In the Humble Opinion of LittleBill, Socialist, Atheist, and Humanist
My Two Favorite Subjects AGAIN

It really blows my mind to say “it really blows my mind” again, but I guess that is what happens to me when I hear the Republicans putting the subject of abortion at the head of everything else on any governmental agenda.

At the same time, it really blows my mind again that I can’t remember a Republican EVER mentioning the subject of over-population.

And I must admit that I haven’t heard either the Republicans OR the Democrats talking about over-population. HOW CAN THAT BE?! Doesn’t it occur to humans that wars are fought over territory, that plants large and small are disappearing, that water – even the ocean water – is being polluted, that many animals are disappearing for whatever purpose, eating, using for shoes, or shooting just for fun.

As towns are started on what used to be animal land, then grow to large towns, and thus to cities, does anyone notice what this does to animals and animal habitat? Oh, and highways and airports. A strip of highway doesn’t look as though it hurts much of anything or takes much room, but when your mind tries to encompass all the roadways, airports, and city streets IN THE WORLD, THAT WILL BE HARD TO DO.

Try thinking how much living land is thus lost to the animals of the world. And you can also think of how many dead animal bodies lie on the roads themselves, and how many birds end their lives on windshields and/or radiators of cars because they cannot adapt to the speeds of manmade toys and conveniences. But that’s OK. I can’t remember how many times I have heard human males assert their masculinity by saying, well, it should have known enough to get out of the way.

But, since my greatest interest and greatest fear lie with overpopulation, I often get waylaid on the subject of abortion. This is, first of all, a matter of the survival of the Earth and everything on it. If humans go on perpetuating the race at the present rate, there can be no salutary end to human history, and we will take the rest of the planet with us. China has seen where it was heading and has taken steps to try to curb what it was doing.

It seems to me, as an atheist (you know – one of those pariahs who don’t believe in God and therefore have no morals), we should realize that God, or whatever created us also created everything else on earth. Somehow, it seems that since we were created with such capable minds, we should be doing all we can to preserve what God created rather than destroying it for our own gratification.

Abortion is a very serious matter, to be considered entirely by the people involved. It is the responsibility of those people alone to make the decision, not for Christians, or anyone else to decide. It’s none of our business, no matter what our feelings on the subject may be.
Among other things to be considered when a woman thinks of abortion is the world and circumstances into which it will be born. First of all, if the child is terribly deformed, there may be nothing but anguish. For other children, if their mothers are forced to have a baby they don’t want, think of how it is the child who will pay the emotional price. It is my guess that most abortions occur among impoverished and uneducated people, and consider what that burden heaps upon the child. The dreadful possibilities are awful to consider. At the same time, the same sorrows and pressures will press upon the child’s family, which will put even more unforgiven blame upon the child, especially in cases of rape.

And the most important thing is that abortion should never have been considered as a tenet to be denied by the United States Constitution. This is all involved with religion, specifically Christianity. I am sure I speak for at least some of those of other religions, and undoubtedly for many of those of either pagan or non-religions, when I say, leave us alone. We have our values too, and we consider many of your values unworthy, snoopy, and inadequate. So far as I know, all you know about non-believers is that they don’t believe in God, PERIOD. You don’t have any knowledge about our value systems or our contribution to society, and you wouldn’t recognize us on the street or even in your neighborhood without foreknowledge. That, however, doesn’t prevent us, whether any of us approve of abortion or not, from keeping our views to ourselves.


Christmas Unlist

To most of my friends and family: With the exception of my immediate family, who will get jewels and furs, and the people who work for me, I cannot afford to send gifts to anyone else this year. I had cut out most of my charities during this past year, but I have spent the past few days trying to catch up.

The reason I have gone back to my charities is that they are about things that have meant the most to me in my life – the Earth and the creatures who struggle to live on it. I have one or two human charities on my list, but they are far outnumbered by everything else. It occurred to me that supporting charities in my mind and spending my money on myself doesn’t mean a helluvalot.

