Yesterday, a vote to defund Planned Parenthood failed in the Senate.  We’re thrilled with this news, but it doesn’t change the facts:        

  • 51 Republican Senators voted to defund Planned Parenthood. 
  • 18 Republicans in the House (all men!) pledged to shut down the government over Planned Parenthood funding. Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump agrees with them.
  • A right wing group continues to threaten Planned Parenthood with bogus videos. 

Nasa Needs Help (Important!)

In 2002 the Bush administration, upset over an over-budget, slow-moving program, cancelled a NASA exploration mission.

That mission was called New Horizons and it was supposed to finally bring us to Pluto.

As you well know, NASA recently got to Pluto. New Horizons wasn’t cancelled. The only reason it survived was because a small group of science lovers banded together and flooded the halls of Congress with demands to float this mission into the unknown.

The Planetary Society is that group. I volunteer for the Planetary Society and am here on their behalf now with a plea:

NASA is in trouble. This year in particular things look bad.

It’s an election year. Many senators are running for president and quite a few are willing to shut down the government to make a point or to further their careers.

During Ted Cruz’s 2013 government shutdown NASA was left with only 550 people to keep the astronauts aboard the space station alive, to ensure the rovers on Mars are alright and essentially all other crucial NASA endeavors survived until Congress got its act together.

We mustn’t let this happen again.

The mission to Europa is barely getting the proper support to move forward. It’s still in tremendous danger of getting nixed.

The President’s requested the cancellation of the Opportunity rover (it’s already on Mars!) and the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter.

If we’re lax with our representatives we might be putting the James Webb Space Telescope in a position to miss its 2018 launch window.

The only thing we need is your voice.

Right now Congress is on a five-week break until Labor Day. Why should we allow them to leave for vacation without writing a budget for NASA? Do you think it’s okay that they break and not return until NASA’s current funding has all but expired? Lets flood their inboxes and make our voices heard.

If a congressperson doesn’t have a strong opinion on something they typically revert to what their constituents want. Luckily there’s hardly any strong “anti-planetary science” opinion in Congress.

Click here to sign our petition. It find your representatives and senators for you. Just fill the form out.

Because we did this years ago we can now sift through images of the wonders of Pluto. In another fifteen years we might be reading headline news articles about the discovery of extra terrestrial life on Europa.

Sign the petition here and please please please, spread this message. We can’t do this without you.

(Image credit: Matthew Woodson)

No one ever talks about elections other than presidential, but the president can’t do much if Congress is set against him. Obama is the proof of that. So as much attention and enthusiasm as we’re giving the presidential election, we need to start focusing on the congressional elections, too. We need to start researching these people and find out who is really going to help the people over their own wallets. We need to clean up this government on all levels so that Bernie has a better chance at making his plans come to reality.

Democrats are preparing to introduce a historic LGBT civil rights bill in Congress.

Democrats in the House and Senate are preparing to introduce legislation that would offer LGBT Americans sweeping protections previously denied to them under federal law. The bill, known as the Equality Act and set to be unveiled Thursday, would outlaw discrimination in a series of public settings and change the lives of LGBT people every where.

Please sign the petition to stop the Oprhan Works copyright act!

Especially if you are an artist! 

PETITION IS HERE

The Orphan Works Copyright act basically states that big corporations and businesses can take your work and use it without your permission and without paying you. 

Further more this act would require you to register each and every one of your work to avoid copyright infringement. Who wants to deal with that???

Here is more information about this act [x]

Here is the PDF of the Orphan Works and Mass Digitization copyright act [x]

Here is another post talking about it please reblog it as well as this one [x]

If this law passes artists are basically screwed.

Bernie Sanders To Introduce A Bill To End Private Prisons

At a campaign rally in Nevada on Tuesday, Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders told a gathered crowd that he would introduce a bill aimed at ending the for-profit prison industry, supplementing an already comprehensive racial justice reform package targeting racial violence in the physical, political, legal, and economic spheres.

“When Congress reconvenes in September, I will be introducing legislation which takes corporations out of profiteering from running jails,” Sanders said, following remarks on broader issues of racial violence such as improving police-community relations and rolling back widespread mass incarceration.

Defund Planned Parenthood? Here's What Would ACTUALLY Be Taken Away (IMAGE)

Defund Planned Parenthood? Here’s What Would ACTUALLY Be Taken Away (IMAGE)

Currently, there is an outright war that has been waged on women and reproductive health in this nation. It has been waged by people who reject science and don’t understand the necessity of accessible and affordable healthcare, not just for women, but for entire communities. It has been waged by religious zealots who would rather murder clinic workers than let a woman have the right to her own…

View On WordPress

Orphan Works Copyright Act DOESN'T JUST AFFECT ARTISTS

This affects EVERYONE.
THIS LAW BASICALLY TAKES THE RIGHT OF ANY PICTURES YOU POST ONLINE. IT TAKES AWAY ANY PRIVACY WE HAVE ONLINE.

Pictures of your family, friends, or your own selfies? YUP, ANYONE CAN TAKE THAT AND SALE IT OR ALTER IT.

