Dressing for dinner


thMy husband and I went to look at some property last night and while we were out we came upon a rural restaurant and decided to stop. The place is locally famous for an All-You-Can-Eat broasted chicken.  The first time I heard that made up word I thought what the heck does that mean? Your first thought is a cross between broiled and roasted, right? Nope, it’s cooked in a pressure fryer.  Makes no sense.

We were given a table and our dinners came immediately after.  The server came back shortly after and asked if we wanted more of anything. It was good, albeit a little heavy. I can’t imagine anyone having that meal All-You-Can-Eat.

Mind you, this is a restaurant on a back-country, secondary road. Advertising is by word of mouth. When we arrived, very few people were there. That was to change minutes later. Before we were a quarter of the way through our meal the dinner crowd came in. So many, at first I thought they’d come on a tour bus.  Mostly older people and most dressed up for the experience. Dressing up seemed out of place given the decor of the place leaned heavily on chicken tchotchkes. My husband speculated that the restaurant must have been a Supper Club at one time and dressing for dinner there was just habit. I had heard of the term supper club, but that’s as far as my knowledge went.  The only image I had in my head was a Diner’s Club card.

Curious, I went searching for answers.  Of course I did.  :D
If nothing else I’ll discover interesting details for future stories. You never know when some piece of trivia or another will create that perfect spark and fit a storyline. There wasn’t much to find, however I did learn a few things.

postcard-chicago-stevens-hotel-boulevard-club-supper-dance-club-c1940Supper Clubs were more common in the upper Midwest than elsewhere in the country and in some places they’re still going strong. Apparently the modern Great Lakes fish boil is an old Supper Club remnant. The states of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Michigan have more Supper Clubs than anywhere else. They’re also in the UK.

This type of dining establishment sprang up in the 1930’s and 1940’s. One reference I came across has them tied to speakeasies too and that would be earlier still. I can’t vouch for that, though. I have a three primary source rule for historic details. Show me three independent sources for info and we’re good.showcase-a-item-f

However they were, Supper Clubs were meant to be an all night affair. You dressed up, came for cocktails, had a nice but inexpensive meal of prime rib, steaks, chicken, or fish, then danced the night away. In rural America this opportunity for a nightlife was a big deal.

family dinner (2)I left thinking how much we’ve lost. Victorians of moderate means dressed for dinner, even if that dinner was made in your own kitchen. People were still sprucing themselves up for dinner in the 1950’s and 60’s. How casual we’ve become. Meal times were social events. They gave the family time to connect with one another and share the happenings of their day. Families now are lucky if they can manage to all sit down at once.

I recall dinner with all family members in attendance and me sitting on the phone book so I could reach the table. I don’t recall dressing for dinner, but you’d better have washed your hands before you sat down to say grace.

On topic, my older sister always wore a particular dress when we had liver. Ugh..even thinking about that brings an olfactory memory of it broiling. *shudder* Her dress had a sash; a perfect pocket to hide a nasty piece of liver. She’d ask to be excused and would take her sash-concealed organ meat to the toilet. Oh the night the liver wouldn’t flush…

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For 100 days, I’ll post something from my chosen topic: Clichés.
There are 54 entries to come.

Here’s a cliché for today:

All dressed up and nowhere to go

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la pression extérieure ~ external pressure


If you’re a frequent visitor to my blog, you might have noticed I always link to the Romance Books ‘4’ Us group. I’m one of 20 RB4U authors involved. It’s a great group and fantastic resource that regularly hosts esteemed publishing industry guests from every corner of the publishing world –New York Times Bestseller authors, publishers and industry representatives, cover models, and more have all shared their time on the RB4U. I blog there the 4th of every month and will again next week. Last month my day fell on the 4th of July so I blogged about my family history. Read if you’re interested.

Here’s a family story I didn’t share~

In the days before birth control it was common for a woman to bear children throughout the full length of her reproductive years. Common indeed, for the eldest and youngest to have a 20 year spread between them. That’s how it was with my great-grandmother. When she died from the Spanish influenza outbreak of 1918, the eldest children assumed the parental role and looked after the youngest.

