Monday, December 31, 2007

Google News

Boston Globe
Riots erupt after Kenya's president re-elected
CNN International - 2 hours ago
NAIROBI, Kenya (CNN) -- Kenya's government has suspended all live television broadcasts as violence engulfed Nairobi following the re-election of incumbent president Mwai Kibaki.
Kenyan president declared winner Los Angeles Times
Tribal Rivalry Boils Over After Kenyan Election New York Times
Forbes - Guardian Unlimited - Washington Post - Voice of America
all 2,537 news articles »

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Benazir Bhutto 1953 – December 27, 2007

It appears from what I have pieced together that Benazir Bhutto, groomed by her father from a young age to lead, was a failed and somewhat disgraced Prime Minister who was trying to resurrect herself and had convinced enough powerful Westerners that she could again regain power in Pakistan either in some kind of coalition with the current Prime Minister Mussharaf or to gain rule by herself again knowing Mussharaf was probably on his way out of power. Groomed by her father, Bhutto's strength was as a campaigner using her great charisma to charm her followers mostly from the middle and professional classes in Pakistan. She knew she could be martyred and was almost killed in October, 2007. 133 died in that bomb blast. Dec. 27th, 2007 Bhutto died as a result of injuries suffered in a suicide bombing in Karachi Pakistan. The exact cause of death is a matter of contention with the authorities saying she died because of the blast from the bombs caused her to fracture her skull as she fell back into the vehicle in which she was riding; another version given is that she was shot in the head and died of a wound to the neck.

Fingers point in many directions as to which group or which person wanted her dead and did the deed. Mussharaf, of course, points to a Taliban leader and to El Quaeda as the main culprits. Whatever the truth, Benazir believed in her own mission which was to help her country move away from extreme radical and violent religious elements in her own country, stood up against the terrorist factions that have succeeded in destabilizing that region of the world*, and was the first Muslim woman to lead a country. Whether her motives were pure or not, it seems she has achieved the same martyrdom her father achieved, also a former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, and next to whom she is now buried.

*There are those who would say the influence of the West and the interests of Bush and the NeoCons is another destabilizing influence in the Middle East and Pakistan.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Read article by Fatima Bhutto about her Aunt

I just read a fascinating article written by Benazir Bhutto's niece, Fatima Bhutto. Benazir Bhutto was the former Prime Minister of Pakistan. Her niece Fatima Bhutto who is a poet and writer claims Benazir had Fatima's father, Benazir's own younger brother killed. The brother was in the Pakistani Parliament and was critical of his sister's policies in the 90's. The article does not paint a pretty picture of Benazir Bhutto or Bhutto's husband Asif Ali Zadari who is accused of murder, blackmail, and money laundering which is mentioned in wikipedia. This article was written before Benazir's Bhutto's assassination yesterday, Dec. 27, 2007.


Benazir Bhutto Assassination Causes Both Sorrow and Riots

Monday, December 24, 2007

Try this article by Deb Price on how music brings us together

Swedish Christmas Lights

Gothenburg christmas lights
(Swedish Christmas)

This picture was taken during a visit to Christmas Lights, Sweden. For more pics go to

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Police Mix it up with Citizens outside New Orleans City Hall

Melee erupts over public housing proposed demolition in New Orleans

What is happening in New Orleans re public housing is a terrible travesty. Read the latest below taken from the blog Outside the Beltway. The police did not act in the interest of the people of New Orleans when they pepper sprayed and manhandled people who appeared to be waiting or trying to get into city hall. I believe not enough media attention is being directed toward the inside scoop on what is happening in New Orleans. We forget too soon.


taken from

The New Orleans city council today defied protestors and voted unanimously to tear down the first of four remaining major housing projects in the city to make way for mixed-income housing that will accommodate some, but not all, of the pre-Katrina public housing population. Needless to say, the self-appointed community activists were displeased:

The scene outside New Orleans’ City Hall boiled on the brink of a riot Thursday as protesters stormed the gate and were met with police spraying mace and firing Tasers. Protesters broke through the gates outside City Hall shortly after 11 a.m.

A woman identified by bystanders as Jamie Bork Laughner, was sprayed and dragged away from the gates.

She was taken away on a stretcher by emergency officials on the scene. Before that, she was seen pouring water from a bottle into her eyes and weeping.

Another woman said she was stunned by officers, and still had what appeared to be a Taser wire hanging from her shirt.

