Visual Trip Across America


 

Why am I taking you on a visual trip of America? Because I want you to remember all we have here. This is our America.

These pictures are symbols of what we vote for. We vote because we have the right to vote and have since the Founding Fathers. We have the duty to each other and to America to speak up and let government officials know how we feel. We must  vote, or everyone that has died fighting for our country and way of life will have died in vain. Even if you are not happy with our present government and if you see racism and sexism and judgmentalism as black marks against us, go out and vote. Just go. Send your message, send your thoughts, send a message of what must change. Send a message that is representative of your voice. It is ELECTION DAY. Go to the polls and vote. It is not too much to ask.

Smokey Mountains

Smokey Mountains  Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2013

 

 

To Majestic Mountains

To Majestic Mountains  Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2012

 

home

My flowers in glorious bloom. Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2012

 

 

 

To your own home

To your own home  Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 1013

 

 

To country roads

To country roads  Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2013

 

 

To Texas butterflies. Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2007

To butterflies. Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2007

 

 

And lakes

To lakes  Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2011

 

 

From Oceans

And oceans and islands  Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2012

Your Vote is Your Responsibility


 

Here we are at the end of September. Elections are coming up. There is time to vote early or to mark you calendar with the notation to vote. The Republicans have just unanimously voted against equal pay for equal work. Today, a mom earns $.69 less than a dad earns for each hour they work. Is there a Republican war on women? Absolutely there is.

 

Women and men getting out to vote is essential this year. We have had a “do nothing” Congress for a few years now. Women need to get out and speak up for themselves. We need to tell Congress to start doing their jobs. We need pay equality. We need to be legally equal. Why is it that so many males don’t want us to be legally equal?  We are the only citizens who are not legally equal. It is time to demand what we don’t have.

 

Now, employers want to be able to deny us the ability to use birth control. If they don’t want you to take it they will not pay for it. Just how many people are you willing to let control your body. Why should some corporation tell us what to do with our bodies. Why should anyone know about intimate information about our lives. We are adults, we are of sound mind, we are capable of making good decisions about our bodies and our lives.

Don’t let our lives be controlled by the government, corporations, churches or temples or cathedrals.

Women need to take back control of the important things in their lives. Getting out and voting is the best way to let America know what you stand for. Show the government that you know what you want and you aren’t afraid to tell them. Get out and vote in November!

 

 

 

Photographed and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2014

    Sculptures of joyful women. Chautauqua New York. Photographed

                 and copyrighted by Barbara Mattio 2014.

 

 

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Ladies, it’s our Anniversary!


On August 26, 1920, the 19thAmendment granting women the right to vote, became law.

“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”  

When American women were first trying to get the vote, men believed it was inappropriate for women to vote and provided a variety of “reasons”.  In 1915, writer Alice Duer Miller countered the ridiculous arguments of anti-suffrage men with humor:

Why We Don’t Want Men to Vote

  • Because man’s place is in the army.
  • Because no really manly man wants to settle any question otherwise than by fighting about it.
  • Because if men should adopt peaceable methods women will no longer look up to them.
  • Because men will lose their charm if they step out of their natural sphere and interest themselves in other matters than feats of arms, uniforms, and drums.
  • Because men are too emotional to vote. Their conduct at baseball games and political conventions shows this, while their innate tendency to appeal to force renders them unfit for government.

The true ridiculousness of the fight is clear in the view of hindsight — during World War I, when able-bodied men were fighting in Europe, it was women who took their place in factories and kept this country moving, providing support and arms to our fighting men.  Yet still, these brave, hard-working women could not vote.  President Woodrow Wilson recognized the disparity, and in a speech on September 18, 1918, he said,

“We have made partners of the women in this war. Shall we admit them only to a partnership of suffering and sacrifice and toil and not to a partnership of right?”

According to the website AmericanCivilWar.com, “the National American Woman Suffrage Association’s (NAWSA) Congressional Committee and the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage (CU) worked together to try to get women in America the vote.  In 1917, the CU formed the National Woman’s Party (NWP).