I love all the rest of you, and you are all on my mental list, but please take me off of your lists (including cards), and spend your money on what means most to you. (Many of our donations will undoubtedly meet up saving animals and repairing human harm to the Earth. For some of us, I hope, our support and “prayers” will join up to urge that human beings will work together to reduce our “footprint” on the Earth.)

Love to all,

Anne, ARW, and/or LittleBill

Story of a Life with Promise

Joe was a small town kid from a fairly small-income family. He did not do anything notably good or bad in grade school.

But when he got to high school, that’s when his star began to shine. He became the school’s star football athlete, and he led his team to almost total victory. His success in the rest of his life was virtually assured.

Joe and his best friend, Bill, had plans for going into business together selling sportswear.You could go twenty miles to the next (larger) town to buy sportswear, but Joe’s town had only a few things to sell at the department store—not really enough to satisfy high school needs or wants.

The two friends had watched the war on TV, and they had talked about it, but it still seemed as far away as it was. But then came the day when Bill told Joe that he had actually decided to sign up. After the shock of not having been told by his best friend at the time of his decision, and after a period of reconciliation, Joe decided to sign up with him. Only two men from their town had shown up, and Joe did have a feeling of some sort of patriotism, so Joe enlisted, if not so much through a feeling of responsibility for what was going on on the other side of the planet as it was to follow his friend.

( The other thing gnawing at Joe’s mind was that their hopes of opening a sports store were pretty-much on the dreamy side. And, though this had not really reached the front of his brain yet, he found that football adulation had gone to join the realm of high school highlights of the past on the last day he walked out the door.)

And so this led to training camp (and this was tough stuff even for a football champion.) And this, in turn, found him and his fellow soldiers at the top of a hill looking down on a small town known to harbor the “enemy.” At a time like that, with indoctrination racing through their(his) veins, a soldier (former football hero) must feel both fear and invincibility.

War must give Joe some credit for his first kill, a middle-aged man, who might have been the “enemy.” But there is nothing like your first success, sort of like in football. You have to prove yourself by killing another. And so, quivering with both fear and success, Joe fired again. But the (unintended?) target this time turned out to be a 3-year old girl.

Joe could never remember what his choice had really been. All he remembered of what happened next is that he found himself in an army hospital. He had evidently been there for several months, and no one he knew or remembered had come to see him except nurses with food and/or bedpans.

Finally he was released to his family, but most of his friends had gone into the service, and very few townspeople came to call. There was a sort of distance between them.
Joe used to go down to watch the trains go by when he was younger, and when he was OK enough to go out, he went down to watch them again.

Joe realized what he was living was a very lonely life. He hadn’t heard from Bill and didn’t even know where he was. The only people who talked to him spoke in soothing tones, as though he was a baby or a very sick man. Then one day the town drunk shouted as he passed by, “Hi, baby killer.” And there she was again, limp, and bloody, and dead, kept for several years in the “unsafe” of Joe’s failing mind.

And almost before he knew it, Joe was down at the railroad tracks watching the trains go by, in the company of people who live by the tracks, and who suffer from nightmares of their own. They became his friends, his Bills.

But this time, the little girl would not leave his mind. Nor would the epithet of the town drunk.

So Joe went back to see his friends, but they said afterword that he had been very quiet. He hadn’t said enough for them to know what was bothering him. But suddenly Joe, the football hero, the best friend, and the soldier who signed up to save America, rushed to the tracks to watch an approaching train. Just before it reached him, he threw himself under it.

When Joe was buried, the local Press wrote a short obituary, listing him as the son of a local family, a member of the military, and most of all to be remembered as a football hero in a long list of former heroes.


Climate Change Conference

Dont Worry, Be Happy

Those of us who really care for the Earth and everything on it, and who have the capacity to use our minds, are extremely worried about Global Warming and looking forward with hope to the Climate Change Conference in Denmark.

Photographs and films of glaciers on the highest mountains beginning to melt are alarming, especially as the water flowing from the mountains is vital to life, and much more accessible to life than that which must be retrieved from the ground. Look at it this way: If what humans are doing to make (just) humans more comfortable has the slightest chance of being a large part of global warming, reason would whisper in your ear that possibly we had better stop.

