Friday, June 18, 2004

Nader NO!

Dear Ralph Nader and his supporters,

I wrote to this website when Mr. Nader was considering running to explain why I think Mr. Nader should not run for President. Now he is at 6% in what is bound to be another close election. I think the risk of another George Bush Presidency is a sufficient enough reason for him to stop running. Bush was not elected but won his office through political machinations. This time he could be elected, possibly with the help of a Republican voting machine company, and I fear it would not be a failure on the part of Kerry, who has ran an amazing and people-powered campaign thus far, it could be the failure of our voting systems, or our media, our educational systems. Does Nader really think there is no difference between a Republican or a Democratic Presidency? I think our environment, our civil rights, and our lives (in terms of health and safety in this violent world) are much better served by any Democrat than an ignorant, flag wrapped, born-again oil baron. Please understand the consequences of your failure to win this election (implausible) and I beseech you once more to not make the perfect the enemy of the good.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004


It just occurred to me that another good example of how some aspects of American culture belittle the sacred aspects of the human body is in the "moral rectitude" of the "pro-life" movement.

Of course, one can argue either side of the "life" coin on this, but a "pro-lifer's" only concern is the life or sacred body of the fetus. I commend them on their empathy and concern for the life of an unborn child. I share it because there is no getting around that abortion is a violent end to a human life. However, I have thought myself capable of doing it during the more impoverished and loveless times of my life, but could never imagine doing it now. You see, that is and was my choice, as it was my birth mother's choice (I am adopted). Yes, I would not exist if Mom had aborted me (possibly). Nor would I know that (or might I?).

Anyway, it is a woman's choice to allow her body to complete a pregnancy. It is also her body's choice (without any conscious influence of her will) to end or complete a pregnancy. Thus, there is no way to separate a woman's body and its health, ability and sanctity from the home it provides to a fetus. For those who imagine a fetus apart from a female body, or independent from a female body, and not completely dependent upon a female body, wake up. There's no getting around abortion as violence, just as there's no getting around her body as the giver and taker of life. To force or even request a woman to bring a fetus to full term against her will compromises both her own principles and her own body and health. Quite simply, forcing a woman to have a fetus risks that woman's life (thousands of American women a year die in childbirth even now). For a "lifer" to believe that they have the moral right to supercede not only a woman's will, but also her health, contradicts their own principle that "life is sacred."

Life is sacred. Where and how we make decisions for our lives, and the lives of others, speaks to our individual consciences and our relationship with G_d, and our communities. It is one thing to state that abortion is morally wrong (on that we can all agree or disagree and act with that awareness), but I have longed believed that it is a moral corruption as well as a misrepresentation to insist that one is "saving lives" by making abortion unavailable to every or any woman who decides that abortion is the best choice for her body. Also, no one person or law can stop every abortion. Taking away medical abortions only makes dangerous amateur abortions more common--a really healthy and ethical thing for "lifers" to advocate, right?

Dear "Lifers":

To ease your conscience...during pregnancy, only a woman (and her body) has complete moral and physical responsibility for the destiny of her and her baby's lives. Yes, it is an awesome responsibility--just not yours.


Friday, June 11, 2004


I'm going to therapy again which, for me, involves talking to someone who can easily identify the patterns of self-defeating behavior that I participate in. I suspected that the new office I go to is fond of drugging their patients and today I found one in the waiting room who was so loaded that she was talking to everyone about every thought that went through her head. I couldn't ignore her so I answered some of her impertinant but not offensive questions.

Anyway, I was so strengthened by my therapy session that when I went to Save-on to buy some necessary things (albeit the curling iron was additional) I started talking back to the Angelos. One guy in line behind me (who was very impatient--gees I hate that) turned to me and said, "Who comes to Save-on to buy wine?" as the cashier placed a bottle of wine in the being-served-customer's bag. I was annoyed that he was slamming this poor old woman for being so uncool (does he need that to feel good about himself?) and I said, "Maybe it's a good deal." He shrugged. I should have checked out what he was buying from Sav-on.


I read that happy people don't go to bed worrying about global climate change and other things beyond our immediate control (like putting Ronald Reagan's presidency in a realistic context). Will try this.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

It's the little things in life -- like food and cars

On a completely different subject, I just realized my 7 year old cat's been working me since his pal and my 20 year old cat friend died. He's been meowing loudly for attention, food, outside, ever since and I just realized I have to ignore him, quit pampering him, and then he'll probably stop. Indifference is working already...ahhh

Organic food. This is something I would have heard and hoped wasn't true: George Bush's USDA is actually proposing that the USDA broaden the "organic" designation for foods to INCLUDE foods that have:

untested pesticides
Hormone injections
Antibiotic injections
animals that eat fish meal (which may contain mercury, PCBs, or both)

Thereby making the term "organic food" meaningless and making dollars for irreponsible farmers while duping the American public. Basically, "organic" stamped on foods would now have the same respect as "light". The Bushies are UNBELIEVABLE!

Thank G_d we have an organic food industry that actually cares about what we consume--that isn't on the side of duplicitous profits!

The USDA had to rescind its proposal after the Organic Standards Board and passionate citizens balked at the USDA proposals (thank G_d!). Rebecca Goldburg, a scientist and board member said, "All of the [USDA] directives relaxed the [existing] standards, allowing things that would never be considered organic," noting that cow's milk treated with antibiotics would now be considered organic. Just what we need, more unsubscribed antibiotics...if you don't understand why this is a bad thing for the survival of humankind--please find out. It is certainly the kind of thing that people who believe that Armageddon is around the corner just don't care about.

But Bush's USDA is relentless, they are still pushing their poisonous "organic" directives while glossing over there dirty work:

"I believe we have it right," says Barbara Robinson (deputy adminstrator of the Agricultural Marketing Service and AUTHOR of the directives--yes, Bush and his people have helped stocked the USDA staff with a marketing expert--good choice). Yeah, her directives are "right" for non-organic agricultural marketing.

Brown, Corie, "Battle over organic standards continues," L.A. Times, 6/2/2004, F1,F6.

Noise pollution. I live in a small apartment next to a parking lot near a main road. People often gather in the parking lot and yell at each other, usually at 3AM. Cars spurt and crank and pop off.

I also take the bus through L.A. so I spend time on busy streets(more should do this, it's great!).

Everything around me is LOUD.

Buses are very loud--which is great when you're waiting for them and want to read without looking up to catch it every ten seconds. Trucks are loud, but they are providing us with goods and food. Cars, which spend most of their time in residential areas and parking lots, should not be loud.

I just read an article in the L.A. Times that says that cars with owners that want loud mufflers (which probably comprise much less than 5% of car owners) are now allowed to reach 95 decibles. That's as loud as a big rig truck. They belong on interstates--I used to live near one of those. Big rigs would be miles away and I'd clearly hear them. That's NOISE POLLUTION. I think we should be working to minimize loudness among trucks and buses, not use that as an excuse to increase loudness for cars!

There's a group called SEMA which must have lots of cash because it's buying state congressional favors all over the U.S. Laws that allowed police to ticket loud car drivers are now challenged and overturned. Let's stop them. There is a group called Noise Free America that is working on it.

Vartabedian, Ralph, "Refusing to go quietly," L.A. Times, 6/2/2004, G1, G2