 

HowLOngMustWomenWait

Photograph of Alison Turnbull Hopkins with banner, “Mr. President How long must women wait for liberty,” picketing for suffrage outside White House gate. Photograph published in The Suffragist, 5, no. 56 (Feb. 7, 1917): 4. Caption reads: “New Jersey Day: Mrs. J.A.H. Hopkins heading the line”. Photograph illustration in story “Fourth Week of the White House Guard.”

In January 1917 the CU and NWP began to picket the White House. The government’s initial tolerance gave way after the United States entered World War I. Beginning in June 1917, suffrage protesters were arrested, imprisoned, and often force-fed when they went on hunger strikes to protest being denied political prisoner status.

The National Woman’s Party militant tactics and steadfast lobbying, coupled with public support for imprisoned suffragists, forced President Woodrow Wilson to endorse a federal woman suffrage amendment in 1918. Congress passed the measure in 1919, and the NWP began campaigning for state ratification. Shortly after Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify women’s suffrage, the 19th Amendment was signed into law on August 26, 1920.”

 

 

I am bringing this up today not only to celebrate the 94th Anniversary of this wonderful Amendment, but also to make a point to every woman out there in the United States:

A mid-term election is coming up in November.  I don’t know who you support in the election, or what party you are involved with, or if you have ever voted before, and it really doesn’t matter.  What DOES matter is this:

 

A lot of women worked very hard for a long time to give you the right to vote this November.

 

You owe it to them, as well as to you, your generation, and the next generation to come, to exercise that right.  Vote for your granddaughters and your great-granddaughters, and they will one day have what we have yet to win:  True Equality.

 

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Working Together For Our World With Love and Acceptance


99% of the American people working to hold up the World

When Bush first ran for President against Al Gore, I was deeply disappointed when he won. However, he won fair and square. The majority of the people spoke in his favor. We even had the controversy over Florida and “the hanging chads from ballots.” I will admit I was unhappy and a bit suspicious.

I am a pacifist and I will admit that I shunned vets after Vietnam. I’ve learned a lot since then. I was totally against the War in Iraq, but I understood that many of our boys and girls were choosing to fight in this war. So I gave them my prayers and support. I still wasn’t happy, but I accepted this second administration. I felt Bush was a “cowboy” and not the man I wanted to be President. Well, it was my opinion and my right to voice my views, rationally and logically. For eight years I did not let anger or conspiracies rule my thoughts and life.

Now, times have changed and Barak Obama has been elected by the majority and electoral vote of the American people. I must say that I am shocked by all of the hatred, anger, and illogical talk that is taking place. Twenty states talking succession. Really? So you are taking your toys home and never playing with us again. In an election, someone always loses. Sometimes it is Domecrats and sometimes Republicans.

Our Founding Fathers did not have the sort of rhetoric and extreme anger I have been hearing on the internet and in articles…let alone Social Media. I believe they would be disappointed that all they dreamed and fought for, American freedom would end up being trashed like this.

It is time for each citizen to look into their hearts and minds and look for the rational, loving, accepting human being that this country was designed for. Please put aside the angst and let us all work together to make this a country and world filled with the love and beauty that Divinity has had in mind.

The beautiful creation of Divinity.

I Hear America Sing


Colin Powell speaks for President Obama

Four More Years

I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,

Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe and strong,

The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,

The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work,

The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat, the deckhand singing on the steamboat deck,

The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands,

The wood-cutter’s song, the ploughboy’s on his way in the morning, or at noon intermission or at sundown.

The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife at work, or  of the girl sewing or washing,

Each singing what belongs to the day-at night the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,

Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.

                                                                                                             —Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman (1819-1892) wrote in long, loose lines. Whitman introduced to American poetry a democratic, all-encompassing vision and a freedom of style that liberated the form from its traditional constraints.

Whitman was a man of the people. He wasn’t rich and he wandered around our great country meeting the everyday man and woman. He found solace and inspiration in the lives of the 99%. They weren’t called that then, but these days we are. These days we have the 99% and the 1 %. Most of us are part of the 99% and we care about each other, whether we have met or not. We know they are our sisters and brothers. We don’t all look alike, We don’t all speak English well. We don’t all believe in the same issues. What we all are is Americans proud of our country and where we are going. On this election day, I Hear Americans Sing and they vote.

