I have been thinking about our two January holidays. Why is the first day of the year a holiday? Shouldn't it be a day of "first fruits," giving our best to the community? We "thank God it's Friday" (I'm sure s/he is not saying "you're welcome"). Why do we hate labor?Furthermore, Dr. Martin Luther King would feel far more respected if business and government stayed open longer than usual to promote his cause of social justice. Closing offices and creating a three-day weekend tames his message. Are we secretly scared of or averse to his goals? The present arrangement seems to preserve the status quo that he fought against.
Public observances of this life teach and inspire us, but should not be considered vacations! Is election day a vacation? A more honest homage is to work a little extra, and then attend a public gathering.
John Edwards for Prez
As a progressive, I'm most in league with the platform of Dennis Kucinich, but given the dictates of realpolitiks, I'm supporting John Edwards for these reasons:On Iraq, Edwards advocates immediate withdrawal of 40,000 to 50,000 troops, a complete withdrawal of all combat troops within nine to 10 months and no permanent bases in Iraq.
His healthcare plan is the most comprehensive and specific, and provides coverage for all. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman says about the plan: "It addresses both the problem of the uninsured and the waste and inefficiency of our fragmented insurance system. And every candidate should be pressed to come up with something comparable."
His plan to halt global warming is based on capping greenhouse gasses at levels that the latest climate science has determined to be necessary to avoid the worst impacts of global warming. The plan reduces greenhouse pollution by 20 percent by 2020, and by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050. It is based on the cap-and-trade system established by the Clean Air Act of 1990 to limit pollution by acid rain.
He is committed to ending poverty by 2036. He would increase the minimum wage to (at least) $9.50 an hour by 2012; index it to inflation; create 1 million "stepping stone" jobs; strengthen labor laws and enforce workplace protections.
He pledges to protect the Constitution, and to respect and restore civil rights and freedoms. In particular, the United States will not engage in torture, will restore habeas corpus and shut down Guantanamo. We will not engage in warrantless wiretapping, and will fix provisions of the Patriot Act restoring privacy safeguards. Edwards would end the practice of presidential "signing statements."
He pledges to reform election laws, require the use of paper ballots verified by voters and end voter intimidation and suppression.
For more in-depth information on what Edwards is proposing and why, go to www.johnedwards.com.
I was pleased to see the California Product Stewardship Council (CPSC) mentioned in Gianna de Persiis Vona's article (The Green Zone, Jan. 2). The CPSC is a relatively new organization formed to advocate for increased producer responsibility in the wake of communities wrestling with a barrage of products ending up at their doorsteps that are now considered too toxic to put in landfills—televisions, batteries and fluorescent tubes, to name a few. The concept is called "extended producer responsibility" and the CPSC website has an 18-minute presentation on its website (www.caproductstewardship.org) that provides an overview to help citizens understand the problem and become empowered to advocate themselves. Our government officials at the local and state level need to hear from us.
I work for Napa County Department of Environmental Management and we have signed on to CPSC, along with Sonoma and Marin counties and about 40 other cities and counties in California. The increasing demands on local budgets to properly manage the increasing number of products too toxic (or valuable) to toss in the landfill are escalating. I encourage Bohemian readers to learn more and get involved.
was Fairies, pure and simple
Thanks to the civic-minded reader who not only phoned all of the lawmakers whose contact info we published in the Jan. 16 "Blast" column regarding proposed state park cuts, but who also let us know of our attack from the unseen world. It appears that, while we slept, fairies went into our pre-press system and swapped the phone numbers for senators Jared Huffman and Carole Migden. Bad fairies!
The correct contacts are Jared Huffman, 415.479.4920; Carole Migden, 415.479.6612. We apologize for our apparent plague of pixies.
Decidedly Of this Earth