Dear Mr. Schumer,
I am a registered Democrat, so I understand why I keep getting emails from your office.
However, while I voted for Obama the first time, I did not vote for him in the last election. With regret, I tell you that I am hoping the Republicans take control of the Senate in the upcoming elections.
I am a disillusioned Democrat who is disgusted with the Obama presidency. Please remove me from your mailing list.
In case you wonder why I am disillusioned, I will explain. I voted for Obama the first time because I believe in women’s rights, reproductive freedom, gay rights, social justice, and gun control. So far, OK.
But I also believe in citizen privacy, supporting and encouraging small American businesses (not Wall Street and not Socialism), supporting Israel, accountability and oversight for multi-national corporations that function as sovereign nation-states, and getting the Health Insurance companies to pay for universal Health care (not the states).
I am appalled at Obama’s foreign policy, which is a joke and a shambles. “Don’t do stupid sh*t” is adolescent drivel not suited to the gravitas of the office of the President of the United States and Commander-in-Chief of the United States military.
I also find it extraordinarily hypocritical that Obama’s tactic is to rally people against “the Have’s” when he has taken more vacations, and more expensive vacations, and played more golf, than any president in history. So many of his supporters are the Limousine liberals of Wall Street, which may be why he bailed them out.
My family is losing our expensive, bad PPO Health Insurance that we purchase through Freelancers, and we are being forced into a more expensive, worse HMO. My doctor of many years who manages my low thyroid medication is not in the HMO. Frankly, I feel screwed.
In New York state, we don’t have many options—just one outrageously expensive, covering-almost-nothing HMO after another. Our choices are limited to bad and worse, and we are losing our trusted doctors of many years, despite Obama’s “promises” to the contrary.
Mr. Schumer, you have failed the state of New York in this way.
The Obamacare plan gives money to rich, greedy Health Insurance companies, funds a ghastly bad, buggy, confusing website to the tune of over $2.1 billion, places people’s life-or-death medical decisions in the hands of medically untrained Obamacare supervisors rather than in the hands of physicians who have undergone years of medical school (more than one doctor has expressed their horror at this!), and strips people of their right to choose their health care plan—while costing them an arm and a leg. This is just the beginning of what is wrong with Obamacare.
We need a universal healthcare plan, but not this frighteningly awful one. When Democrats go on the campaign trail and state “Obamacare is working,” they are either 1, lying through their teeth, or 2, experiencing a psychotic break from reality and should be institutionalized.
I have voted Democratic since I was old enough to vote—until now. So I hope you will understand why I am asking you to remove me from your list, and to stop asking me for money.
Traci L. Slatton
TOXIC YOGA MATS
- Cleaning supplies are some of the most toxic products and certain chemicals can pose health and/or environmental risks. There are “less toxic” commercial cleaning products now available. However, because manufacturers are not required to list all of their ingredients, unless they are active disinfectants or known to be potentially hazardous, it can be challenging to sort through all of these products.
- Read the labels and avoid harmful ingredients whenever possible. Some of these ingredients are: Nonyphenol ethoxylates (NPE’s) which, when released into the environment, break down into toxic substances that can act as hormone disrupters, potentially interfering with reproduction. Antibacterials in cleaners may cause local (skin and eye) irritation, and certain types, such as triclosan, may contribute to antibiotic resistant bacteria. Some studies also suggest that triclosan could form dioxin, a carcinogen in the presence of sunlight and chloroform, a probable human carcinogen, in the presence of chlorinated water.
- Ammonia is poisonous when swallowed, extremely irritating to respiratory passages when inhaled, and can burn the skin on contact. Butyl cellosolve(butyl glycol, ethylene glycol, monobutyl) is a lung tissue irritant and is poisonous when swallowed. Chlorine Bleach (Sodium Hypochlorate) causes irritation to lungs and eyes. If chlorine and bleach are mixed, they can form a dangerous gas that can severely damage the lungs. D-limonene can cause skin irritation. Diethanolamine (DEA) and Triethanolamine (TEA) can produce carcinogenic compounds which can penetrate the skin when combined with nitrosomes (many times used as an undisclosed preservative).