Allow me to back up a few decades…After coal1my great-grandfather died my great-grandmother was left with several young children to raise.  I’m not sure where that was. My husband, the genealogist in the family, would know and he just left for work. Suffice to say the family went where the work was and lived in a coal mining town either in Indiana or Kentucky. The older sons became the breadwinners in the family. They went to the mines.

In post-Civil War USA, at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, the nation was beginning to transition from farm work to factory. Miners and other hard laborers often faced awful working conditions beyond assorted health risks. The 60-hour work week was a standard and low pay situations were often enhance by employers by requiring you to buy everything you needed from the company store. This was a way for the company to keep their money in the family, so to speak, even if those goods could be had cheaper elsewhere. They owed their souls to the company store just like the Tennessee Ernie Ford song ~ Sixteen Tons

The following memory belongs to my great-uncle. He was my grandmother’s brother and my mother’s uncle. My great-uncle was just a boy when his older brothers went to the mines. He lived with us off and on when I was growing up and the man was full of stories. He shared some of his recollections with me.

At this time the family lived in coal company housing and shopped at the coal company stores. He remembered his brothers coming in from work and taking off their clothes on the porch to limit the coal dust coming into the house. Their faces, necks and hands were black with coal grime and sweat. When the shirts came off, their bodies were clean in stark contrast.

wigan mine drawerOne day his older brother Joe came limping into the house and everyone ran to help him sit and get undressed. Earlier that day a full coal car backed over Joe’s foot. Fearful he’d lose his job over his injury, he re-laced his boot as tightly as he could and went back to work. That night, in the light of the oil lamps, Joe took off his boot. The sock was stiff with blood and when he peeled it away from his foot, all four toes stayed inside of it.  The flesh of his foot was crimped and clotted. The next day he wore another brother’s larger boots with padding in the toe and went back to work. He limped for the rest of his life, his balance thrown off because he only had the big toe on one foot.

The coal minors, like so many workers of the Industrial Revolution, faced the daily hazards of their jobs. Baring outright injury like Joe’s, young coal miners became old men quickly with black lung– a common disease at the time that came from inhaling coal dust. It was the same all over the western world. Textile workers often had cotton-induced lung disease. Match makers (not yenta’s) got a condition called phossy jaw from being exposed to phosphorus. The girls who painted those glow-in-the-dark dials on clocks and watches came to be known as radium girls who slowly died from the horrible effects of radium poisoning.

There are many examples of occupational hazards. The modus operandi of many factories and mines of the day was You were injured on the job? You’re fired. There was always someone to replace you. Discarding your ill and injured workers, even though your business was the source of that illness and injury, ensured high work capacity and saved money for the company, not mention it also lined the investors’ pockets. There wasn’t a safety net in society at the time, nothing to save a family once the able-bodied became disabled.

The union

Seeking protection for the common man, American workers began organizing into unions following the Civil War. At this time children worked in factories because women and children typically received lower pay than men. Another way to cut costs at the top.  This was before the Fair Labor Standards Act. Labor movements formed and lobbied for worker’s rights and safer conditions. By the late 1800’s, thousands of workers were organized into unions. Those early union days were almost as hazardous as the working conditions themselves. You could be replaced of course. Worse, breaking strikes often came with cracking skulls.lesliehaymarket

I’m fairly versed in the history of my region so the shenanigans perpetrated by the Wisconsin governor a few years back really steam me. I don’t always agree with today’s organized labor views but I certainly see the need for representation. We need to remember people like my Great-uncle Joe. We need to remember and be thankful for our 8-hour day and 5-day work week. They both came about from workers united in one voice. Here are the details for two historical incidents from my area — the Bay View Tragedy in Wisconsin and the Haymarket Riots in Chicago.

This historical society reenactment does a nice job using their archival info to explain what occurred at Bay View Wisconsin in 1886 when the State Militia fired into the crowd who had gathered on behalf of an 8-hour work day.

You can’t grow up in the city of Chicago and not know about the Haymarket riots. This union effort was larger and more violent. Even the Pinkertons were called in. Newspaper accounts of the time have a bomb going off and policemen shooting into the crowd for a full two minutes. The trial afterward was a farce. Newspapers throughout the country, themselves large companies with the same unfair labor practices, denounced the protestors as anarchists and advocated hanging the responsible persons.

