I've been stewing for more than a week about what was written in the last column in the Alibi regarding the City Council action [Council Watch, “The Mosquito and the Elephant,” June 14-20]. The blurb to which I am referring is the notion stated to "just give it to ’em" by the Alibi staffer about the proposed trebling of the councilors’ salaries.
You see, I have felt for some time now that the Council is just "out-of-touch" with the common experience of the average constituent in Albuquerque. And I have written long and unanswered e-mails to several of the body about it. According to recent figures released and published by the State Department of Labor, the average wage in Albuquerque is between $12 and $16 per hour with an 80 percent modality. See?
I mean these guys and gals are already ricos compared to their constituents—lawyers, real-estate agents, property owners, finance wizards and accountants all. Not a single relative experience common to the Council and the constituents. They cannot represent the citizenry because they are not of the people, they are of the elite and their lives' experience is just different.
But the citizens of Albuquerque are literally squeezing their piggy banks for gasoline money, having to put items back at Smith's and just squeezing by. And you think these already rich people who are in office should earn more than the majority of their constituents for a "part-time” job?
I do not believe that the citizens of Albuquerque desire to have representing them people who cannot do so due to their lack of interest, experience and compassion and willingness to learn. For an example, a recent rule proposal from the Council desired to move the constituents comments to the back of the meeting. A true case of putting the cart before the horse.
The Council in all of its inner greatness and self-aggrandizement is there to represent the people and not shunt them to the rear as if their interest and opinions should be inferior to the “kouncil's”?
The fact that they are spending time debating the stupidity of overlaying existing bus infrastructure with trolley infrastructure so ricos can ride around downtown Albuquerque is just the tip of the iceberg.
How many poor people are going to go to work on the trolley? How come the poor peoples' tax money will be utilized to pay for the stupidity?
Gawd, you guys really let me down this time. It is the people who are important, not their representatives. The relative importance of the representative derives from their quality of service, not their position. They should represent the people and not lead them from some higher plane of existence from the ethers of Valhalla. If one of them would someday have to put something back at Smith's, they would have come a far piece to sharing the experiences of their constituents. And you would see the sheer folly of trebling their salaries!
The month of June is recognized as a month of pride for those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. Putting any and all prejudgments aside, focusing on comprehensive sex education should be an integral part of the celebrations. When young adults do not receive proper sex education, including views on alternative sexual identities, harmful stigmas are allowed to continue, to the detriment of society. Regardless of one’s sexual orientation, proper knowledge of and accessibility to contraceptives minimizes transmission of sexually transmitted diseases, empowering all members of society to make careful and thoughtful decisions.
Comprehensive sex education is not just about ways to prevent pregnancies and diseases; it also educates youth about the complex decisions surrounding sex and the reality of differing sexual orientations. This empowers students and prevents unjustified prejudices, reducing the oppression of people labeled “different” and limiting hate crimes. In the land of the free and brave, people often act cowardly and close-minded toward their fellow citizens, often due to a lack of education about sexuality. I still have faith that people, through education, will be able to eliminate false stigmas and propel humanity to a more peaceful future.
Cooling Off with the Don
Most humans today are the only animals on Earth who feel ashamed of their naked bodies and feel compelled to cover their genitals. Why? Why be more ashamed of our genitals than of our noses? Why be more ashamed of our ass cheeks than of our face cheeks?
I am a humble agnostic aiming to live the truth as best I see it. But I ask those who believe God created our bodies—how can any inch of our bodies be indecent or obscene? Most religious people suffer from severe body shame and clothes addiction. Most religious people act as if God created the head, arms and hands, but the devil slapped on the genitals and possibly even the torso and legs.
Many native people worldwide for thousands of years had the good sense to take off most or all clothes in warm weather.
Most U.S. jobs require covering most of the body even in summer—business suits, uniforms, etc. Most U.S. jobs enforce rigid conformity and reject body freedom, natural comfort and environmental sanity. Consider the horrendous consequences of wearing clothes not needed in warm weather—massive electricity squandered on indoor cooling resulting in more global climate change and more poisoned air from electric power plants, the vast farmlands and toxic pesticide used to grow more cotton, the petrochemicals for synthetic fabrics, grueling sweatshop labor, tons of deodorant, billions of dollars wasted, etc., etc.
The U.S. uses more electricity for air cooling than India uses for all purposes! India has more than one billion people, more than three times the U.S. population.
I strongly support equal rights for a woman to be top-free in public as I am—if she wants to be.
I enjoy living as naked as the law and weather allow. I love living naked at home and mostly elsewhere when I am warm enough. I would never want to spend summers imprisoned in sweaty clothes covering most of my skin. Since I moved into my pleasant 12'x14' apartment home here 19 years ago, I have never used a swamp cooler or air conditioner.
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