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.

The Stoning of Soraya M.

This Friday night, a ground-breaking, critically acclaimed film opens in select theaters, The Stoning of Soraya M.

It is a powerful and timely film, based on a true story, about an Iranian village’s persecution of an innocent woman as she is falsely accused of a crime under Shari’a law. The importance of this movie is that it clearly illustrates how the people of Iran are suppressed, the lack of human and women’s rights, and why the people of Iran are demonstrating in the street

This will have a positive impact for the Iranian people when the world will finally understand the oppression of the current regime. It is a MUST-SEE for anyone who cares about a free, democratic Iran, bringing an end to the Islamic Republic of Iran, and supporting women’s rights, human rights, period.

Why You Are Important:

In order for this movie to get mass distribution, there needs to be a great turnout on Friday June 26th and Saturday June 27th! SO, please forward this email to all of your contacts, organize groups to go, and encourage them to do the same to fill those seats.

Remember the innocent life of Neda, who was shot for peacefully demonstrating in Tehran this week. BE HER VOICE –

The World Will Know. This is the most effective way to support a free Iran. 
Over two decades ago, a solitary voice dared to speak the truth.

One woman courageously defended the dignity of another.

One woman risked her life to uphold the sanctity of another’s life.

One woman vowed, “The world will know!”

On June 26 the true story will be revealed when The Stoning of Soraya M. is released in selected theaters across the U.S.

From the filmmakers who produced “The Passion of the Christ,” THE STONING OF SORAYA M. is the heart-rending film based on the International best-selling book by French-Iranian journalist Freidoune Sahebjam which stars Jim Caviezel, Oscar® nominee Shohreh Aghdashloo, and Mozhan Marnò as Soraya.

Do you have the courage to Be Her Voice?

This true story is a powerful account of the persecution of an innocent woman and another woman’s courageous witness to the truth.

All too often people are stripped of their human dignity whether it is the neglect of the old and infirmed; the exploitation of the young; an entire people in the way of economic expansion, or a lone woman in a remote Iranian village like Soraya M. we have to tell the world that this assault on human dignity must end.

Like Zahra Soraya’s brave aunt we have to have the courage to speak the truth because one voice crying out for justice, one voice witnessing to the truth, one voice affirming the power of love can make all the difference in the world.

In select theaters June 26. Click here to find a theater near you. For questions about group sales, please email or call (310) 488-6003.


 Be Neda’s Voice:

 Movie to Movement:

 Facebook Group:

 Nationwide Theater Listing:

Make your voice heard!

Not sure if this is for real but it certainly echoes what many of us are or should be saying loud and clear. ENOUGH already – this is our country and ENOUGH with these parties!

GLENN BECK: I got a letter from a woman in Arizona. She writes an open letter to our nation’s leadership:

I’m a home grown American citizen, 53, registered Democrat all my life. Before the last presidential election I registered as a Republican because I no longer felt the Democratic Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me. Now I no longer feel the Republican Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me. The fact is I no longer feel any political party or representative in Washington represents my views or works to pursue the issues important to me. There must be someone. Please tell me who you are. Please stand up and tell me that you are there and that you’re willing to fight for our Constitution as it was written. Please stand up now. You might ask yourself what my views and issues are that I would horribly feel so disenfranchised by both major political parties. What kind of nut job am I? Will you please tell me?
Well, these are briefly my views and issues for which I seek representation:


One, illegal immigration. I want you to stop coddling illegal immigrants and secure our borders. Close the underground tunnels. Stop the violence and the trafficking in drugs and people. No amnesty, not again. Been there, done that, no resolution. P.S., I’m not a racist. This isn’t to be confused with legal immigration.


Two, the TARP bill, I want it repealed and I want no further funding supplied to it. We told you no, but you did it anyway. I want the remaining unfunded 95% repealed. Freeze, repeal.