Part 2
Part 3

Where did the idea for today’s post come from? Jimmy Hoffa, president of the Teamsters trade union, disappeared on July 30, 1975. He was declared legally dead July 30, 1983.

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For 100 days, I’ll post something from my chosen topic: Clichés.
There are 55 entries to come.

Here’s a cliché for today:

Strength in numbers

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Ants in my pants


laundry-line-jeans1I’m in the home stretch of my work in progress. Yay! I had planned a May release for it. It’s looking like September now by the time the edits are done.

I have three novels outside of my magnum opus that I’ve been trying to finish just to clear them off my plate. Life derailed me this past spring and things piled up and threw me off schedule. I feel guilty about not finishing them because I know once I seriously commit to the magnum opus (MO), they may never get finished.  If you saw how many unfinished pieces I have that are just waiting on something or someone…artwork, editing, conclusion, etc, you’d wonder how is this woman sane. Ha! I don’t think sane and writer go together. I have to get the stories out of my head and off the docket so they’ll leave me alone. Right now my mind keeps returning to these unfinished projects and they distract me from the MO. I just can’t work that way. Fictional worlds and characters can be so darn bossy sometimes.

I’m occasionally asked by people wondering where my next novel is if I’ve considered giving up promotion and blogging to just focus on cranking out books. There are several ways to answer that question. The first — an author can never stop promoting. Do it yourself or hire a publicist, this is a necessary thing. Right now I maintain the platform I’ve made. I no longer beat the streets looking for reviews. I’ve backed off appearances, blog hops, and interviews until the fall. Mostly I use the various memes around the web. (Come back tomorrow or the weekend to see what I mean. I connect my promo blogs through links)

The blogging here is a different animal entirely. I have a very busy and curious mind that can pull a short blog post out of thin air if I needed to. My morning rambles are simply encapsulated thought. Think of them as short summer showers. They dump their so many minutes of rain and then they’re gone. :D

Conversely, crafting a fictional world populated by fictional characters takes time and a writer is either in that zone or not. Some authors I know write in blocks. They plot out each step of the way and are referred to as plotters. One author says she writes the whole thing then goes back and inserts love scenes. Another author I know writes the beginning and the end, then goes back to tie them together. I can’t do it. If I could I’d have a much larger backlist. I’m a pantser — I fly by the seat of my pants. Plotters follow a formula. They know ahead of time exactly what has to happen in which portion of the book. Pantsers tell the story as it comes to them. I’m that storyteller sitting around the campfire who adds the hoot of an owl or the sound of wind-rustled leaves to the tale. In other words, I have to be in that moment to write it.

I often dream my stories. I live an 8 to 10 hour day in a fictional world as many authors do. That immersion  guarantees some of it will rub off on my dreams. I woke this morning with story arc on my mind so I’ll run with that instead of my regular morning coffee post. An arc is what brings change. It transitions the character or their situation from one state to the next.  I finally have the ending and it’s so close I can almost touch it. Almost. *knock on wood*  There. Post and coffee done. See you tomorrow.

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”
~Maya Angelou

mayaRest is peace, Maya. The world and I mourn the loss of your beautiful words.
1929 – 2014

 

 

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100Things.logo
For 100 days, I’ll post something from my chosen topic: Clichés.
There are 56 entries to come.

Here’s a cliché for today:

Ants in his pants

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Find my novels wherever books are sold.
Sample
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Dachshund sandwiches?


superdawg<<< I grew up with this icon not far from my house. I remember those anthropomorphic dawgs used to rattle my sensibilities when I was a child because they looked the same on both sides. No backs, two faces. Twice as creepy. The dawgs have been repainted since the days of my youth.
Both sides.

This past Saturday my husband and I stopped at a  crossroads hot dog stand, a locally famous little place with usually long lines and lots of ear-splitting road noise. There I discovered July is not only National Ice Cream Month as I posted the other day, it’s also National Hot Dog Month. To add to this festive month-long wiener-rama, today is National Chili Dog Day.

