Is Gandy right on Sotomayor?

Ladies – please read the following and give me your opinions . I realize many of you have not yet joined NOW so I am bringing you the current president’s announcements for your perusal and I want your input as to where we stand on this particular issue.  Maybe we can talk about this on ‘Open mic Wed’? Be there 9:30 dont forget- meanwhile – comments please! It is time that we talk about these issues and get involved and understand rather than follow blindly along. So lets read and discuss.

Wednesday  July 1st
 First Wednesday
“Open Mic RoundTable”

As promised the first show of the month is open mic round table – this time it falls on a Wed. Come one come all let’s chat about whatever you want to chat about! Our first round table was a great success so let’s do it again – it’s all fun – right? Or do we have a serious problem we need to tackle? Bring it to the table we can laugh together to plan a coupe’ de tat whatever your pleasure but come.

No radio needed Our show is online– If your computer is down no problem call on the phone and hear the entire show right on the phone- Please come ! Wednesday, 9:30 PM eastern/ Bring your questions.
Call-in Number: (347) 838-8011

Call-in Number: (347) 838-8011

Event: Free Us Now Radio Show
What: Performance
Host: BettyJean Kling
Start Time: Wednesday, 9:30 pm EST.
End Time: Wednesday, 11:00  pm EST.

Ginsburg Dissents Offer Bright Spots in Two Disappointing Supreme Court Rulings

Statement of NOW President Kim Gandy– June 29, 2009

Today’s Supreme Court ruling in Ricci v. DeStefano was disappointing, but it’s what we have come to expect from the conservative majority on the Roberts Court. Had retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor still been on the court, instead of her successor Justice Samuel Alito, this 5-4 decision might well have gone the other way.

The City of New Haven, Conn., was right to question the results of the promotion test given to firefighters, based on its disparate impact on African-American and Hispanic candidates. We know that such tests can exhibit race and gender bias, and city officials correctly threw out the test and began anew in order to create a level playing field for all those seeking promotions.

The federal district court that first reviewed the case determined that the city was making an effort to comply with Title VII Civil Rights Act of 1964 by invalidating the test, and was not discriminating against the candidates who did qualify for promotions. A three-judge panel of the Second Circuit — which included current nominee for the Supreme Court, Judge Sonia Sotomayor — agreed with the lower court’s “thorough, thoughtful, and well-reasoned opinion” that the City of New Haven was “simply trying to fulfill its obligations under Title VII when confronted with test results that had a disproportionate racial impact.” Even if Sonia Sotomayor had been on the court for these deliberations, her lower court opinion was in line with Justice David Souter’s position, so her vote would not have changed the outcome.

A dissent authored by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg contends that the ruling opinion “ignores substantial evidence of multiple flaws in the tests New Haven used. The Court similarly fails to acknowledge the better tests used in other cities, which have yielded less racially skewed outcomes.” Ginsburg also noted that: “Firefighting is a profession in which the legacy of racial discrimination casts an especially long shadow. . . . It is against this backdrop of entrenched inequality that the promotion process at issue in this litigation should be assessed.”

Just last week, the Supreme Court made what initially appeared to be a commendable ruling in the case of a 13-year-old girl who had been strip-searched by school officials looking for ibuprofen. In an 8-1 ruling, the court said that Savana Redding’s constitutional rights were indeed violated by the search. That decision was in line with a comparable ruling made by Sotomayor.

Having found that Redding’s rights were violated, the Supreme Court, by a smaller majority, also ruled that the very school officials responsible for the strip-search could not be held liable for their actions. The justices left it to the lower courts to determine whether the school district itself could be held liable. On the question of liability, Justices Ginsburg and John Paul Stevens dissented, with Ginsburg arguing that the school vice principal’s “treatment of Redding was abusive and it was not reasonable for him to believe that the law permitted it.”

Based on the court’s performance on these two cases, NOW is more eager than ever for Judge Sotomayor to join Justice Ginsburg on the high court in time for the next session.


The Majority United for Women’s Equality, Laws, Rights and Choice

By: BettyJean Kling, Katherine Morrison @ 2009

Hillary Clinton during the 2008 election stated that ‘women’s rights are human rights.’ If one accepts this statement as true then there needs to be a realigning of priorities for women’s groups. For quite awhile many women’s groups have slowly become political organizations with a platform similar to those of a political party. Yet by doing this (as some race-based groups have also done) they have narrowed their reach and effectiveness. By imposing a set of political standards on the membership of a group the implication is that if you are a woman there is the list of things you must believe. That’s not equality, and while their intentions may be good, these groups that sum up a person by either gender or race are doing exactly the opposite of what was the original goal of said organization. Oddly enough the successes of these groups have rendered them irrelevant.