“I was just standing, trying to get into my City Council meeting,” said the woman, Kim Ellis.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Limbaugh hits bottom knocking Hillary for her age

Rush Limbaugh's column and radio show Dec 18th, starts with the headline.

Limbaugh: "Does Our Looks-Obsessed Culture Want to Stare At An Aging Woman?"He goes on to ask... So the question is this: Will this country want to actually watch a woman get older before their eyes on a daily basis?

In addition same day The Drudge column headlines with a picture of Hillary looking quote "old". I am not going to dignify The Drudge Report by showing the picture of Hillary they show.

This thinking is the pits and the most sexist and ageist comment yet. But interesting as I think others have been subtly attacking Hillary for the same dumb reason. I think there is a group out there of both men and women who think Hillary is just not hip enough or good looking enough (double standard) as I mentioned two posts down she doesn't look like a mannequin and now I add concocted out of whole cloth by the Republican image machine looking like somebody's proper Republican wife. And more power to Hillary for being herself. She must be "damn" tired from the campaign and when people are tired they always look older. I doubt most of America listens to anything Limbaugh says but his headline does have a touch of truth which is Americans are obsessed with age. Something to ponder and fight against-blatant ageism directed at a presidential candidate.

By the way, all this focus on the way Hillary looks seems strange to me as I find her good looking in a mainstream kind of way. She does not look like a model though and why should she? Comments!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Hillary Clinton photo

(left) Hillary at steelworkers rally

The Clinton, Obama, Edwards Race in Iowa

My opinion on Hillary Clinton vs. Barak Obama hasn't really changed from the last time I wrote on this topic. Hillary seems ready to lead; Obama has no baggage to hold him down if he does assume higher office. Obama has been described as an agent of change; whereas Clinton is tagged as representing a continuation of the same insider kind of Washington. This is said in spite of the fact Barak has many ex Clinton staffers running and advising his campaign. Since I last wrote, Obama has increased his support and lead in Iowa; Clinton has received an important endorsement from the Newpaper Editors of The Des Moines Register. This endorsement has given new life to Hillary's campaign in Iowa. As for Edwards, he is still a strong contender and may gain from the tough rough ups going between Hillary and Barak, mostly coming from the Hillary camp. Some (Chris Matthews for one) have speculated that the Clintons would rather see an Edwards win in Iowa or even be in second place to Hillary rather than see Barak in first or second place as they think Edwards would be easier to beat in the long run. One poll Matthews quoted shows Edwards the strongest contender against the Republican candidates. I wonder if this represents blue collar voters and Southerners who can identify with Edward's working class roots.

Although it may not be directly attributable to Hillary, mention of Barak's drug using days when he was young and the fact he has a Muslim name and Muslin relatives has been a new constant item in the media. It is not a good move as this kind of attack could come back to haunt the Clinton parties. However, the media has brought up the spectre of Bill "the womanizer"in the White House even if only by quoting a recent poll asking how many out there worry about the Bill factor in the White House. The answer was 15% which seems insignificant which was mentioned by Chris Matthews in a snide way as being an optimistic American type response. Optimistic I guess because that would mean 85% would not worry about Bill having sex (not with his wife) in the White House.

The important thing to me is that a Democrat win and that that Democrat takes the
White House. In the end, I think pragmatism will take over and Hillary will edge out all the other Dems. I am hoping that by then the grassroots will have put enough pressure on Hillary to move her more to the left than she is now. But I suppose that is a pipe dream. My hope is that she will come through with her promised health care plan for every American which Barak is not promising. My hope is that being older herself she will not forget the elderly and their needs.

My hope is Hillary will put an end to the Bush and NeoCon Conquestial attempts to gain more power and oil in the middle east and beyond. The one postion I strongly disagree with her on is her idea of keeping soldiers in Iraq, a U.S. presence in that region, no matter how few, after the major troop personnel have been sent home. I think US troops have been an irritant in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East, although I do want US troops and other troops to continue keeping the Taliban forces out of power when and where they can. More effort should be on keeping Afghanistan stable than we are doing now. All the Dems seem to agree with this shift in emphasis from the Bush administration.

