Wednesday, August 21, 2002

I find it interesting that the anti-abortion groups have co-opted the term "pro-life" , and placed it in opposition to the term "pro-choice'. By definition, being pro-choice means that one supports the right of the woman to choose her own destiny. So - how does that mean that opposition to life? That does not follow. With respect to the decision of a woman to carry a preganancy to term or not, this is a decision that impacts her life in a profound way. Pro-choice is exactly that. Supportive of the woman's choice, whatever it is. Pro-choice advocates work with women and girls to assist them in an informed choice, whether it is to carry the pregnancy to term and give the resulting child up for adoption, to keep the child, or to abort the pregnancy. Anti-abortion advocates would remove that choice.

Being anti-abortion can in fact mean that one is anti-life, as is shown by the many bombings and other violent acts carried out in the name of the "pro-life" movement in the US and elsewhere. What is clear is that they ar opposed to abortion, as well as to the woman's right to determine what happens with her own body. So - anti-abortion or anti-choice would be a much better name for this movement.

Who are these people who appoint themselves MY guardians and think they have the right to make MY decisions for me? They think that I should not have a choice in determining my life, my future. I notice that many of them are men, who aren't the ones at risk, whatever the choice. They don't go through the pregnancy, they don't have the risk of toxemia, high blood pressure, hemorrage; they don't go through labour, they aren't around to raise the child. Why should they have the right to decide for me? There is a lot of talk about adoption. How many adoptions are there annually, compared to children left in the care of the State? How many of these who are purporting to decide for me have adopted children? How many assist the prospective mother through the pregnancy, with doctor's bills, living expenses, school fees, psychological counselling and other support?

I saw on the TV 6 program Morning Edition, a male representative of the recent march talking about a woman who went through with a pregnancy that was the result of rape, and she was glad. That's good for her. She was in the US, where she had a choice. If she chose not to live with a reminder of a violent attack on her person, she could have. If she chose to have the child, that's her choice. Unfortunately, here we don't have a choice, and there are people actively working to keep us that way.

The same gentleman also mentioned that childbirth was very safe nowadays. WHO statistics graphically contradict him on this point. Childbirth and pregnancy are some of the leading casues of death for women and girls worldwide, even today. We must also consider the number of women and girls who die becasue of illegal abortions, and the resultant cost to the society. Here, if you have the money, you can have an abortion done safely. If you're poor - you may die.

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Took another Keirsey test today. Interesting how I change slightly on this test - I've gone from an INTP type - rational engineer, strategic thinker, to more of an artistic type - an ESTP. This will be the 4th different type I've tested in the past 8 years. I've found that I change somewhat according to what I'm doing at the time - right now I'm working with a lot of very creative people in a very flexible environment. Guess that's why I change my way of dealing with people - according to the people I'm working with.


However, according to the Jung test, I'm still the same as I always was. I guess that test measures more fundamental things than the Kiersey.
On the Jung, I'm still the same as always, INTJ, with almost balanced NT (both VERY strong), and a moderately expressed J.

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Spent the day today trying to get a dead dog removed from my premises. I called around to every Government agency that I could think of, and they were all unhelpful. Shouldn't a dead animal be of interest to the Health and Safety department of the Government? All they would tell me is that it's a private matter. The dog was rotting, not my dog, and flies were infesting the neighbourhood. Eventually I paid someone $250 to remove it. Suppose I was poor, or a pensioner or otherwise unable to spend that sum to have it taken care of privately? Would the Govt have left it there, causing a health hazard for ever? What is the role and function of the health departments? They are even having problems spraying for mosquitoes int he middle of a dengue epidemic that is killing people here.


Oh well - the trials of living in a third world country !

Thursday, August 08, 2002

Recently I've been involved in a discussion about diets. I hate the concept of "Diet" as it has evolved. The original meaning was - what a person ate was his/her diet. Now diet means a slimming regime.


Why are so many people focused on the magic pilll of Slim Fast, Atkins, grapefruit, etc? Haven't you noticed the vast amounts of diet food that people eat?



1. The Atkins diet has been proven to have caused the death by kidney
failure of several people. I think that overdoing ANYTHING is
by definition a poor diet for omnivores. And too much animal protein is very hard to digest - check your own body and see, if you have a lot of steak etc. for 2 days, you will need to drink a lot of water, you will FEEL your body
working to process the protein, and you will feel like shit (at least I do).