In 2005, the National Sausage and Hot Dog Council took a poll and discovered that chili was the third most popular hot dog condiment. The first was ketchup. Ketchup! Where I’m from, ketchup on a hot dog is almost a sin. Chili isn’t even mentioned.

chicago-dogAs a former Chicagoan I know the tastiest hot dogs or red hots are dressed their best when they’re taken for a “walk through the garden” — on a steamed poppy seed bun and topped with mustard, onions, sweet pickle relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato wedges, pickled sport peppers, and a dash of celery salt. They snap in your mouth when you take a bite. Because of their rubbery casing, this perfect hot  dog is commonly referred to as a snap-dog. Unbelievably, mustard comes in second in the national poll. Chili or ketchup? The polls must be regionally skewed.  :?

According to urban lore, the Chicago-style red hot came to be in 1929 in an open market area known as Maxwell St. There was a little sausage stand named Fluky’s there that offered a 5⊄ Depression Sandwich — a wiener with all the toppings mentioned above. I no longer live in Chicago so I don’t know if they’re still down on Maxwell St. But they’re still selling their famous hot dogs in Fluky shops here and there. When I was a kid they were bright carcinogen red. That dye had to be pretty darn toxic for it to be removed in the 1960’s. We were still using DDT at the time and didn’t give that a second thought.

What’s in a name?
Franks, frankfurters, sausage, wieners, wienies, wursts, hot dogs
, red hots, and all the other hot dog nicknames out there, a dog is essentially a sausage of finely minced meats. In general, wursts are just sausages — an economical way to use scrap meats. (I just had a flash of memory regarding the “true” content of hot dogs. The comedy is called The Great Outdoors) In our years living at an open-air summer camp, turkey dogs were on the lunch menu at least once a week. They were gritty. You don’t want to think too long on why your hot dog is gritty. We used to joke about them being 100% turkey dogs. 100% meaning feathers, beaks etc. Ugh. Now there’s a jaunt down memory lane.

Anyway…Beyond the combinations of meats and seasonings that create those distinctive flavors,  the names we associate with them have to do with their place of origin. The frankfurter, or frank, for example, is a pork-based sausage that comes from Frankfurt, Germany. Wieners come from Vienna Austria. (Pronounce that w like a v). In my neck of the woods, the Vienna Beef and David Berg all-beef Vienna hot dogs wear the crown.

Early hotdogs in America didn’t come on a bun. Some credit New York’s Coney Island for that merger in the 1870’s. I saw another reference that said the hot dog bun combo came to be in 1880’s St. Louis, Missouri. The latter sausage seller was handing out a glove you could hold your sausage with but after a while that proved too expensive to keep up. It was his wife who came up with the brilliant idea of selling their wieners on rolls.  Another version of that tale has this taking place during the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in1893. The vendor ran out of gloves because people were keeping them as souvenirs. Wiener glove mementos??

The most beloved bit of hot dog trivia has the hot dog name beginning with a newspaper cartoon. A vendor was calling his sausages dachshund sandwiches and the cartoonist couldn’t spell dachshund but knew what wiener dogs were. He named those sausages on a roll hot dogs.

More~
I was hoping to find the PBS special entitled A Hot Dog Program on youtube. There are individual clips of the documentary there if you wish to look for yourself, but not the entire program. As the name suggests, it’s all about the hot dog around the USA. You wouldn’t think regional dressings of hot dogs would make an interesting hour, but if it ever comes to your local PBS station, I recommend it. It’s a fun take on a beloved food icon. The dog may have started out as a humble European sausage, but we’ve made it our own with our occasionally weird toppings.

 Remember this from the old drive-in theaters?

Every year, Nathan’s Famous in New York has a hot dog eating contest. I imagine the winner’s liver takes a real beating trying to process the barrage of fat, salt, and nitrates.

I have to say, even watching that has potential to give me a phantom gallbladder attack. The expressions on their faces says it all :P

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100Things.logo
For 100 days, I’ll post something from my chosen topic: Clichés.
There are 57 entries to come.