Cosplayers? YES, OTHERS ARE NOW ALLOWED TO TAKE YOUR BEAUTIFUL PICS OF COSPLAY AND CHANGE IT OR SALE IT FOR THEMSELVES.
And of course this affects ARTISTS GREATLY. All of our hardwork, effort, TIME THAT WE PUT INTO OUR CREATIONS,(cosplayers too and everyone else!) GONE BECAUSE OF THIS LAW IF IT PASSES.

*If you don’t know what this law is, it basically takes away your right to own any visual art or photography you post online and ANYONE can sale it OR BETTER YET DESTROY IT/CHANGE IT AND CREDIT THEMSELVES. THIS IS TERRIBLE BECAUSE IT’S MAKING PLAGIARISM LEGAL ACROSS THE INTERNET.

Here are two links that I found very helpful and will explain more about the act: http://digital-doodle.tumblr.com/post/124514342906/i-interrupt-a-long-term-hiatus-to-help-raise

http://kumonotori.tumblr.com/post/124556920411/wannabeanimator-an0ther-artist-attention (INCLUDING THE ACTUAL LAW)

PLEASE CHECK THE LINK OUT AS IT BASICALLY TELLS YOU ALL THE INFO AND HOW WE CAN HELP TO STOP IT.

THIS WOULD CHANGE EVERYONE’S LIFE, EVEN IF YOU DON’T LIVE IN AMERICA. AS LONG AS WE HAVE ACCESS TO THE INTERNET, WE’RE PRONE TO HAVING OUR PRIVACY STOLEN.

CONGRESS DECIDES WHETHER THIS LAW PASSES OR NOT ON THURSDAY. Let’s hope that they get bombard with enough letters to understand that we WANT OUR PRIVACY.

***Also if you’re not in the US and you want to help please spread this around! It’ll help even in the slightest!! Thank you!***

#RestoretheVRA

Today, on the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 – a landmark piece of legislation that prohibits racial discrimination in voting – HRC called on Congress to restore the full protections of this crucial legislation. Tap twice if you agree with HRC that it’s time to #RestoretheVRA.

ACTION ALERT!

While we all want good highways, Congress should not pay for them by cutting Social Security for seniors, people with disabilities and their families.

Call: 800-998-0180 to be connected with your Representative and tell them ‪Social Security‬ is not their ATM to be used for non-related legislation.

UPDATE (as of 7/23/2015 at 11:35am):

Seniors Applaud Senate Reversal on Plan to Cut Social Security to Pay for Highway Bill.

The US congress is trying to pass a bill that would strip artists of all rights to their work, because that matters a little more than DevianTART fucking up, as usual:

What congress is trying to pass will do the following:

1. It would void our Constitutional right to the exclusive control of our work.
2. It would “privilege” the public’s right to use our work.
3. It would “pressure” you to register your life’s work with commercial registries.
4. It would “orphan” unregistered work.
5. It would make orphaned work available for commercial infringement by “good faith” infringers.
6. It would allow others to alter your work and copyright those “derivative works” in their own names.
7. It would affect all visual art: drawings, paintings, sketches, photos, etc.; past, present and future; published and unpublished; domestic and foreign.

So GO GO GO, SPREAD THE WORD, WRITE THE US COPYRIGHT OFFICE BECAUSE THAT’S ALL WE CAN DO RIGHT NOW. Artists large and small, pro and amateur, this is a call to PROTECT YOUR WORK, you know, something this ProtectArt account isn’t doing. It literally takes 5 minutes out of your time to write your concerns to the copyright office. You take more time to write a response to this crappy staff account, or to write a journal or blog post. Everything you need to write a letter is in the links below. 

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Artists-Alert–The-Return-of-Orphan-Works-Part-2—ARTISTS–LETTERS.html?soid=1102063090742&aid=DEeIBiwWgJ4

http://www.tomrichmond.com/2015/07/17/return-of-the-son-of-the-orphan-works-act/

Hurry! There’s only four days left to submit letters!!

Remembering Ohio’s first black Congressman Louis Stokes 

Former U.S. Rep. Stokes, who helped found the U.S. Congressional Black Caucus and served 15-terms in Congress, died on Wednesday at age 90. 

“Lou leaves behind an indelible legacy in the countless generations of young leaders that he inspired, and he will be sorely missed,” President Obama said.

Read more.    

Sexism in Debate (yes I’m talking about it)

I need your help, fellow forensicators. I started talking about sexism and the wealth gap in debate, and was brutally attacked on twitter (and later, over the phone). This unfortunate experience has inspired me to write an essay in which I examine how sexism affects an individual in the debate community, to be posted on facebook later this week. I would like to talk about my own experiences, but obviously they do not represent the majority.

That’s where y’all come in. If anyone has resources or experiences they’d like to share, I would be ecstatic to be able to use them, in order to paint a more holistic picture of sexism in debate. As a white queer woman in debate, my ability to go intersectional in debate is limited.

Also, if you could reblog/spread the word, that would also be cool