2. Refined sugars and carbohydrates have NO place in a healthy diet. Whole wheat pasta, brown rice, and unleavened whole wheat breads, like pita and puri (in
limited amounts) are necessary, I think.

3. A major note is portion size. American portions are HUGE, and a huge salad or a platter of brown rice will put on weight just like everything
else.


As far as I can see, the major cause of obesity in the US is the "Supersize
it" portions. When I lived in the US, most times, when I got served food, I left at least 1/3 on the plate, or asked for a doggie bag. Even so, I lost 15 lbs almost as
soon as I got back to T&T. I put on weight in San Francisco, compared to DC, as I was eating out more, and it's definitely more difficult to control how much you
eat when you're out. Doesn't matter what you eat though, if you eat too much of it, and don't work it off, you will get fat.



Below are my musings on a healthy way to eat, and one that is manageable for a lifetime.


If you stop eating bread and white sugar, that alone
would improve your health in a major way. Then include the uncooked dark
green leafy veg, the unprocessed grains (brown rice, bulgur, etc). Lentils are GREAT, and I prefer them as a source of protein to most meat. Take
almost all red meat out of the diet and replace with beans, peas and lightly
steamed fish (no more than 3 oz) - lemon grass is a excellent seasoning for
steamed fish. My main thing is to have VERY few white foods on the plate - color is good, and food w/ lots of colors is good for getting all the vitamins & minerals, as long as you eat them mainly raw. What about beets w/ balsamic vinegar? Guacamole (good serving size is 2 spoonsful) - most people eat far too much. Kill the sour cream on everything. Replace with a yoghurt based sauce, if necessary. Kill the
sweets, chocolate, icecream, etc.
And most importantly - no "Diets".

Wednesday, August 07, 2002

I'm tired today. I heard that the police didn't offer ANY forensic evidence in the Christopher Lynch murder case - 42 stab wounds and no knife, no blood, no photos of the scene, no fingerprints. That's beyond homophobia - its sheer dereliction of duty. So now we hae a 2x murderer loose again.
We also have businessmen in Chaguanas clamoring for guns to "protect themselves". Right! And then they don't know how to use the gun, the thief steals it, and we have one more armed bandit. I think that crime is part of the price of progress, and something that we as a society have to work on, of course. BUT the way that we, as a society, have determined to manage crime is by the creation of a special force to deal with it - the police, ruled by law and restrained from the worst excesses by the Judiciary. This is so we don't have a vigilante society... with people with guns running around accountable to no-one.
We need to work at making our police service more effective. Not get ourselves guns; wall ourselves away in gated communities; lock ourselves up in burglar barred houses (so much so that we can't get out in a fire); and constrain our lives to the daylight hours. That's bad for us, bad for the society, and bad for the economy!

Monday, August 05, 2002

How do people connect in the fluid societies that are being formed by globalisation? People are being torn adrift from the old family-based social structures. When I was in the States, most people were thousands of miles from their families, and they formed new family structures from their friends. They didn't go home for Christmas etc. They cut off from parents and family, and make new ones. Huge numbers of people are very lonely, and are turning to the Net to form relationships, as people have a real need for other people. And then, in the beginning, communities were not a big part of the net, now they are. But I've also noticed, many of the communities have a real-world counterpart - like parties, mixers etc. People still want that face to face. I was amazed at the number of Trinidadians and other West Indians on some of these dating sites, becuase Internet penetration is still not that high in T&T. Our society is starting to change as well, apparently

Sunday, August 04, 2002

Missed a couple of days. That's not good, but I have returned! Perseverance is something that is grossly underrated and is also in short supply nowadays.

I've been hanging out. Went to a bar/restaurant yesterday for lunch. There were some students there who had just finished exams - a mix of male and female, all in their early twenties. I felt like an anachronism - they were LOUD, crude, and they seemed to have only one or two adjectives - some variation of f**king... They all seemed very unattractive to me. The girls were all overweight and unfit, the boys skinny and short. Their talk was inane, the grammar non-existent, and the vocabulary pathetic.

Thinking about the state the country would be in if there are the people getting degrees and moving to the top of the professional ranks depressed me totally! Where will we be in 15 years unless they learn FAST? Which I doubt, as they don't seem to value the thngs I've been talking about here.

Interesting, because I just read in the Atlantic Monthly about the "Organisation Kid" - how American kids at college are so docile, hard-working, conformist. I wish we had some of those problems here - at least the hardworking.
In Trinidad I believe we have an entrenched culture of entitlement. Everyone feels entitled to something, and there is no culture of having to work for it.