- The term ‘disinfectants’ includes a wide variety of ingredients (such as chlorine bleach, alcohol, quaternary compounds, pine oil, ethyl alcohol), some of which are regulated by the EPA as pesticides. Hydrochloric acid can severely burn skin and irritate the eyes and respiratory tract. Naptha can cause headache, nausea, central nervous system symptoms with overexposure. Petroleum based ingredients (surfactants), also includes formaldehyde, a carcinogen. Phosphatesare toxic to the environment.
- Best advice is to research the products or better yet—make your own cleaning products.
But the bottom line is: bring your own yoga mat. Even a studio that takes pains to promote its purity may well be hiding something toxic.
A post about the horror of Email Harassment.
I guess sometimes I’m kind of a naive person. Sometimes I trust when I shouldn’t.
So I got involved with someone who is psychotic, and it took me several months to see it.
I took someone on to help them. There were warning signs along the way: occasionally this person was startlingly verbally abusive toward women. I mean, sometimes this person seemed to hate women with a rare, intense, and perplexing viciousness.
But the person didn’t act that way toward me, and always seemed to have an “excuse,” though now that I look back on it, is there ever a justification for brutally aggressive verbal abuse and profound misogyny?
This person can be incredibly charming on the telephone, working a kind of Grima Wormtongue thing. Still, many of this person’s relationships degenerated into ugliness, name-calling, and bitter enmity. But always there was an excuse, and it was never this person’s fault.
Then it was my turn to be on the receiving end.
I first grew aware of a serious issue when I discovered that this person had impersonated me online, signing my name and personal email to a gift without my foreknowledge or consent.
This was a wake up call that I heard. I pulled back. No one has the right to violate my privacy that way. No one has the right to impersonate me or to appropriate my email address. It is identity theft and it is wrong.
Then, just a few days ago, things erupted. I made a decision this person did not like. When I stood my ground, the person first was conciliatory, and then suddenly–the switch flipped. In the course of a few hours, Mr. Hyde emerged.
This person sent dozens and dozens of violent, offensive emails that included threats of bodily harm, like promising to fight me until “blood trips.” There were other vulgar, violent threats that I won’t post online. The emails were increasingly poorly spelled and they were filled with the foulest language imaginable. They included manic threats of various sorts. The diction was completely out-of-bounds, like something from a ghetto. I was called the “c” word fifty times or more, and even in the subject line of the emails.
One of the emails, demanding a large sum of money within 24 hours, was also sent to my husband.
In the course of this mad ranting, the person claimed to have phoned a longtime friend of mine, and he had given up some dirt on me. Of course my friend emailed today saying straight out that he had never spoken to this person and had never heard the name before my emails describing the person’s allegations.
Is it any surprise that this toxic person is a sociopathic liar?
Moreover, this person signed the name and legal credentials of an attorney admitted to the bar to one of the emails sent to me, for the purposes of threatening and intimidating me–without the attorney’s consent. I wonder how the attorney feels about that, given the responsibility of character and ethics that comes with a bar membership. So this person impersonates other people, too.
Obviously, this person has decompensated totally. Obviously this person needs psychiatric care.
In the meantime, I am left cleaning up a mess. There are people I must warn, because those people came up in conversation between me and the psychotic person–and I don’t know what the psychotic person will say or do. I don’t know if this unbalanced person will make contact, as a way to hurt me.
Several friends have urged me to file a restraining order, because the threats of physical harm were blatant and appallingly far over any possible line anyone could draw. These threats were criminal.
This person also hurt a third party financially, an independent subcontractor who had completed work for this person, because I was the one who recommended the subcontractor. I feel terrible because someone I like and respect, who does first rate work, was hurt. The psychotic person stopped payment for work already completed, which is the same as writing a bad check: it is fraud.
The psychotic person also stopped payment on a check to me for a service that I provided. More fraud.
It’s shocking when harassment erupts this way. There are places to report it, and I have. There are steps to take, and I’m taking them.
In the meantime, it does leave me reeling, stunned at the depths of viciousness and sociopathy in the human soul.
I went through an ordeal, and I wanted to help other people who experience something similar. So I wrote this piece. It’s received a wonderful response, with many people contacting me to thank me or to comment on the usefulness of the information. Jayne Hitchcock herself, founder of Haltabuse.org, commented. How cool is that?