By now the message has become loud and clear, Get us out of Iraq. She has not promised to completely vacate soldiers from Iraq but by the time she is elected, the focus on a peaceful solution and how to do it will be clearer. She will I hope act forcefully about helping the environment and not just listen to Al Gore and the global warming experts. Can Obama or an Edwards lead us to these ends more directly than Hillary can? The answer is unclear as both act as though the conservative forces can be sidestepped and ignored in the march toward progress. I think
Hillary needs to ignore more and compromise less if she were to be elected. I think Obama and Edwards have the right instincts. The ignorant and conservative forces need to be ignored when it is possible to do so.

Sometimes I feel my tendency to favor Hillary is a generational choice. I like the fact Hillary is a woman and older. As a participant in the Women's movement all through the seventies, it is hard not to get excited about a woman who is a Democrat running for President. I am not naive enough to think that this alone will make all the difference as a woman who gets that high has already been co-opted by a male world built to serve the interest of males. I also think there is a lot of subtle ageism and lookist negativity directed at Hillary because she looks like she is a late middle aged woman. She doesn't look like a manniquin like some of the Republican candidate wives. I guess what it boils down to is I would be supporting Barak if I really thought he would be better on all the issues than Hillary. I am just not convinced of that and Hillary just seems so damn together. I know she would be good in a crisis. She already is a symbol of someone who has weathered lots of storms. I wonder how many others feel the same way.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Mitt Romney says "No" to Muslim in his Cabinet

Mitt Romney's first instinct was to say "No" when he was asked if he would consider a Muslim for his cabinet if he were to be elected President. Mansoor Ijaz who attended a fundraiser for Romney asked him "whether he would consider a Muslim for a national security post in his Cabinet, since he says radical jihad is the biggest threat facing America". I find Romney's response to Ijaz quite hypocritial given there has been controversy surrounding the electability of Romney based on the fact that he is a member of the Mormon Faith which is considered to be a non Christian faith by many mainstream Protestants and Catholics. Read more in depth on the controversy below.

Sharon Raphael

Boston News
A Muslim in Romney's Cabinet? Probably not
Link|Comments (3) By Foon Rhee, deputy national political editor November 27, 07 11:35 AM

A New York financier calls for a Muslim to be appointed to the next president's Cabinet and relates an interesting reply when he put that issue to Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.

Mansoor Ijaz, who describes himself as an American-born Muslim whose family came from Pakistan, writes in an opinion piece in today's Christian Science Monitor that he attended a private fund-raiser this month for Romney in Las Vegas. Ijaz says he asked Romney whether he would consider a Muslim for a national security post in his Cabinet, since he says radical jihad is the biggest threat facing America.

According to Ijaz, Romney said that based on the proportion of Muslims in the US population, a Cabinet post would not be "justified," though he could "imagine" Muslims serving in lower-level jobs in his administration.

"Romney, whose Mormon faith has become the subject of heated debate in Republican caucuses, wants America to be blind to his religious beliefs and judge him on merit instead," Ijaz writes. "Yet he seems to accept excluding Muslims because of their religion, claiming they're too much of a minority for a post in high-level policymaking. More ironic, that Islamic heritage is what qualifies them to best engage America's Arab and Muslim communities and to help deter Islamist threats."

Romney, interviewed Monday on CNN, was asked about diversity in his inner circle and in appointments.

"Suggesting that we have to fill spots based on checking off boxes of various ethnic groups is really a very inappropriate way to think about we staff positions," he said.

"I'm very pleased that, among my Cabinet members [as Massachusetts governor], for instance, I had several African-American individuals. I had people of different backgrounds. But I don't go in every circumstance I'm in and say, 'OK, how many African-Americans, how many Hispanic-Americans, how many Asian-Americans,' and fill boxes that way.

"I fill responsibilities based upon people's merit and their skill. And, sometimes, it includes many ethnic minorities. And other times, it includes different minorities. But I'm very pleased with my record."

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Is this funny?

Go to
to see a discussion of Barak and Hillary's position on Walmart in Peru and a free trade agreement.

Obama or Clinton? Iowa or Bust.

In recent days, the race in Iowa for Democratic contender for President is tightening up between Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton. Obama appears to be ahead. John Edwards is not far behind. Hillary has faulted Obama by pointing out that the fact he lived abroad, in Indonesia, when he was a child is not evidence of foreign policy experience. Barak fired back by saying something like which one of us voted the right way on the War in Iraq and that he never equated living abroad as evidence of foreign policy expertise. Personally, I do not think Hillary did herself any good taking Obama to task on this issue. It seems just plain petty and defensive though I understand the logic in what she is saying.

