Saturday, September 13, 2008


Have you been keeping up with the presidential election news coverage? I was not much for politics until the last 10 years or so. And so I'm not going to tell you who to vote for, but I will say this. It really ticks me off when people complain about politicians or political establishments when they won't even bother to vote. A friend sent me this E-mail below, and I'm not sure how much of it is accurate, but I know there were people in our country who suffered for their right and ours to vote. So if you aren't a registered voter, there is still time. Click on the link that says REGISTER TO VOTE in the upper right hand corner of my blog.

A Piece of History:

This is the story of our Grandmothers, and Great-grandmothers, as they lived only 90 years ago. It was not until 1920 that women were granted the right to go to the polls and vote. The women who made it so, by picketing the Whitehouse, were innocent and defenseless. And by the end of the night, they were barely alive.Forty prison guards wielding clubs and their warden's blessing went on a rampage against the 33 women wrongly convicted of "obstructing sidewalk traffic."They beat Lucy Burn, chained her hands to the cell bars above her head and left her hanging for the night, bleeding and gasping for air. They hurled Dora Lewis into a dark cell, smashed her head against an iron bed and knocked her out cold.Her cellmate, Alice Cosu, thought Lewis was dead and suffered a heart attack. Additional affidavits describe the guards grabbing, dragging, beating, choking, slamming, pinching, twisting and kicking the women.Thus unfolded the "Night of Terror" on Nov. 15, 1917, when the warden at the Occoquan Workhouse in Virginia ordered his guards to teach a lesson to the suffragists imprisoned there because they dared to picket Woodrow Wilson's White House for the right to vote.For weeks, the women's only water came from an open pail. Their food - - all of it colorless slop - - was infested with worms. When one of the leaders, Alice Paul, embarked on a hunger strike, they tied her to a chair, forced a tube down her throat and poured liquid into her until she vomited. She was tortured like this for weeks until word was smuggled out to the press.So, refresh my memory. Some women won't vote this year because - - why, exactly? We have carpool duties? We have to get to work? Our vote doesn't matter? It's raining?HBO's new movie "Iron Jawed Angels" is a graphic depiction of the battle these women waged so that I could pull the curtain at the polling booth and have my say. I am? Ashamed to say I needed the reminder.Frankly, voting often felt more like an obligation than a privilege.HBO released the movie on video and DVD. It is jarring to watch Woodrow Wilson and his cronies try to persuade a Psychiatrist to declare Alice Paul insane so that she could be permanently institutionalized. And it is inspiring to watch the doctor refuse. Alice Paul was strong, he said, and brave. That didn't make her crazy.The doctor admonished the men: "Courage in women is often mistaken for insanity."Please, if you are so inclined, pass this on to all the women you know.We need to get out and vote and use this right that was fought so hard for by these very courageous women. Whether you vote Democratic, Republican or Independent party - remember to vote. History is being made.

Have a great weekend!

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