of the form of leukemia that I had.

According to Health Care for America, health insurance companies profit by denying–not by providing–healthcare. Health insurance CEOs of the top 10 health insurance companies today typically enjoy an average of $10,000,000 in annual compensation–salary, bonuses, stock options, etc.

Back to my story. I went into battle mode against the insurance companies when I was told that they would let me die because of their bottom line and attempts to deny coverage. Because of the support and advocacy I had through the organization where I self-purchased my health insurance (the National Organization for Women), we were finally able to get me the life-saving transplant that I needed. And I am here today.

This experience is why I became an advocate for a single-payer health care system rather than the current system that allows private companies the ability to deny critical health care to “save” their bottom line for profit only….

Other Reasons why I support a Universal Health Care Plan at Either the National or State Level.

  • It is the ethical and moral to treat all people, regardless of economics or status when they are sick….
  • Some statesare threatening people’s health care and lives based on decisions either by their legislature and/or their governors….
  • A Single Payer, Universal Healthcare program would cover everyone….

As a result of this experience I became actively involved as a member of the board of Healthcare for All PA Education Fund. This non-profit organization is advocating for passage of the Pennsylvania Health Care Plan (HB 1688) (prime sponsor, Pam DeLissio (D-Bucks County).

Thus, given my personal and passionate support for Healthcare for All, and the fact that the US spends 2.5 times the average of other industrialized countries, yet we don’t provide healthcare to everyone; and that Medical outcomes such as infant mortality and life expectancy, and equality of access, are much better in other countries; and that 58% of all Americans support Medicare for All, including 81% of Democrats, we hereby call upon the Democratic Party to adopt this amendment into the Platform of the Democratic Party

Thank you.

Joanne L. Tosti-Vasey, Ph.D.

PA-PLEO Delegate to the Democratic National Convention

Joanne standing in front of a bookcase holding up a sign saying "Rise" to action

Joanne advocating for Medicare for All. Help us advocate for this issue at the national convention through my GoFundMe account. See my PS.

PS. If you’d like to assist me and my friends to attend the Convention in Philadelphia, please check out my GoFundMe site at gofund.me/going2DNCnPhilly. This  will help in my ongoing advocacy for access to healthcare for all.  Thanks.

Louis P. Tosti – My Dad, in Memorium

1923-2016

RIP “Little Iggi” – my nickname for my father when I was growing up and couldn’t pronounce “Luigi.” That was the name I heard my grandparents—”TiTi” and “Mommy T”—call him.  Born in 1923, he passed away late last Tuesday, June 14, 2016.  Here’s a memorial in pictures along with his official obituary.

baby picture of Louis P Tosti

Louis Peter Robert Tosti as an infant in 1923 in The Bronx, New York City

Picture of Louis P. Tosti as a toddler

Louis Peter Robert Tosti as an toddler in  the Bronx, New York City

picture of Mom and Dad at their wedding. Dad on the left. Mom on the right.

Mom and Dad at their wedding reception at Fort Monroe, Hampton, VA on December 29, 1951. Taken in front of the Hotel Chamberlain.

1953

Mom and Dad in the year I was born. Top Left – Martha, Top Right – Lou Bottom Left – Linda, Bottom Right – Joanne

1974

Mom and Dad in 1974

Joannes wedding Mama Ti Dad Mom Titi

My parents and grandparents at my wedding in 1975. L to R: Estherina Sera Pellegrino Tosti (aka Mommy T), Louis Peter Robert Tosti, Martha Magdelene Bowery Tosti, and Antonino Rocco Tosti (aka TiTi)

Lou Tosti October 2, 2011 IMG_9538

Dad at my Mom’s wake, October 2, 2011 in Richmond Virginia

Note: As these are family pictures, please do not copy  the pictures without our permission. You may, however, share this blog in its entirety if you wish.