No place is this more evident than when addressing the issue of abortion. Many genuinely see abortion as the ‘taking of a life,’ and therefore feel obligated to speak out against it. They go up against those who perceive pro-lifers as trying to restrict the rights of women. This creates a tremendous clash. Yet this isn’t the stark issue that some have made it out to be. The reality is that some on the left and on the right have used rhetoric to help radicalize the debate, making it a huge wedge issue. True equality and freedom for women will exist when pro-choice translates to free-choice and each woman is free to make her own decision without having it imposed on her.

Therefore a modern effective woman’s group needs to depoliticize itself. Women are free to believe in woman’s equality, and think abortion is wrong. Women are also free to believe that choice is their right. This holds for other issues too. It is up to the individual to decide where they stand on economics, foreign policy, and the like; it is not up to this group to determine the thoughts and beliefs of its members. This group is charged with standing up for women regardless of political belief and/or background. It is the task of this group to stand up for the dignity and respect of women and to stand up human rights as a whole.

Michael Jackson GONE TOO SOON [ Clinton Gala 1992 ]

Make the Media Pay Attention to Iran

News of late has obviously focused on Michael Jackson’s death. Yet this is not a good reason for news networks to again ignore the ongoing issues in Iran. The above video showed superbly how major events can share the same stage. Please let the news networks know that it is not okay to ignore the events in Iran (again).

CNN Contact Form

MSNBC Contact Page

Fox News Contact Page

ABC Contact Page

CBS News Contact Form

Twitter Contacts

DC: Theater Packed for Premiere of Film “The Stoning of Soraya M

Contributed by Jeffrey Imm

On Friday night June 26, in Washington DC, the E Street Cinema theater had a packed showing for the film “The Stoning of Soraya M.” The audience reacted with concern and anguish over the suffering of women portrayed in the movie, based on the story of an actual stoning in Iran in 1986, as described in Freidoune Sahebjam’s book “The Stoning of Soraya M.”

To find out more about the film online, visit their website at:

 We urge you to encourage others to go out and see the film which is playing in locations around the United States. During the film, the characters are shown as using Islamic law as their defense and their basis for their false accusations against Soraya M. and for having the village brutally stone her to death. Thousands of women are murdered in so-called “honor killings” and stonings every year, around the world and in the United States. Such terrorism against women must end.

At the end of the film, Responsible for Equality And Liberty’s (R.E.A.L.) Jeffrey Imm invited the public to find out more about the honor killings and stonings of women that continue to go on around the world, and passed out cards with R.E.A.L.’s web site. R.E.A.L. has several articles on Soraya’s story and activists who have tried to make more people aware of her story.

We welcome any interested new members to find out more about what we are doing and our events to be Responsible for Equality And Liberty for women and all other people.

Author Freidoune Sahebjam has been a portrait in courage in getting the story of Soraya M. to the public. “Condemned to death by the Khomeini regime following an article he published in the Western press in 1979, Iranian journalist Freidoune Sahebjam returned undercover to his native land in 1987. There he met Soraya’s Aunt Zahra, who told him the full story and introduced him to Soraya’ s father and the mayor of the village, among others.”

Free Iran Recap – Freedom Via Internet

Since the election in Iran on the 12th of June, information about the protests and brutal government crackdowns has flowed in via the internet, particularly social media sites, and specifically Twitter. Twitter was the first place to provide information about the protests as the media largely missed the story in the beginning. Now the flow of information out of Iran has slowed due to massive arrests and violent government oppression. Along with the slowing of information, the main stream media’s attention has been diverted. Yet this remains a topic that deserves continued public attention. People are fighting for their freedom under unimaginable conditions.

Here is a recap of some of the videos, stories, and information that has come out of Iran along with the role technology has played…

Total Oppression Versus Open Communication in Iran

In an early show of force students were beaten in their dorm rooms, and their rooms were trashed, computers and the like destroyed. Angered by the brutal beat downs, many professors at Tehran University protested by resigning. Hospital workers who treated the students, also disgusted by the government’s brutality, went on strike the following day to protest the students’ treatment.

Foreign media was banned, journalists have been jailed. Due to the crackdown, citizen journalism virtually the only way the story is getting to the rest of the world.

Iranian government claims that death of Neda was staged by the opposition. They prevent any form of public mourning for both Neda and the many others killed in the protests.

Soccer Team Members who wore green armbands during a game are permanently banned from the sport.

British representatives expelled from the country.

