Left Coast Voices

"I would hurl words into the darkness and wait for an echo. If an echo sounded, no matter how faintly, I would send other words to tell, to march, to fight." Richard Wright, American Hunger

Archive for the tag “women’s rights”

The United Police State of America – Roger Ingalls

I want everyday hard working citizens to take five minutes from their crazy worker-bee routine to just stop and think about what is going on around them. I know it’s hard. We want to come home from another day of insanity, drink a glass of wine and just numb our brains for a few satisfying minutes before the chaotic next day rears its ugly head.

picture from pbs.com

We have to think, we have to engage our brains…for the sake of future generations. The days of “it’s all about me me me” are over! We must ascend to a higher state of social responsibility, it’s our duty…it’s our time.

I didn’t want this post to sound too preachy or get too long so I’ll get to the point. Please think about and become familiar with the following issues:

 1)      In many states and local city governments, it is now illegal for you to video tape police activities. No more Rodney King type videos.

2)      As of last Thursday, thanks to Congress and the President, it is now a Federal offense to cause a disturbance during some political events (H.R. 347). The right to assemble and protest, as guaranteed by the Constitution, is being minimized.

3)      The precedent has now been set allowing the President to assassinate you (an American citizen) if you are deemed a potential threat – your arrest or trial with guilty verdict is not necessary for execution.

4)      If you are alleged or considered a terrorist, you can be locked away for life, without official charge or trial (habeas corpus suspended).

5)      Political momentum is building to disallow a woman to control what is done to her own body.

6)      City governments are creating laws without constitutional or historic “commons” consideration that limits use of public places for assembly and protest.

The pace to limit our basic rights is accelerating. Thomas Jefferson and other like-minded Founding Fathers fought hard to get a Bill of Rights included in the Constitution. Wouldn’t it be tragic to let it all slip away? Think about this small list above…there are many others not shown.

Turning a blind eye to the elimination of freedom is like putting shackles and chains on our children and telling them to get used to it.


Roger Ingalls is well traveled and has seen the good and bad of many foreign governments. He hopes his blogging will encourage readers to think more deeply about the American political system and its impact on US citizens and the international community.

Another Empowering Women’s Organization

I read almost every solicitation that I receive from a non-profit. I can’t help it. A lot of my time is spent raising funds for San Francisco Hillel, the Jewish Student Center, and I send out my fair share of letter campaigns. 

Women for Women caught my eye for their very personal letter. This is an organization that helps women who have lost everything, often both material and personal, through violence and war. Their primary focus is on women from the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Rwanda, Afghanistan, and others.

Women for Women are able to :

– offer direct financial support for medicine and food

– provide job training skills and business training

– teach an empowerment program about their rights as women and citizens

The Woman for Women website offers many stories and testimonies. Warning – they can be tough to read. One interesting set of facts that I read includes the following data:

– women reinvest 90% of their income into their family and community compared with 30-40% of men (World Bank study).

– women hire at least one person to help with their businesses and train or mentor on average 4 other women.

– women are 70% of the world’s farmers, produce 90% of the world’s staple food crops, but own less than 2% of the land.

Finally, in the words of one of Zainab Salbi, Founder of Women for Women: “…it’s the Butterfly Revolution in action.  You make a gift of $20 and the impact of your decision is felt thousands of miles away, by a woman whose life has been devastated by war and conflict…

“The Butterfly Revolution is a metaphor for the concept that even small actions…like the fluttering of a butterfly’s wings…can have far-reaching effects. I believe that by taking action, every one of us have a major impact on making the world a better place for women in need.”

Please consider joining me with a $20 gift. You can click here and don’t even need to leave your chair.

Thank you.


Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/ and on Twitter (@alonshalevsf).

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