Here’s a cliché for today:

You can’t teach an old dog new tricks

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4 Us iconToday is guest Author Roseanne Bittner
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Romance Books ‘4’ Us ~ a new contest starting soon.
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Find my novels wherever books are sold.
Sample
my love stories for free!
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Fun Day Sunday


funday smileIf you’ve been here before then you know Sundays on my blog are all about wonder and smiles. In honor of mentally kicking back once in a while, Sundays are Fun Days! Each Sunday, visitors will find a fun, interesting, or unusual something here. I’m a nerd with a complex sense of humor and absurd wit. It could literally be anything.

I’m a world drummer who gets into all sorts of unusual music.  Today I’m sharing a fun clip of beatboxing– also called vocal percussion. By using only the mouth to simulate a variety of instruments, people can make music some pretty extraordinary music. Enjoy!  :D

Here’s another great example of vocal percussion as illustrated in a TED Talk. It gets really interesting around 4:40.

I feel like drumming now.  :D

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100Things.logo
For 100 days, I’ll post something from my chosen topic: Clichés.
There are 58 entries to come.

Here’s a cliché for today:

Put your money where your mouth is

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6bd34-bee1Saturday & Sunday Happenings

 Sexy Snippets & My Sexy Saturday
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A Saturday Teaser
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Sneak Peek Sunday
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Sunday Snippet
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The Romance Books ‘4’ Us Annual Christmas in July Contest is almost over. We have 32 prizes for ONE WINNER! http://www.romancebooks4us.com

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Find my novels wherever books are sold.
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166 years ago this week in Seneca Falls, New York


women-s-suffrage-leader-elizabeth-cady-stanton166 years ago this week, Elizabeth Cady Stanton helped organize the first Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York. As a woman of this time, I can look back with pride on this early attempt to gain equality in a country whose very tenants declared one thing but whose reality said something completely different.

American women of the 1840s carried the same inferior status held by their gender since Christianity came to be. An unmarried woman did not vote, hold office, attend school beyond a certain point (no college), or even speak in public. A woman of color had even less. The few doors open for a woman to earn a living involved teaching, domestic service, seamstress work, or working in mills. There was always prostitution. Conversely, a married woman was dogged by these restrictions and more. She couldn’t divorce an abusive husband or gain custody of her children. She couldn’t own property, make contracts, or sue in court. Legally her husband controlled her life. A widow without a male relative had a small measure of control with the guiding hand of male bankers and lawyers. Many widows chose to never marry again just to hold onto it.

In1848, a handful of reformers gathered in Seneca Falls, New York for “A Convention to discuss the social, civil, and religious condition and rights of Woman.” The  first day of the convention had more than 300 people in attendance. They began with a Declaration of Sentiments. Amendments were proposed and some were adopted right away. Eleven resolutions were made and ten passed without issue. The right to vote dangled there in a heated debate. Elizabeth Cady Stanton defended that resolution to no avail. Then an eloquent orator and ex-slave by the name of Frederick Douglass argued for this last amendment in his own newspaper and the suffrage resolution was kept with the rest.

Read the Seneca Falls Declaration, 1848

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one portion of the family of man to assume among the people of the earth a position different from that which they have hitherto occupied, but one to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes that impel them to such a course.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights governments are instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of those who suffer from it to refuse allegiance to it, and to insist upon the institution of a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they were accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their duty to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of the women under this government, and such is now the necessity which constrains them to demand the equal station to which they are entitled.

The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has never permitted her to exercise her inalienable right to the elective franchise.

He has compelled her to submit to laws, in the formation of which she had no voice.

He has withheld from her rights which are given to the most ignorant and degraded men–both natives and foreigners.

Having deprived her of this first right of a citizen, the elective franchise, thereby leaving her without representation in the halls of legislation, he has oppressed her on all sides.

He has made her, if married, in the eye of the law, civilly dead.

He has taken from her all right in property, even to the wages she earns.

He has made her, morally, an irresponsible being, as she can commit many crimes with impunity, provided they be done in the presence of her husband. In the covenant of marriage, she is compelled to promise obedience to her husband, he becoming to all intents and purposes, her master–the law giving him power to deprive her of her liberty, and to administer chastisement.