When I listened to the Dem debate led by Wolf Blitzer from CNN last week, I felt that Hillary made more good points on some issues and looked stronger than Barak, for instance, her rasing the question of how Obama planned to finance his national health care plan by raising taxes (on the top 6% of income earners) on groups of seemingly high earners i.e. firefighters and police who sometimes in some regions fall into the 98,000 a year bracket. These are usually in areas that have high costs i.e. California. Hillary pointed out how she is backed by firefighters union and the like that would be against such a plan. I thought Hillary's quick evaluation of Barak's plan showed she can think on her feet and make points not that easy to explain in a sound bite. The implication seemed to be we should focus on the really rich and leave the middle class alone when it comes to raising taxes.

On the other hand, Barak appears to be getting a very positive response from many senior (over 65 crowd) Democrats living in Iowa as well as young people (under 25). These groups are swayed by Barak's growing reputation as appearing more honest and open than Hillary and more convincing as someone who cares about their interests.

Barak did not make points with the LGBT community several weeks ago when he had a "convert to straightness", a former Gay man who I think is a reverend following Barakand seaking at his campaign stops in S. Carolina. Not sure what to make of this development though it appeared Barak backed away from this connection in a public statement he made on the topic. Barak has mentioned that Oprah Winfrey will help him campaign in Iowa and if that happens I would suspect he will nail quite a few votes down with her help.

The Republicans campaigning for President i.e. Guiliani says only good things about Obama because I think he wants Obama to be his main contender and think that if he is the public will not vote Obama into office. It is a way of using the race card in a backhanded kind of way. No way to really predict the outcome in Iowa and what the outcome will mean in the long run. At this point, I remain an observer knowing I will vote for any Democrat who takes the lead in the end. It would be great to have the first African American President and great to have the first Woman President. I do think Hillary is obviously more experienced though not liberal enough for my taste and too ready to compromise with the Republicans on many issues though she keeps on demonstrating that the other party is not going away any time soon and so compromise is the only way to get anything done i.e. health care or reforming social security.

The more bad news we hear about Bush and his evil co-conspirators in the Valerie Plame affair and the War in Iraq decision, the more Hillary may look as though she has been weak in not attacking Bush or asking for his impeachment, although Barak has not done this either as far as I know. Hillary can continue to raise the fact that she was a victim of a Republican witch-hunt. Not sure how that will play. I am also afraid as the first Black man in office that Obama will lean over backwards to look and act like middle "white" America to the nth degree. He already has done this. At least, Barak has no baggage like Hillary has to carry into the White House with him. The question for me Is Barak ready to lead? I think Hillary is. What a dilemma!!

I hope whoever wins will put an end to the demagogery and move toward a police state that has taken hold in America since and even before 9/11. Both Obama and Clinton claim they will put this country on the right path. This won't happen if either one tries to prove they are more patriotic or more interested in security and fighting the boogeyman "terrorism" than any other contender. I think Hillary does this more than Obama. Obama says he will use diplomacy to solve problems and not stand on ceremony which Hillary implies she will do with States i.e. Iran and Korea. Edwards has been critical of this security conscious I am stronger than anyone else approach and I applaud him for that. Someone has to get off the merry go round and march to the right. Not sure the major two Dem contenders are up for it but we have to make them do it for our sake. Keep driving home the point, we want this country to abide by the rules the founding fathers created which puts checks and balances on tyrants and those who would fail to follow the principles of democratic governance.

Sharon Raphael

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Terrible Tragedy at Vancouver Airport

This was a case where sending an interpreter would be imperative. Stupid, more stupid and deadly.

Sharon Raphael

Article from Yahoo News Nov. 15th 2007

VANCOUVER, Canada (AFP) - The death of a Polish emigre after police stunned him with a taser at an airport here sparked a diplomatic incident, with Poland demanding full details of the subsequent investigation.

The Polish government issued a diplomatic note asking "Canadian authorities to provide us promptly with full and transparent results of the investigation of this tragic accident," Maciej Krych, Poland's consul general in this western Canadian city, told AFP.

Robert Dziekanski, 40, died on October 14 after a brief struggle with security guards and police, who were called after he started throwing things and screaming in the airport's arrival zone.

A preliminary coroner's report Friday showed there were no drugs or alcohol in Dziekanski's body, said the lawyer for Zofia Cisowski, the dead man's mother.

Dziekanski, a construction worker, had flown from Frankfurt to live with his mother in Canada. He spoke only Polish, had never travelled before and was "scared" and "stressed" by the journey, said the lawyer, Walter Kosteckyj.