His Obituary

Louis P. Tosti, 93, a 72 year resident of Yorktown VA passed away on June 14, 2016. The son of the late Antonino Rocco Tosti and Estherina (Pellegrino) Tosti was born in The Bronx, New York in 1923, studied Mechanical Engineering (B.S. 1944) at the City College of New York and [Master of Science] Administration [in Management Engineering] (M.S. 1972) at George Washington [sic] (my records say it was Georgetown) University in Washington, D.C. For 36 years, he worked for NASA at the Langley Research Center as an aeronautical engineer and retired in 1980. During his career, he helped develop advanced VTOL aircraft for the military and was a leader in the Scout Rocket Project, a cornerstone in the history of space exploration.

Following retirement from NASA, he assisted the elderly as a tax counselor, was treasurer of the Ruritan Club, a member of the Peninsula Sales and Marketing Exchange as well as the Hampton Roads Power Squadron. He enjoyed traveling, photography, ballroom and country dancing.

Lou was predeceased by his sisters, Myra T. Antonelli, Adele T. Stephenson and Vivienne T. Monteiro-Olivastro and his former wife Martha B. Tosti. He is survived by his five children Linda G. Tosti-Lane (Dave Tosti-Lane) of Brier, WA, Joanne L. Tosti-Vasey (Joe Vasey) of Bellefonte, PA, Mary J. Harley of Parkersburg, WV, Janet T. Baker (Michael Baker) of Bumpass, VA and Anthony B. Tosti (Andrea Gerwers-Tosti) of Simpsonville, SC; seven grandchildren Joshua Baker (Genie Baker), Genesa Benton (Justin Benton), Katharina Tosti, Raphael Tosti, Sophia Tosti, Julianna Tosti and Kenneth Vasey; four great grandchildren, Jack Baker, Olivia Baker, Gavin Benton and Jacob Benton and his beloved companion of 30 years Grace E. Hale.

A memorial service will be held at 6:00 PM on Wednesday, June 22, 2016 at Amory Funeral Home, 410 Grafton Drive, Grafton, VA, 23692. The family will receive friends following the service. A graveside service will be held at a later date to be determined at Valley Forge Memorial Gardens, King of Prussia, PA.

 

Leggings Are Pants

Doesn’t matter what age you are. Leggings are STILL pants.

Erin Matson

These are leggings.

Leggings

Leggings are pants.

Pants are made of fabric, and cover the lower abdominal area, crotch, and both legs.

Pants come in a variety of styles.

With pants, as with life, fit is everything.

Women, like men, are allowed to wear pants.

Some people say women’s bodies are “distracting.”

If only women and girls would hide their bodies, the thinking goes, men and boys could succeed.

That’s not right.

Women can have butts, and curves, and fat, and should be free to wear whatever is comfortable regardless of the shapes of our bodies.

Leggings are pants.

Praise be comfort, acceptance of women’s bodies, and women’s full and equal participation in society.

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Why Angry Old Men Calling a Meeting to Yell at a Woman Is Always a Spectacular Failure

Power to truth! Sexism and bullying of women in power is shameful and as the title to this blog says, it is “Always a Spectacular Failure.”

Central Oregon Coast NOW

Anna Merlan

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How To Explain The Benghazi And Planned Parenthood Hearings To Your Two-Year-Old Daughter

Erin Matson

What’s this? 

It’s a hearing, sweetie. And we need to talk about something important.

What do you notice about the people asking questions?

Yes, they seem mad. Really mad. What else?

That’s right. They’re almost all boys. Usually when boys grow up we should call them men.

Now what about the person getting yelled at?

Yes, she’s not a boy.

So this is not fair, but it’s true: There are a lot of boys who grew up thinking they were better than girls.

Why?

People were mean and they were wrong in the old days. They thought only boys could be strong, and only girls should take care of other people. I know, that’s not at all like your friends! Now boys play with dolls, and girls are great at running and jumping and playing baseball.

Unfortunately, it’s pretty hard for people to let go of things they learned when they were little, even when those things…

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