Three: Czars, I want the circumvention of our checks and balances stopped immediately. Fire the czars. No more czars. Government officials answer to the process, not to the president. Stop trampling on our Constitution and honor it.

Four, cap and trade. The debate on global warming is not over. There is more to say.

Five, universal healthcare. I will not be rushed into another expensive decision. Don’t you dare try to pass this in the middle of the night and then go on break. Slow down!

Six, growing government control. I want states rights and sovereignty fully restored. I want less government in my life, not more. Shrink it down. Mind your own business. You have enough to take care of with your real obligations. Why don’t you start there.

Seven, ACORN. I do not want ACORN and its affiliates in charge of our 2010 census. I want them investigated. I also do not want mandatory escrow fees contributed to them every time on every real estate deal that closes. Stop the funding to ACORN and its affiliates pending impartial audits and investigations. I do not trust them with taking the census over with our taxpayer money. I don’t trust them with our taxpayer money. Face up to the allegations against them and get it resolved before taxpayers get any more involved with them. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, hello. Stop protecting your political buddies. You work for us, the people. Investigate.

Eight, redistribution of wealth. No, no, no. I work for my money. It is mine. I have always worked for people with more money than I have because they gave me jobs. That is the only redistribution of wealth that I will support. I never got a job from a poor person. Why do you want me to hate my employers? Why — what do you have against shareholders making a profit?

Nine, charitable contributions. Although I never got a job from a poor person, I have helped many in need. Charity belongs in our local communities, where we know our needs best and can use our local talent and our local resources. Butt out, please. We want to do it ourselves.

Ten, corporate bailouts. Knock it off. Sink or swim like the rest of us. outsIf there are hard times ahead, we’ll be better off just getting into it and letting the strong survive. Quick and painful. Have you ever ripped off a Band-Aid? We will pull together. Great things happen in America under great hardship. Give us the chance to innovate. We cannot disappoint you more than you have disappointed us.

Eleven, transparency and accountability. How about it? No, really, how about it? Let’s have it. Let’s say we give the buzzwords a rest and have some straight honest talk. Please try — please stop manipulating and trying to appease me with clever wording. I am not the idiot you obviously take me for. Stop sneaking around and meeting in back rooms making deals with your friends. It will only be a prelude to your criminal investigation. Stop hiding things from me.

Twelve, unprecedented quick spending. Stop it now.
Take a breath. Listen to the people. Let’s just slow down and get some input from some nonpoliticians on the subject. Stop making everything an emergency. Stop speed reading our bills into law. I am not an activist. I am not a community organizer. Nor am I a terrorist, a militant or a violent person. I am a parent and a grandparent. I work. I’m busy. I’m busy. I am busy, and I am tired. I thought we elected competent people to take care of the business of government so that we could work, raise our families, pay our bills, have a little recreation, complain about taxes, endure our hardships, pursue our personal goals, cut our lawn, wash our cars on the weekends and be responsible contributing members of society and teach our children to be the same all while living in the home of the free and land of the brave.

I entrusted you with upholding the Constitution. I believed in the checks and balances to keep from getting far off course. What happened? You are very far off course. Do you really think I find humor in the hiring of a speed reader to unintelligently ramble all through a bill that you signed into law without knowing what it contained? I do not. It is a mockery of the responsibility I have entrusted to you. It is a slap in the face. I am not laughing at your arrogance.

Why is it that I feel as if you would not trust me to make a single decision about my own life and how I would live it but you should expect that I should trust you with the debt that you have laid on all of us and our children. We did not want the TARP bill. We said no. We would repeal it if we could. I am sure that we still cannot. There is such urgency and recklessness in all of the recent spending.

From my perspective, it seems that all of you have gone insane. I also know that I am far from alone in these feelings. Do you honestly feel that your current pursuits have merit to patriotic Americans? We want it to stop. We want to put the brakes on everything that is being rushed by us and forced upon us.