Dziekanski waited for his mother in the airport's luggage area, but she was not allowed to enter the secure zone and could not find anyone to tell her if her son had arrived, said Kosteckyj. After several hours, she left.

A few feet away from her, on the other side of the security zone wall, Dziekanski waited for 10 hours, said the lawyer.

"It's unbelievable you have a guy sitting in what is supposed to be a secure area for 10 hours ... without immigration or airport authorities at least asking the guy or finding out what the problem is," he said.

When Dziekanski finally emerged into the public arrivals area, there was no one to meet him and it had been 25 hours since he left home, said Kosteckyj.

"He was not a sophisticated traveller... He was a fellow simply lost in an English-speaking world unable to communicate."............

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Elephant named 71 (in the past) rescued by PAWS

Correspondence with PAWS (Performing Animal Welfare Society)

I am sharing this correspondence I had recently with PAWS. See below.


I wonder if you might straighten me out on something. I read where an elephant named 71 came as a small sickly African elephant and was rescued by PAWS. Then later I see 71 is the tallest elephant. What happened? I hope it is the same elephant .

Sharon Raphael
Long Beach

Dear Sharon,

You are correct on both accounts. In the early 1980's, 71 was small and
sickly. Pat Derby and Ed Stewart brought 71 to PAWS and cared for her
twenty-four hours a day, feeding her a special diet, sleeping near her,
and monitoring her health constantly. After a few months, 71 began to
show improvement and thrived. Today, 71 is the tallest elephant of the
PAWS almost-a-herd family.

The best depiction of 71's story can be found in Pat Derby's book, "In
the Presence of Elephants." You can purchase this book online at the
PAWS gift shop. Please click on the following website link to view this
book and other PAWS items


The Performing Animal Welfare Society

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Picture of Maggie Friday at new home PAWS

PAWS = Performing Animals Welfare Society

Maggie Trumpets (Signals) the Other Elephants at Cams

You can actually see Maggie and the other elephants on the Paws Elephant Cam

Maggie, who was transported from the Alaskan Zoo. arrived safely after flying on an Airforce plane and then was trucked to the Performing Animals Welfare Society's 75 acre site in Calaveras County Ca. According to news reports, she is doing very well, has already signaled the 4 other African elephants at Cams who she will be introduced to very soon. Right now she is being housed in her spacious barn and can be seen sometimes on the web cam exploring around her "outside the barn" pasture space. The Calaveras wildlife space is a beautiful setting for any elephant or any person for that matter. I am watching Maggie now live on the cam view that PAWS provides.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Two Photos from PAWS Website (What the place is.)

What a terrific place.

The two elephants pictured on the ground are sleeping in the sun. Oh, so nice!!

Maggie is at new home in California

Friday, November 02, 2007
Welcome to California, Maggie!

Alaska no longer has an elephant! Maggie left Alaska last night aboard a U.S. Air Force plane and is now exploring her new home at PAWS in California.

Posted by Lisa

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Good News

Maggie in her old home at Alaska Zoo. Maggie is leaving for California.

Elephant (Maggie) from Alaska Moving to CA Wildlife Sanctuary

Air Force about to move African elephant from Alaska to Calif.

Alaska's only elephant is coming in from the cold. Maggie, a 25-year-old African elephant, will be flown today from The Alaska Zoo to the Performing Animal Welfare Society in balmy California.

After coming under fire from critics who complained about the animal's poor quality of life, the zoo spent $100,000 on a treadmill for the 8,000-pound elephant, but she wouldn't use the machine and her exercise was limited to a small enclosure outside the elephant house.

They zoo eventually agreed to move her to California.

"She's definitely going first class," Alaska Zoo spokeswoman Eileen Floyd tells the Anchorage Daily News.

Handlers have warned the crew of the C-17 transport plane that they're likely to hear Maggie trumpeting and banging her head during the trip. To calm her nerves, the transport team, which includes veterinarians, will have some of her favorite toys on board the plane.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Friday, September 28, 2007

OLOC = Old Lesbians Organizing for Change

20 questions for workshop on race (making whiteness visible)

Questions based on Video Making Whiteness Visible produced and written by Shakti Butler go to OLOC SF/E Bay worked on questions after seeing video

A line ( can be made out of a string or cray paper or whatever) is drawn with one side designated as yes and the other no. It is best to have 12 or more people to play the game. Each questions is asked and people can see how people are divided or arranged on their side of the line on each question. Some discussion is allowed but it is important to move the questioning along until all 20 questions are answered. Some confusion is bound to take place and that can be discussed after all the questions are answered or in some cases participants realize that someone has misunderstood the questions and can move the person to the right side of the line with their consent. Sometimes people's answer seem very surprising. In my group, I was surprised at how many people in our workshop did not have immediate relatives that emigrated to this country in the last 3 generations.