He has so framed the laws of divorce, as to what shall be the proper causes, and in case of separation, to whom the guardianship of the children shall be given, as to be wholly regardless of the happiness of women–the law, in all cases, going upon a false supposition of the supremacy of man, and giving all power into his hands.

After depriving her of all rights as a married woman, if single, and the owner of property, he has taxed her to support a government which recognizes her only when her property can be made profitable to it.

He has monopolized nearly all the profitable employments, and from those she is permitted to follow, she receives but a scanty remuneration. He closes against her all the avenues to wealth and distinction which he considers most honorable to himself. As a teacher of theology, medicine, or law, she is not known.

He has denied her the facilities for obtaining a thorough education, all colleges being closed against her.

He allows her in Church, as well as State, but a subordinate position, claiming Apostolic authority for her exclusion from the ministry, and, with some exceptions, from any public participation in the affairs of the Church.

He has created a false public sentiment by giving to the world a different code of morals for men and women, by which moral delinquencies which exclude women from society, are not only tolerated, but deemed of little account in man.

He has usurped the prerogative of Jehovah himself, claiming it as his right to assign for her a sphere of action, when that belongs to her conscience and to her God.

He has endeavored, in every way that he could, to destroy her confidence in her own powers, to lessen her self-respect, and to make her willing to lead a dependent and abject life.

Now, in view of this entire disfranchisement of one-half the people of this country, their social and religious degradation–in view of the unjust laws above mentioned, and because women do feel themselves aggrieved, oppressed, and fraudulently deprived of their most sacred rights, we insist that they have immediate admission to all the rights and privileges which belong to them as citizens of the United States.

In entering upon the great work before us, we anticipate no small amount of misconception, misrepresentation, and ridicule; but we shall use every instrumentality within our power to effect our object. We shall employ agents, circulate tracts, petition the State and National legislatures, and endeavor to enlist the pulpit and the press in our behalf. We hope this Convention will be followed by a series of Conventions embracing every part of the country.

Now read the resolutions

Whereas, the great precept of nature is conceded to be, “that man shall pursue his own true and substantial happiness,” Blackstone, in his Commentaries, remarks, that this law of Nature being coeval with mankind, and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times; no human laws are of any validity if contrary to this, and such of them as are valid, derive all their force, and all their validity, and all their authority, mediately and immediately, from this original; Therefore,

Resolved, That such laws as conflict, in any way, with the true and substantial happiness of woman, are contrary to the great precept of nature, and of no validity; for this is “superior in obligation to any other.”

Resolved, That all laws which prevent woman from occupying such a station in society as her conscience shall dictate, or which place her in a position inferior to that of man, are contrary to the great precept of nature, and therefore of no force or authority.

Resolved, That woman is man’s equal — was intended to be so by the Creator, and the highest good of the race demands that she should be recognized as such.

Resolved, That the women of this country ought to be enlightened in regard to the laws under which they live, that they may no longer publish their degradation, by declaring themselves satisfied with their present position, nor their ignorance, by asserting that they have all the rights they want.

Resolved, That inasmuch as man, while claiming for himself intellectual superiority, does accord to woman moral superiority, it is pre-eminently his duty to encourage her to speak, and teach, as she has an opportunity, in all religious assemblies.

Resolved, That the same amount of virtue, delicacy, and refinement of behavior, that is required of woman in the social state, should also be required of man, and the same transgressions should be visited with equal severity on both man and woman.

Resolved, That the objection of indelicacy and impropriety, which is so often brought against woman when she addresses a public audience, comes with a very ill grace from those who encourage, by their attendance, her appearance on the stage, in the concert, or in the feats of the circus.

Resolved, That woman has too long rested satisfied in the circumscribed limits which corrupt customs and a perverted application of the Scriptures have marked out for her, and that it is time she should move in the enlarged sphere which her great Creator has assigned her.

Resolved, That it is the duty of the women of this country to secure to themselves their sacred right to the elective franchise.

Resolved, That the equality of human rights results necessarily from the fact of the identity of the race in capabilities and responsibilities.