How to Handle Email Harassment, in the Crime vertical
The Noted EPOCH TIMES published an article about the controversy surrounding architect Frank Gehry’s design for the Eisenhower monument, and my husband Sabin Howard’s classical proposal for it.
It’s a great piece that is aptly summarized by its subtitle: “While modern design is stalled, classical vision is put forward.”
“It should not be first about the artist, which it is for Gehry, as in, ‘Look there’s Gehry’s memorial.’ Most people do not know the names of the architects or sculptors of the world’s renowned monuments but they do experience those artists’ profound hopes and aims,” wrote painter Patrick Connors.
Power and Simplicity
Last week, classical sculptor Sabin Howard made public his concept for a more traditional monument that focuses, with power and simplicity, on Eisenhower.
He said he originally put forward the plan in the summer at the request of Gehry himself but was misled about it being used, and it was eventually ignored.
Raised in both Italy and New York, Howard is an accomplished sculptor of 30 years who sees himself carrying on the traditions of great masters like Michelangelo. He knew what was wrong with the current memorial design as soon as he laid eyes on it.
“When I saw the memorial models, my heart sank. The project was trying to reinvent the wheel with newness, and it was missing the point entirely. Components were stiff and compartmentalized like a natural history museum exhibit. There was no focal point, but a lot of elements that did not work together to deliver a unified visual message,” Howard wrote in his blog on Dec. 7.
Instead of having 80-foot metal tapestries dominate the work, Howard suggests the statues of Eisenhower with his troops be changed into an 18-foot-by-11-foot relief and be reworked to show a clear sense of hierarchy and narrative.
“Eisenhower would be sculpted in the foreground in high relief. … The troops would be situated farther away, smaller, and in lower relief. Eisenhower would not only stand out as more important, he would also be more luminous. He would spatially project out more and catch more light,” wrote Howard. “He would be part of the men, and he would also stand out as their leader.”
Read the article here.
Last night at a pre-Sundance party in NYC I had the great good fortune of meeting the talented and impressive Anthony Whyte, whose work is being made into a movie.
He was there with his business partner Jason Claiborne, who runs Augustus publishing, “Where Hip Hop literature begins,” and fellow author Erick S. Gray.
They were an intriguing trio. Whyte has a background in the armed forces, as did my dad, so we had that to discuss, as well as books and movies.
This morning I did some googling around and learned that Whyte had trouble getting his first novel published. He then self-published, and people were so hungry for his message and his platform that he sold several thousand books quickly. Of course then a publisher jumped on the bandwagon, bought the rights, and republished… to sell over a hundred thousand copies. Pretty good! Whyte mentioned none of this to me; he was classy and unassuming, and left it to me to discover his story.
We talked about Zora Neale Hurston, author of the classic THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD. I remembered reading how Hurston had ended her life working in a library, and as a maid. It’s distressing that she died in obscurity, enduring financial struggles, when she’d written one of the masterworks of American literature. It left me thinking again about some questions that my oldest daughter had posed to me, over a year ago, when we discussed an African American Literature class she had taken: How did we in the U.S. create an underclass that left an entire group of people disenfranchised, struggling to find and authenticate their voice?
Is it enough that we have elected Obama as president? Is it enough that brilliant minds like Whyte, Claiborne and Gray are not accepting the status quo regarding their work, but are going out and creating new opportunities?
What does it take to create a truly equal society based on the hard work and merit of the individual, without regard to race, gender, sexual preference, and religion?
I hope none of these questions are offensive. I don’t know if they are politically correct or incorrect. They are the musings of a basically white woman of mixed genetic heritage who can not document her Native American ancestry because records were lost during the Trail of Tears. I’m just a mom with smart, irreverent kids, who ask good questions and expect me to engage them honestly.
And what else about the party? It was too much fun for the responsible parent I am, and included me introducing myself to a famous TV/movie actor who now believes I am sketchy. Because I did make a sketchy introduction, and he was far more gracious to me than I deserved. But I had to sally up to him with my big, tipsy grin–if only to be able to text my kids that I’d met him.