Gloria Steinam for Obama

Coretta Scott King speaks for President Obama

Vote for Hope

Ladies, our ancestors worked hard for us to have the vote. Please go out and stand in line and vote.

In America, every citizen has the right to vote. Citizens of other countries, cannot all say that. Don’t take the vote for granted.

 

Women’s Vote


Women, this is the opportunity to protect our lives and the lives of several generations of young women coming up behind us. There was a time, in the late 1990’s, we thought we had made our point. We had made a difference and we had worked and marched and pushed and made America a better place for women.

Well, having participated in that era of pushing for Women’s Rights, I feel so sad that we are back again;back at the place where women are demeaned, pushed to a side, ignored, and passed over. The conservatives feel a need to control us and to undermine our lives and the lives of women all over the world.

November 6 th, we have the “Ability to Move Beyond Words.”  We have been working to speak our truth, speak up for the rights of women and children. We have been pushing back against those who have started the new “War on Women.”  Well, it is time, ladies, to take off the gloves and to remember as we fight for ourselves, we are fighting for the young ones. Society will decompose unless we work hard to stop this war.

The truth is, as women we can’t ever stop fighting against those who have no respect for women. There are many men, and fundamental religions who feel women need-must be controlled and subjected. They have never loved a woman, and are intimidated by strong assertive women. We can’t let that stop us or future generations. We can’t ease off, become less diligent because we are strong, independent, capable women and we are important too.

So ladies, on November 6th, you need to vote like your life depends on it because It does. We are at a crossroads here in America. We have to preserve what we have gained and we have to ensure the future for other women. Your ballot is the key to freedom. Our ballots are the answer to the War on Women. We must win the fight for ourselves and for women all over the world who are being victimized even as I sit here at my computer typing my words to you.

The Vote


America is coming up on one of our most important votes. Historically, voting; before the women received the vote, men made voting  into an excuse to drink and have fist fights..There was chaos. It is amazing that we made it through these times. Voting was done in saloons and a man’s vote got him a free shot of whiskey.

There were problems with voter ID. Not because of the reasons we debate  today, Police were stationed in the saloons to keep the peace. They often looked the other way, so guys could vote again and get another shot. Guns were toted for a man’s protection. Some may have even been needed. Don’t know. Election day was wild.

Today, emotions flare on all sides. We have evolved. Thanks to the Suffragettes,  women now have the responsibility of voting too.  We no longer vote in the saloons and the whiskey no longer flows like hot lava. Election day is a time for all citizens to speak up.

We must remember on election day to put our apathy aside. Citizens all over the world risk their lives to get to America to have the chance to become citizens and to vote to keep the freedoms we have here in America. They traveled here in ships and planes seeking what the original Pilgrims sought when they arrived in the 1600’s. They wanted freedom and a voice in creating and strengthening these freedoms for all Americans.

In November, remember voting is indeed a right, but it is also an important responsibility. If we are apathetic and don’t use our vote, we weaken our democracy. In every generation, there have been those who threw the hat in and gave up. They stopped voting. They stopped listening to issues.  Both sides of the issues. If something happens later on they don’t like, often, they are the first to complain loudly and frequently. Perhaps if these people had voted, the results would be much different. At the very least, they would have had the opportunity to say, to vote for what they believed in.

My challenge to Americans in November is to go to the polls and vote. Tell our leaders what and whom you want to lead our government. Don’t get caught up in the discontent you feel. Use the discontent within to get yourself out of the house, vote before you go to work or on your way home. We are citizens of a great Democracy and we have a responsibility to work to keep it whole and continuing to grow as the world is growing.

It is important to remember that with all of the new technology, America and Americans need to show people what Democracy is and how it can and does improve lives. Go vote, be proud, no matter who wins, and I do have a favorite, but whoever wins the process will have worked again as it has every four years since the founding fathers wrote the Constitution.

July 4, 2012 Fireworks; Photo by Barbara Mattio

2012 fireworks; Photo by Barbara Mattio