Resolved, therefore, That, being invested by the Creator with the same capabilities, and the same consciousness of responsibility for their exercise, it is demonstrably the right and duty of woman, equally with man, to promote every righteous cause, by every righteous means; and especially in regard to the great subjects of morals and religion, it is self-evidently her right to participate with her brother in teaching them, both in private and in public, by writing and by speaking, by any instrumentalities proper to be used, and in any assemblies proper to be held; and this being a self-evident truth, growing out of the divinely implanted principles of human nature, any custom or authority adverse to it, whether modern or wearing the hoary sanction of antiquity, is to be regarded as self-evident falsehood, and at war with the interests of mankind.

Source: E.C. Stanton, S.B. Anthony and M.J. Gage, eds., History of Woman Suffrage, vol. 1 (1887), 70.

Powerful stuff, no? To that I say, Thank you Suffrageladies (and supporting men). Thank you for giving me this life. Thank you for the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution that prohibits any United States citizen from being denied the right to vote on the basis of sex. I’ve been walking in your footprints and voting since I came of age. I owe it to you to continue this great work of equality.

When weighing these efforts of the past against today, one can certainly see the slippery slope our country is on. Young women of today need to understand that what they have was hard won and even then it’s not wholly equal. So many women of this world are treated as property. I won’t go into child brides dying of internal hemorrhage after their wedding nights, brutal FGM, abandoning worthless infant girls on the side of the road, girls and women stoned to death for going to school, or the honor killing of women after rape. I’ll just say we’re lucky in the western world. We’re lucky in the USA.

We have the great fortune to live in this country where we can pick up the banner sewn by these pioneering women of 166 years ago, a banner covered with their own blood, sweat, and tears. We can demand better through our hard won right to vote. Demand full equality under the law. Demand politicians and judges keep their special interests to themselves and stop infringing upon our right to control our destiny. That copy of the US Constitution they all seem to carry in their pocket is ours too. And they need to remember that. They don’t say hell hath no fury than a woman scorned for nothing.  :D

Bring that banner and march on Washington again this September. http://www.wearewoman.us/

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100Things.logo
For 100 days, I’ll post something from my chosen topic: Clichés.
There are 59 entries to come.

Here’s a cliché for today:

All things being equal

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6bd34-bee1Saturday & Sunday Happenings

Sexy Snippets & My Sexy Saturday
http://calliopesotherwritingtablet.blogspot.com/

Seductive Studs and Sirens & Weekend Writing Warriors
http://theancillarymuse.blogspot.com/

A Saturday Teaser
http://ifollowthemuse.blogspot.com/

Sneak Peek Sunday
http://calliopeswritingtablet.blogspot.com/

Sunday Snippet
**promo op for all romance authors**
http://exquisitequills.blogspot.com/

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4 Us iconToday is Author Sam Cheever’s blog day
http://romancebooks4us.blogspot.com/

The Romance Books ‘4’ Us Annual Christmas in July Contest is almost over. We have 32 prizes for ONE WINNER! http://www.romancebooks4us.com

۞>>>>۞<<<<۞

all7books-smallLove Waits in Unexpected Places - Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories

Find my novels wherever books are sold.
Sample
my love stories for free!
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/333971

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Posted in Past Posts - you'll never know what you'll find | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

The black sheep


emailI started my day today as I always do — waiting on brewing coffee and checking my email. Authors have so much email. An average morning has around 75+. I won’t even go in to what it looks like if I don’t check it throughout the day. After a vacation two years ago I had more than 1000 waiting on me.  The thing about checking my yahoo.com email is to get there I get to see the headlines page. This morning I saw this: Islamic State militants destroy one of Iraq’s most-revered shrines.

Maybe it’s my historic preservation background, or maybe it’s just my sense of right and wrong, but this stuff, like the bombing of the Bamiyan Buddhas, or the Nazi sacking of the Amber Room in the Russia’s Catherine Palace, is repugnant. Destroying the culture and history because they don’t fit your ideology just brings the whole world down.

mind-blown-412x372I try not to look, I really do. But a headline will catch my eye. (that elephant from a few weeks ago is burned into my heart) I rarely follow that headline. One sentence is often more than enough to make me feel hopeless. If you’re like me, you’re swimming up to your eyeballs in bad news because the media uses it like a cudgel on our sensibilities. From every angle, from every corner of the world, from under every rock it seems, they find bad news to share with us. It’s a barrage. What else can we possibly feel if not doomed? If you stop to think about this, really think about it, you’ll realize it’s over the top for a reason. You also might find yourself getting angry. I do.