What is truly frightening is that there are many people with little education and strong religious indoctrination, and these people vote. What is even more frightening is that when most people vote, they vote for themselves and not for others. One of the most egregious rights to vote is that we who are sexually normal(?) outnumber homosexuals and can therefore outvote them when they seek rights normal to the rest of us, including having children.

People like those I have described, and many others as well, would be very unlikely to know or care what animals are suffering and/or disappearing. So their rections would be mostly to not want to hear about it, just as I cannot bear to hear about any cruelty or even injury to an animal. (I am ashamed to admit that I eat meat and deplore the habit. I am trying to quit, as it is one of the most deceptive, painful, and dreadful ways for an animal to die, especially when it is killed for the sake of sport—and most of us don’t even have to be a part of the practice until we see it sizzling on a platter!)

(Just now, Sen. Inhofe and another whose name I didn’t get were having a debate on global warming, and Sen. Inhofe said we didn’t need to worry, that we had all sorts of resources here to develop.)
This is what drives me nuts! We are desecrating our resources, but our largest problem (and we don’t even know it) is TOO MANY PEOPLE! Although few people realize it, that is why we are fighting wars. Unless we learn to gradually reduce our numbers by birth control, the only options left to us are war, disease, and/or starvation.
Good job, Ignorance, Lack of Interest, Personal Greed, and the Word of God!


Obama Is No Socialist!

The Power of the Vote

The Power of the Vote

From Sen. Lieberman’s decision to leave the Democratic Party and become an Independent some time ago, he appears pretty happy being in the kingpin position of possibly casting the determining vote between the Democrats and the Republicans on a number of different bills.

I do not understand how he was lucky enough to have been selected a number of years ago as a candidate for vice president under the Democratic party. He had every American’s right to work toward such an outcome. However, every time I see his face, his happy, happy smile is his trademark for me. I’m not practiced enough on the computer to read all about him, so I know nothing about his intellectual or moral capacities, which leads me to label him in my mind as a hard-smiling man with many friends.

I could be wrong, of course.


Line of Sight

We Do Not All See Alike

I am lucky enough to have lived here in Santa Barbara for pobably more than 11 years by now. It is a beautiful town at the base of beautiful mountains. We have had three very serious fires in the mountains since I have lived here, the most recent having started in May and spread from one end of the range in our sight to the other. As in most cases, it was started by humans, but this one was apparently an accident. However, arson seems to be a growing amusement of choice.

If you drive your own car and watch what you’re doing, you have probably come to realize that there is really a great deal of the Santa Ynez Mountains and most of this town that you have never really seen. As an invalid who has to be driven wherever I go, I now have plenty of time to sightsee as we move. I may not go far, but I have more time to choose and consider my sites.

Today, when I was working with my physical therapist, I asked her what she saw when she looked at the mountains. They are beginning, with the help of humans, to show some green again. My therapist’s answer was that she saw the mountains beginning to turn green, and they had beautiful clouds above them.

Then she asked me, and my answer was that I saw dead animals, and their babies dying of starvation. What my friend sees is only the surface from afar. What my mind sees is undoubtedly more realistic, but God, I wish I could change it!


I Don't Understand

It seems to me that an ever-growing world population, and endless expansion of new technology to replace human employent can only end up in total chaos.

When our world leaders shake hands and smile at the audience, why don’t they smile at each other instead? Such a smile could be seen by both groups and recognized as the culmination of a friendly agreement.

Listening to Washington Journal this morning, I have heard the poorest of the poor telling why they are unemployed, what their education is, and how many children they have who are in the same jam and depending on them. How can the Pro-Lifers have the stupidity, or just the plain old guts, not to encourage people like these to stop having babies, at least until they can support them?

President Obama is the best we’ve had, admirable both as a President and as a human being. In answering a question today, he said that we need to buy from our own citizens. I understand his desires in that respect, but how would that affect the attitude of other countries who trade with us?