We want our voice back. You have forced us to put our lives on hold to straighten out the mess that you are making. We will have to give up our vacations, our time spent with our children, any relaxation time we may have had and money we cannot afford to spend on you to bring our concerns to Washington. Our president often knows all the right buzzword is unsustainable. Well, no kidding. How many tens of thousands of dollars did the focus group cost to come up with that word? We don’t want your overpriced words. Stop treating us like we’re morons.

We want all of you to stop focusing on your reelection and do the job we want done, not the job you want done or the job your party wants done. You work for us and at this rate I guarantee you not for long because we are coming. We will be heard and we will be represented. You think we’re so busy with our lives that we will never come for you? We are the formerly silent majority, all of us who quietly work , pay taxes, obey the law, vote, save money, keep our noses to the grindstone and we are now looking up at you. You have awakened us, the patriotic spirit so strong and so powerful that it had been sleeping too long.

You have pushed us too far. Our numbers are great. They may surprise you. For every one of us who will be there, there will be hundreds more that could not come. Unlike you, we have their trust. We will represent them honestly, rest assured. They will be at the polls on voting day to usher you out of office. We have cancelled vacations. We will use our last few dollars saved. We will find the representation among us and a grassroots campaign will flourish. We didn’t ask for this fight. But the gloves are coming off. We do not come in violence, but we are angry. You will represent us or you will be replaced with someone who will. There are candidates among us when he will rise like a Phoenix from the ashes that you have made of our constitution.

Democrat, Republican, independent, libertarian. Understand this. We don’t care. Political parties are meaningless to us. Patriotic Americans are willing to do right by us and our Constitution and that is all that matters to us now. We are going to fire all of you who abuse power and seek more. It is not your power. It is ours and we want it back. We entrusted you with it and you abused it. You are dishonorable. You are dishonest. As Americans we are ashamed of you. You have brought shame to us. If you are not representing the wants and needs of your constituency loudly and consistently, in spite of the objections of your party, you will be fired.

Did you hear? We no longer care about your political parties. You need to be loyal to us, not to them. Because we will get you fired and they will not save you. If you do or can represent me, my issues, my views, please stand up. Make your identity known. You need to make some noise about it. Speak up. I need to know who you are. If you do not speak up, you will be herded out with the rest of the sheep and we will replace the whole damn congress if need be one by one. We are coming. Are we coming for you? Who do you represent? What do you represent? Listen. Because we are coming. We the people are coming.


A reluctant reader rethinks her position, I am grateful; we need every woman we can get. I love her acronym and I sense there is an opportunity to create and unstoppable momentum here- a wave – no a tsunami.

We have only just begun – if folks can rise in the streets of Iran and face beatings, bullets and death surely we can rise and endure a lil name calling. Let’s lock arms and walk thru the doors of equality together.

It makes me want to join!  (and help)  the National Organization of Pissed Off Women for Equal Rights: N.O.P.O.W.E.R. until we stand unified in purpose and resolve.

And, not for anything, no disrespect to our same-sex involved sisters, just as with our sisters of color, this should be about and only about women’s economic issues, personal and domestic safety, access to avenues of decision making and political positions.  Respect for our expertise, our contributions and OK, if they force us; OUR SENIORITY!!!   (Remember Kathy Bates in “Fried Green Tomatoes,”  “Sorry girls; older and better insurance.”  Nail them for it and make it hurt.

It was Jesus who dignified Women with his choice of defering to his Mother in performing his first miracle and appearing first to Magdalen when he rose from the dead.  If any “man” say he be of sincere religious integrity, the restoration of courtesy to women should be a requirement.

Union Soldiers fought for the black man’s right to freedom, the black man is overdue to pay it forward.

As for Women who don’t respect themselves enough to respect other women, we must convene to develop tactics to communicate our displeasure with the hijacking of our movement.  Republican, Democratic and Independent Women share the same stake in getting it done this time.  Our response, going forward, to any other interest group attempting to marginalize our effectiveness must be:  “Not THIS time!”