Dear Alibi ,
Paul Ryan and Todd Akin seem to share identical attitudes toward rape. These two inserted the term "forcible rape" into the Congressional bill they cosponsored to limit the right of a rape victim to legally abort the result. Akin introduced the idea that some rapes are "legitimate" and therefore some are not. Let us be clear as to what "legitimate" is: It is rape where the woman's body 'shuts down' the ability to become pregnant. Of course, women apparently are not aware of this incredible power or there would not be abortions in the first place. They would just shut down their bodies and prevent pregnancy from occurring. This sounds like a new form of birth control, which many Republicans also oppose.
According to the Journal of American Obstetrics and Gynecology, more than 30,000 pregnancies occur in this country each year as the result of women being raped. What is the responsibility of the rapists for these 30,000 children? Do they pay for the woman's medical care during pregnancy? Do they pay child support to the woman who now has a child to raise? Do they provide medical insurance for the child, or food, clothing, education? Does our government cover these costs through welfare and food stamps? Surely the Republicans would not require the woman, who was a victim of rape, to bear these costs all by herself.
Deciding that a rape is not legitimate because the victim becomes pregnant takes us back to the Middle Ages when they decided whether or not a woman was a witch by tossing her into a pond. If she drowned, oh well, she was probably not a witch. Women will have no choices if these men are allowed to make decisions about our bodies and our futures. I urge every woman to vote for President Obama, who respects and protects the rights of women at every turn.
Romney and Ryan are artists in the fine art of lying and pandering. For instance, on women’s issues it depends on who they are talking to and how it will benefit them. There are so many versions of their “beliefs”—who knows what to believe?
Romney believed in pro-choice as governor of Massachusetts. Now, to pander to the religious right and Tea Party, he has changed his tune and is suddenly pro-life. Ryan said he believed in abortion only to save a women’s life. Now he says there are exceptions to this when rape is involved. Could this be in response to Akins’ outrageous comments on rape and abortion and the backlash they evoked? They had to do something to get their vote from women.
They mask their beliefs to benefit them. I think they don’t even know what they believe. Whoever they really are, the world has no place for this sleazy behavior. They certainly have no place in the world of liberated women.
I just finished watching our local Sunday evening news program (KRQE at 5:30 p.m., Aug. 26) and I could not believe the number of negative ads attacking Martin Heinrich and President Obama. I counted six ads against Heinrich and Obama while there were zero ads against Heather Wilson or Mitt Romney. There was only one ad that was positive for Rep. Martin Heinrich. That makes it six to one. It doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out that the super PACs are blasting our airwaves to push their conservative Republican candidates. And who is funding all these super PACs? I heard on a news program (MSNBC) that super PAC funding will be four to one, conservative versus liberal. In fact, Karl Rove's American Crossroads super PAC received $5 million from just four people. And you don't have to be a rocket scientist to realize that very rich people are funding these conservative super PACs to get the Republican candidates elected. My question is, what kind of payback will all these very rich people be expecting if they get elected? Can you say "more tax cuts for the rich"? Think about this when you see on TV the next conservative political attack ad against Heinrich or President Obama. I don't need to. I am part of the 99 percent and I know who I am voting for. Now I just mute the sound on my TV anytime these ads come on the air.
West Nile Virus and Chemical Repellents
West Nile Virus is a potentially serious disease and is reaching epidemic proportions this year. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “About one in 150 people infected with WNV will develop severe illness. The severe symptoms can include high fever, headache, neck stiffness, stupor, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, muscle weakness, vision loss, numbness and paralysis. ... Approximately 80 percent of people (about 4 out of 5) who are infected with WNV will not show any symptoms at all.”
Should we be concerned? Of course, as even a few cases can be serious, and we want to avoid them if we can. We also need to protect our horses, which seem to catch the disease as well. If you have horses, get them vaccinated.
What can we do about the mosquitoes that are biting us? Make sure you have good screens on your windows and doors to keep mosquitoes and other insects out. Empty standing water from flower pots, buckets, barrels and similar containers. Change the water in bird baths weekly. Keep wading pools empty and on their sides when not in use. In other words, don’t provide breeding grounds for the mosquitoes.
You can apply a light coating of food-grade diatomaceous earth on any water that can't be removed. Eucalyptus oils, garlic extracts and extracts of orange and lemon peels will kill mosquito larvae in the water.
When you go outside, wear a good non-DEET mosquito repellent. Never use the DEET products that government agencies recommend because DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamine) is a chemical that some people have severe reactions to. It is a fact that DEET works well as long as it is full strength. However, when it begins to weaken, it actually attracts mosquitoes and you have to put more on, which means absorbing more of the chemicals into your system. Most non-DEET products (catnip, citronella and lemongrass) are effective for two or three hours before having to be reapplied, but they do not contain potentially dangerous chemicals.
We can also wait for our state, county and city agencies to come by and spray our neighborhood with a fogging unit mounted on a truck. Not a good idea. The pesticides they use to fog areas for mosquitoes are synthetic pyrethroids, and they are not safe for humans or animals. This method of applying pesticides will kill dragonflies and other insects that feed on mosquitoes, but it is not all that effective against the target insect—mosquitoes. The CDC says spraying for mosquitoes from a truck is the least effective method of control.
I looked at one label of a mosquito spray commonly used by some agencies, and I was amazed. This product contains 6 percent pyrethrins, 60 percent piperony butoxide and 34 percent other ingredients. The “other ingredients” contain petroleum distillates. Piperonyl butoxide is a suspected carcinogen according to the Environmental Protection Agency. This product is made up of 60 percent of an ingredient that is suspected to cause cancer! ...
Why would any agency spray a material that contains large amounts of a chemical that is a suspected carcinogen, and is an environmental hazard, over a populated area when they knew it is the least effective method of control available? The only reason is that they are trying to look like they are doing something to protect us. They aren’t. They are endangering everyone who may inadvertently come in contact with the pesticide. It isn't the government's job to protect us from insects. They should be protecting us from drunk drivers and nuts with guns, but they don't do a very good job of doing that.
West Nile Virus and other mosquito-borne diseases can be a problem, but if you follow the advice for discouraging them from your yard, you shouldn’t have a problem. In fact, I believe the DEET mosquito repellents and pesticides used to control mosquitoes are far more dangerous than the insects and should be avoided.
If you have adult mosquitoes in your grass or bushes, you can spray them with Greenbug for Outdoors. Catnip is a very good repellent, according to a report from Iowa State University. Other good repellents include lemongrass, basil, birch, mint, rosemary, spearmint and yarrow. Geraniums or basil plants planted near your doors will repel mosquitoes. Citronella and pennyroyal both work but have side affects. Pennyroyal may increase the risk of a miscarriage if your are pregnant, and citronella has been known to attract female black bears. Test anything you put on your skin on a small portion first to make sure you aren't allergic to it.
Call the mayor, governor or whoever is in charge and tell them you don't want pesticides sprayed in or over or around your home. You can take care of it yourself.
The Capitalist Machine
Good letter by Greg Leichner [" Creative Destruction"] in your Aug. 23-29 issue. For a close look at one of the more corrupt segments of the capitalist system as it is presently set up, read local author James Goldberg's book The American Medical Money Machine. For a copy, or for a good discussion of this "machine," visit Goldberg’s website at theamericanmedicalmoneymachine.com. An educated citizen is a vigilant citizen.
Letters should be sent with the writer’s name, address and daytime phone number via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. They can also be faxed to (505) 256-9651. Letters may be edited for length and clarity, and may be published in any medium; we regret that owing to the volume of correspondence we cannot reply to every letter. Word count limit for letters is 300 words.