Firing up the base
There was an interesting contrast in Dec. 8 letters from Sen. Tillis and Rep. Butterfield regarding Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Most people with actual experience with that part of the world agree with Butterfield. This announcement essentially eliminates a two-state solution. It also guarantees an increased risk to all U.S. facilities and personel in the region. Trump gave away a vital negotiating position for peace in the area with nothing in return.
It was obviously a domestic decision to fire up his base and keep Trump in the headlines (another manifestation of malignant narcissism). Let’s hope someone in the Whitehouse is watching him closely. Peace in the Middle East is the goal, not political posturing domestically.
Pugs no more
To anyone thinking of buying a “purebred” dog for Christmas, please consider this warning.
I’ve been enamored with pugs since childhood, but the first pug I bought from a pet store had to be euthanized only a week later because his lungs were severely underdeveloped. My next pug, Kobi, came from a breeder, but he soon got sick too. After a year of emergency hospital visits, misdiagnoses, and $14,000 of veterinary bills, Kobi was diagnosed with diabetes.
My life revolved around Kobi’s insulin shots, blood tests, urine tests, and countless veterinarian visits. The bills piled up; his cost of living soon topped mine. Eventually, he went deaf and started having seizures, which the veterinarian suspected were caused by brain cancer. Finally, I made the agonizing decision to end his suffering.
Two other pugs whom I fostered both suffered from cancer, and my parents’ pug had to be euthanized at only 13 months, due to meningitis.
I’ve since learned that purebreds are at risk of many debilitating health problems caused by inbreeding and breeding for distorted features. These dogs suffered so much – and I’m left with a broken heart and thousands of dollars in debt – all because I wanted that “squishy” face.
People still call me the “Pug Lady,” but I will never buy another pug – or any dog from a breeder or pet store. Next time, I’ll adopt a lovable, healthy mutt from a shelter.
People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA)
HB2 ‘repeal’ wasn’t
It has been roughly eight months since the North Carolina General Assembly passed House Bill 142, the so-called repeal of HB2. In doing so, the NCGA satisfied business concerns, but seemingly forgot to restore the human rights of the LGBTQ+ community.
In the months following the passage of HB2, businesses, artists and organizations, most notably the NCAA, placed enormous pressure on the state to repeal HB2 by moving projects and events to other states. The result was an economic incentive to repeal HB2, yet their actions simultaneously shifted the focus to the economic consequences HB2 instead of the effect on human rights. Due to the efforts of businesses, organizations, and other advocates, the NCGA passed HB142.
While anyone is now free to use the bathroom of their choice, state legislators still have control over policy regarding certain public bathrooms and local governments cannot change their anti-discrimination policies until 2020, as if they are simply postponing reinstating human rights. To put it plainly, the state prioritized protecting the business concerns of the state over human rights. Action must be taken to fully repeal HB2. It is up to Gov. Roy Cooper and the legislature to restore the human rights of all North Carolinians.
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