Back to world over-populstion. World Violence is doing the very best it can to get over-population under control. And don’t think it won’t win in the end! It is too bad that our partner in this effort is Violence. Unless and until human beings as a whole learn from the scientists who know what they’re talking about, the earth will grow more crowded and lose more of its earthly riches every second of the day. Is that what humans call our Thanks to God?

Our jobs are being replaced by technology, our philosophy is deeply inolved with hatred, hatred of the Other and/or Others. The Economy consists of everything from the Very Rich to the Very Poor. Those who don’t have riches want them, and most of those who have them want more. And the really great thing about being rich is that, for many of them, they’ve never even had to work! They can go to church and put a large check in the gift bowl. The glory of it is that they leave chuch having received their Father’s Grace and just as rich as ever.

I have a suggestion for a new Rich Man’s charity. (Actually, I shouldn’t display such an enormous amount of gall, because it has undoubtedly been thought of by many rich people before.) The one I suggest, might be a charity which actually makes the donor demonstrably poorer than he was before.


(I’m ashamed to say that I will be putting out a box of worn and faded clothes for the Salvation Army on Monday. I need to put a mirror up on my computer when I write.)

Christmas Joy

There are many cities, large and small, that put up city Christmas trees every December. It is very sad to watch a tree, chosen for its perfection and size, hoisted in the air without its lifeline roots and placed, dead, for its last month on earth.

Wouldn’t it show more reverence to these “temporary” trees if a site were selected to place a promising young tree for its whole life, to be decorated, not by trinkets, but by birds and their nests? It seems to me that such a tree would have a great deal to say to the people who look at it the year ‘round. Its live decorations of birds would be a new experience for city children who have never seen birds. And the growth of the tree over the years should bring happy memories of its young life, especially to those of the people who had seen its planting many years ago.

It came as a great surprise to me as a librarian in a fairly small town close to San Francisco that several of the people I either worked with or helped as library users had never looked up in the sky to see the sun or the stars. As mothers of young children, what clue does that give you as to their ability to teach their children almost anything? And how would many of the people who like Christmas trees have any idea of what we could do to revere our trees without killing them?


Gift Giving

Santa Claus came to me in my sleep last night, and anointed me as one of his special Helpers. Santa has many Helpers, as you know, and rather than all having the same job, we are given a number of different jobs with different gifts to give. Some Helpers take lavish gifts to homes on their lists. Some Helpers concentrate on toys for children. And some Helpers, like me, have been given unusual gifts to hand out.

In my case, it is doling out cloth shopping bags as gifts. The nice thing about these bags is that they are made out of replaceable plants grown for that purpose, not from trees. And they can be used over, and over, and over. Paper bags are used only once by most people, made out of trees, and unless the recipient is conservation-aware, forgotten on the spot.

Also, my clients think about the world much as I do. A tree, to us, is a thing of beauty, shade on a hot day and some shelter on a rainy day, and MOST OF ALL, a safe home to many animals and birds. In fact it may come as a surprise to those of you who do not think the same as we do, Tree and Pet Huggers think about this stuff alot. And it is our hope that our numbers will continue to grow. (I am proud to admit that some of us are actually hot and heavy on the subject, but not for ourselves, instead for the world and everything in it.)

Unfortunately, some of our converts have put their cloth bags down and can’t remember where they are, or they leave the house without them and can’t be bothered to go back.
But as a devoted Helper, I will put in my very own word here. If you aleady have at least one cloth bag, GET THE HELL OUT THERE AND FIND IT AND USE IT! And if you are truly sorry that you are NOT doing enough to try to help the world and everything on it, start trying.

For those of you who are not on my list for bags, I’m just one of Santa’s Helpers, and you may be on another Helper’s list. Let’s give up Christmas and replace it with a holiday 365 days long all around the world that includes, not just humans, but all the animals, the plants, and the rocks and dirt, and even the germs. After all, if germs kill us, just think how each and every one of us also kill germs and everything else, both bad and good. Ever thought of that?

Merry Whatever from the Bag Lady