Pure and simple –sensationalism sells. Sponsors pay money to news syndicates in the hopes their product will be seen or heard about.  If people are watching, they’re  getting a dose of products for sale along with their fear and anxiety. Yes, fear and anxiety. Bad news makes us fear and fearful people stay close to the news. When there’s bad news, people stay tuned to be sure something terrible isn’t headed their way. Staying close to the news keeps us close to sponsor product. I can’t express how insidious this is.

Herd Mentality

Not all that long ago, researchers discovered that foxit only takes a minority of just 5% to influence a crowd’s direction. That means the other 95% follow without realizing they are. FOX news has this flock tending down to a science. From the way they dress their female commentators to show bare arms and short skirts(even in January) to add a subliminal sexual undertone to sharpen the watcher’s focus, to the repetition of rhetoric and precision-placed talking points that read like taglines and slogans. Sex and slogans work.

What Boomer doesn’t know these logos 1products? “plop plop fizz fizz oh what a relief it is” or “snap crackle pop” or “two-all-beef-patties-special sauce-lettuce-cheese-on a-sesame seed bun”?
Going further back, how about: “I’d rather fight than switch” or “you can trust your car to the man that wears a star”?
See it in the news: “if the glove don’t fit, you must acquit” or the “Palling Around’ With Terrorists” or “Barack Hussein Obama” as if this middle name somehow tied the man to the dictator of Iraq.

I just realized I have a load of these things imbedded in my brain. There are so many I might do a series on slogans!

Here’s a humorous peek at how we’re bombarded with a single talking point. I had to reload it because youtube had it in a playlist and it ended up being a woman playing piano. Have a laugh, then imagine they’re talking bad news instead.

Herd mentality is a double-edged sword. The roots go back to cooperative hunting– to work together to ensure survival. Today, we’re well-fed and this natural inclination for community teamwork has been hijacked and corrupted. The 5% shout the bad news and the 95% eventually have their innate empathy and compassion sandblasted away. It breaks our moral compass. This is how we get extreme behaviors in society. This is how we get “us vs them” and that leads people to hate and becomes what drives them to find the scapegoat. This is how people gather to shout raging obscenities at frightened children at the US border. This is also how people come to stand passively by while others are led to gas chambers.

Free speech is a beloved gift in this world. In fact, I’m exercising it here. But the right to wag your fist ends at the other guy’s nose. If bad news has broken the moral compass that says enough is enough, then the fear rules and the hateful herd grows.

“Neither a man nor a crowd nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of a great fear.”
~Bertrand Russell (philosopher)

I would think the best way to combat bad news is to be sure good news gets talked about. I’ll leave you with some good news –LOTS of good news. Because it really is out there. Spread the word.
http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/
http://www.pinterest.com/goodnewsnetwork/
http://www.happynews.com/http://gimundo.com/
http://optimistworld.com/
http://greatnewsnetwork.org/

۞>>>>۞<<<<۞

100Things.logo
For 100 days, I’ll post something from my chosen topic: Clichés.
There are 60 entries to come.

Here’s a cliché for today:

Birds of a feather flock together

۞>>>>۞<<<<۞>>>>۞<<<<۞

4 Us iconToday is an interview with Author Victoria Adams
http://romancebooks4us.blogspot.com/

The Romance Books ‘4’ Us Annual Christmas in July Contest is almost over. We have 32 prizes for ONE WINNER! http://www.romancebooks4us.com

b1e43-eqpic
Victoria is also on the Exquisite Quills blog today taking part in a fund
raiser for shelter dogs. Come see.

http://exquisitequills.blogspot.com/?zx=86208892750b2a65

۞>>>>۞<<<<۞

all7books-smallLove Waits in Unexpected Places - Scorching Samplings of Unusual Love Stories

Find my novels wherever books are sold.
Sample
my love stories for free!
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/333971

۞>>>>۞<<<<۞

trrbanner

Posted in Past Posts - you'll never know what you'll find | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments