WAVES OF DISEASE
Almost exactly a year ago was the world’s worst natural disaster, when a giant tsunami extinguished the lives of nearly 200,000 people in Indonesia, Thailand, India, Sri Lanka, and other countries on the Indian Ocean.
Yet, each year, seven times as many Americans die of heart disease, stroke, cancer, and other chronic killer diseases that have been linked conclusively with consumption of meat and dairy products. Meat consumption also dumps animal waste in our waterways, destroys wildlife habitats to grow animal feed, and tortures innocent animals in factory farms and slaughterhouses.
Because of the many benefits it brings to us and our planet, let’s make a New Year’s resolution to replace meat and dairy products in our diet with wholesome, delicious, vegetables, fresh fruits, and whole grains. With every supermarket featuring a large variety of these foods, as well a rich assortment of soy-based veggie burgers, soy dogs, deli slices, ready-to-eat frozen dinners, and soy milk and ice cream, it’s got to be the easiest resolution we’ll ever keep.
THE INACCESSIBLE SENATOR
Olympia Snowe’s refusal to meet with members of the Maine majority who recognize that the Iraq war was born of deliberate fraud and has become a bloodbath for Iraqis worse than anything Saddam Hussein visited on his own people (see "Visitors Sent Packing," by Sara Donnelly, December 23) is unsurprising.
(1) Olympia Snowe has supported every war conceived in Republican Washington since Ronald Reagan’s proxy contra terror in Nicaragua (seven by my count), this one, she acknowledged in a conference call with peace activists, because she just did not know what to believe. So she went with the logical gymnast in the White House who, faced with years of inspections finding no weapons of mass destruction, demanded that Hussein prove a negative.
(2) Snowe does not meet with peace folk, whether they are the majority, as during the contra terror and now, or not. She prosecuted one poor Aroostook County fellow for sitting in her office when she repeatedly refused him a meeting about the contras. Jerry Genesio, a founder of Veterans for Peace, caught her in a Congressional office building corridor and was invited in, then out when he mentioned the thousands of innocent civilian victims of the contras. She declared that she would not listen to sentimental arguments, Genesio reported.
Snowe’s Portland aide, Cheryl Leeman, is a hospitable and attentive listener to delegations wanting to meet with Snowe, but she cannot answer questions directed to Snowe.
Like former senator Bill Cohen, Snowe does not reflect the views of the majority of the Maine citizenry. Cohen was re-elected on charm. Given her inaccessibility, the Iron Lady’s security in Washington is something of a puzzle.
William H. Slavick