Special courts established for trying arrested protesters.

Mass show of force and violent suppression of peaceful protests continue.

Videos: The first video shows the death of Neda a young Iranian woman who has come to symbolize the Free Iran movement.  She was shot while simply watching the protests, and reportedly died by her father’s side.  Be warned that the first two videos are very graphic and disturbing.  The third video, while somewhat less graphic, but is also quite disturbing.

*VERY GRAPHIC* Young Lady Dies on Streets of Iran

*Very Graphic* Video of Iran Protests and Man Badly Beaten

Shooting of Iranian Students Caught on Camera

Massive Show of Force on Streets of Iran

Video of voter fraud in Iranian Election

June 20 Iran Protesters Face Off with Police

Crowds During June 20th Protests

Riot Police Attack Protesters in Iran

Video Showing Scope of Iranian Protests

This Week’s Articles:

This week a violent beat down of protesters was under reported as the flow of information slows. CNN and the AP both had reports on this brutality…

AP Reports Iran Security Forces Again Beat Down the Opposition Protesters

Distraught woman describes the brutality to CNN, Reports of Brutal Crackdown In Iran

Article’s Prior to the June 20th Protests

Concern About Khamenei’s Statements

Arrests and Protests Continue in Iran

American’s Practical Support of A Free Iran

Articles About the Role of the Internet in post-Election Iran

Twitter Changing the Playing Field In Iran and For Totalitarianism

One of my first thoughts on seeing Twitter being used by Iranians following their elections was, ‘Imagine if they had Twitter during Tienanmen Square.’ Totalitarian regimes historically thrive, in large measure, by controlling the media and modes of communication. Would be protesters become isolated. Government propaganda simply spins any protest or event into something that reflects well on the regime in power.

Following Iran Elections on Twitter – A Lesson in Freedom and Technology

Google Farsi – English Traslator: Google launches Farsi – English translator Thursday night/Friday morning. A hugely helpful tool that aids communication, and understanding of news directly from Iran.

Cable and Network News relying on Twitter: Saturday the 20th, with a government imposed blackout of foreign media CNN and others have to rely on citizen journalists along with Twitter and other social media sites to gather news. Protests are scheduled even though Ayatola Khamenei has made statements that suggest a possibly violent crackdown on protesters. Reports of tear gas used and armed police barricades used to disperse crowds.

Students Shot on Camera: A tweet linked to this video of Iranian students being shot

A graphic YouTube video of a woman’s death (Neda) becomes a symbol of the movement. Trending topic on Twitter is #Neda as references to the video, and her life show how moved people were by her tragic death.

Mousavi Facebook post:
Through a post on Facebook it has been reported that Mir-Hossein Mousavi has stated that he is “ready for martyrdom.”

Embassies Take Wounded Iranians: Word spreads quickly on June 20th that many European embassies are taking care of wounded Iranians. These embassies along with their address/directions were also diseminated through Twitter. The safety of the hospitals is in question, and the Canadian embassy is pressured (via use of Twitter) to open its embassy too, yet embassy remained closed on Saturday.

Iran Elections and the Internet

An interesting subplot to the Iranian elections is that the internet is providing people more information than major news networks…Dear CNN, Please Check Twitter for News About Iran

Since writing about the Twitter Effect in Iran, and the role of the Internet as a whole, I have also been interviewed on radio and TV.  For more info on appearances, please visit the Broad Side of the Barn.

It’s about the sexism not her politics stupid

Another Rant By: BettyJean Kling

What have we come to when we sit back and allow men to have at a woman day after day after day just because she is a Republican? Kerry is not a comedian and this is not acceptable neither is our silence! It’s about the sexism and you know it. Can’t you put aside politics for the sake of womankind? Forget her politics – you don’t have to agree with her on that – but what can you be thinking as a woman when you allow this constant attack on her?

What do our young sons and daughters know about partisanship politics? They don’t! What they know is that women are sexualized- demonized – slaughtered and hated by the media, comedians and politicians and other women don’t care. To these young folks this is a prominent woman and she is hated scorned and a former presidential candidate wishes she would go missing!

Sen. John Kerry Wishes Sarah Palin Had Gone Missing

Sen. John Kerry added to his long list of lame joke attempts yesterday when he wished South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford’s disappearance on Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin.

Speaking to some business and civic leaders he had invited to Washington, Kerry quipped: “Too bad if a governor had to go missing it couldn’t have been the governor of Alaska. You know, Sarah Palin.”

The partisan crowd chuckled, but there’s nothing funny about Kerry’s criticisms of the Alaska governor.