Category Archives: Politics

In Honor of the Day: Martin Luther King Jr.

In 1950’s America, the equality of man envisioned by the Declaration of Independence was far from a reality. People of color — blacks, Hispanics, Asians — were discriminated against in many ways, both overt and covert. The 1950’s were a turbulent time in America, when racial barriers began to come down due to Supreme Court decisions, like Brown v. Board of Education; and due to an increase in the activism of blacks, fighting for equal rights.

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TSA’s new scans and body-pat-down procedures

The Wild Hunt has a stunning articleabout a Wiccan woman’s recent traumatic experience with the new body scanners and the accompanying opt-out procedures. It’s pretty clear that the ‘opt out’ is deliberately invasive and humiliating so as to convince others to go through with the x-ray scanner instead. Hey, what’s a little radiation? Any problems from it are in the future, not now.

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Have You Heard The One about the NY Muslim?

Apparently, being an American citizen, he thought he could build a community center. He also though that since his community are Muslims, like him, and much of the funding was coming from his community, it would be ok to include a mosque in this community center. Everything seemed to be going well, he got approval from the zoning board, worked out a reasonable budget and went abouthiring the necessary people to make it happen, everything looked great. He even figured out a way to make it LEED certified.

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Today is World Cancer Day

Today, February 4, is World Cancer Day. As someone in the midst of the freaking wild ride known as cancer, this is a day to mark. I am celebrating the day by going in for my Oncology Orientation. Isn’t that beautifully ironic?

This year, the theme is ‘Cancer Can be Prevented Too’ and it is a position I heartily endorse. Most illness, including cancer, can be prevented if each of us takes three steps: don’t smoke, eat well, and walk 30 mins a day. That’s it.  Everything else is a flourish on the basic plan and I freely acknowledge that you can spend a lot of time discussing what ‘eat well’ means. For me, it means all foods are viable, but limit anything processed and try to stick with local, in season produce. (If the 1st ingredient is ‘enriched,’ its processed.) I will gladly sit down to a grass-fed steak dinner with salad and baked potato and butter. I’ll even have a glass or two of good red wine. But I don’t do that every night. In fact, most nights my meal is 2/3 vegetables.

Not smoking is a major factor. As an ex-addict I know exactly how hard it is to quit. Try. Try it again. Keep trying until you quit. You don’t want to end up like me, who could only stop when she needed cancer cut out of her body.

Walking every day is entirely possible. Get an iPod or (old school!) Walkman, and go for a walk. Get a friend or drag your partner up from the coach and go. Walk in the rain, the snow, and sun. Walk. I’ll eventually be allowed to do something more, but even then I will continue my regimen of waking every day.  If you are really super busy, walk 15 mins and do it twice a day.

Cancer is preventable.

Apparently, The Humane Society is Stupid

As y’all know, a few weeks ago, I wrote a bluntly scathing letter to the Humane Society letting them know that I strongly disapprove of their ‘free blanket’ campaign to raise funds.

Yesterday I got another blanket thing from them. This one is even better — it’s in a plastic envelope. So now I get to add ‘bad for the environment’ to my next scathing letter. Which will go out tomorrow at the latest.

Luckily, both of these blankets will go to help dogs at the local shelter. Along with a bunch of Sasha’s old (and still good) chew toys the like. (She quickly outgrew the ‘puppy’ kongs, which will make a small dog or another puppy quite happy.)

If You Are Reading This, You Care About the EFF

If you blog, or read blogs; have a Facebook account, Twitter, read news online, have a web page . . . in short: if you do anything online — you care about the EFF.

Right now you can do two things to support them and it won’t cost you any money.

1. Sign the Open Letter to President Obama. When President Obama took office, he promised to usher in a new era of government transparency, and instructed federal government agencies to comply with Freedom Of Information Act requests “promptly and in a spirit of cooperation.
Today, however, some of those agencies are working overtime to prevent the release of important records which deserve the sunlight of public scrutiny.

2. Vote for EFF. After you sign the letter, vote for EFF at CREDO. The 50 nonprofits on CREDO’s 2009 list will divide $3,000,000 based on the percentage of votes received from CREDO customers and activists. CREDO will give you 100 points to vote — give all 100 to EFF! (Signing the petition allows you to vote at CREDO, even if you aren’t a member of their network.)

I’m a supporter of the EFF, you should be too — all they care about is protecting civil liberties online and in the digital world. If you want to know more about what they do, please see their website.

Florida = Prejudice

I have a number of politics/freedom related posts to upload, but here’s a quickie.

The ACLU reported today that the Florida’s Third District Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in an ACLU lawsuit challenging Florida’s law banning lesbians and gay men from adopting. This was a response to Florida’s challenge to the 11/25/08 ruling by the Juvenile Court that a gay couple could adopt. (The full post is here.)

I want to draw your attention to something in particular:

Despite these admissions by DCF, the agency responsible for child welfare in Florida, the State’s lawyers put on expert witnesses who offered an outlandish menu of justifications for the exclusion. They argued primarily that the exclusion is warranted because gay people are prone to problems like psychiatric disorders, drug abuse, and unstable relationships. They also asserted that gay parents cause their children to be gay and that gay people should be excluded from adopting because society is prejudiced against them and their children might be exposed to that prejudice.

What if the word ‘gay’ was changed to ‘black’ or ‘asian’? Or ‘elderly.’ You would hear the howls of outrage from coast to coast. (Never mind the incredible circular logic of that last sentence.)

I’m beginning to think that an ongoing test of discrimination is to replace descriptor nouns with similar ones for a diferent population.