This list of questions should not be used out of context. It is part of a set of presentations based on the new school of thought called "Making Whiteness Visble" same name as a video made by Shakti Butler which is a good prelude video to show before the questions are asked. We saw another video Butler made which shows individuals representing many cultures, the most diverse array of cultural perspectives I have ever seen from a very personal level. After the video, when we were at a retreat we broke down into small groups and answered questions i.e. When did you first become aware of your race; how did your family deal with race issues; describe your early experiences in relation to your race and other races. These were just a few questions that come to mind. Others can be developed. The whole idea is to focus on whiteness and its implications and then attempting to deconstruct the concept block by block. It takes time and usually discussion ends at an early point in the process. That s why a series of workshops needs to be held.

Sharon Raphael

Why Does OLOC have a Research Gatekeeper?

Why Does OLOC have a Research Gatekeeper?
by Sharon Raphael, Ph.D.

My name is Sharon Raphael and I volunteered and was appointed by the Steering Committee to be the Research Gatekeeper for the national OLOC. I have a Ph.D. in Sociology from Case-Western Reserve University and have taught since 1970 at California State University Dominguez Hills. Before CSUDH, I taught in the Cleveland area at Akron U., Cleveland University, and Kent State University. My focus of research and activism has been on Lesbian and Gay aging, an area which I pioneered along with my life partner, Mina Meyer. I am presently a Professor Emerita at CSUDH, technically retired, but continue to teach on the campus at CSUDH. My Doctoral Dissertation was titled “Coming Out”: The Emergence of the Movement Lesbian (1974). The data I used to do the research was based on analysis I did of taped rap groups that were conducted at the Gay Women’s Service Center in Los Angeles in 1972. My role as researcher was as an “insider sociologist” because I was a Lesbian doing research on Lesbians which at the time was considered very unorthodox. Back then even the famous Evelyn Hooker (The Hooker Report) frowned on the idea of insiders doing the research. Before Gay Liberation, mainstream researchers did not accept the idea of Lesbians or Gays studying themselves. We know that historically straight researchers with a few exceptions described LGBT persons as “disturbed and perverted”.

Today LGBT persons and other minorities and subcultures are encouraged to do research on their own groups. Insider research is accepted and there is a sense that “insiders” are capable of gathering data and interpreting data with more of a sense of what is really happening and with “an ethical sense” of how the data can be used as compared to our non LGBT counterparts. This is why one of the rules OLOC has is that OLOC expects person/s who do research on Old Lesbians be “out” Lesbians, able to self identify. OLOC also requires that the researcher consult with Old Lesbians in the preliminary research stages. Exceptions to the Lesbian only rule are made if the research is sponsored by government or agencies hired by government that are very large scale, meaning involving large numbers of all kinds of populations (500 participants or more) that may be used in the long run to, for example, help Old Lesbians obtain better health care, better housing, and/or other kinds of services.

Other criteria, OLOC requires is for the researcher to obtain permission to do the research from the researcher’s university, center, or agency (usually obtained from an IRB (Institutional Review Board). IRB’s focus on monitoring the ethical aspects of conducting research on human subjects. Exception to this rule will be made if the reason the researcher cannot obtain approval is of a Lesbophobic nature and other means are used to show ethical guidelines have been fully employed by the researcher. OLOC also requires that the researcher show the Gatekeeper that a Human Consent Form has been obtained which must be signed by those being researched. This is the form that lets the researcher and others know that consent will be given willingly by the person under study whether observed, answering surveys, or being interviewed. This form is important as it protects both the participant in the research as well as the researcher. These forms usually state that the data gathered will only be used for the purposes agreed upon by both the person being researched and the researcher.


It is important that the research be relevant to the lives of Old Lesbians. This can be hard to discern sometimes but it is important to the Gatekeeper that the research once completed have some practical implications that demonstrates it is of value to Old Lesbians. We also do not want to spend a lot of time on research which is not perceived as a serious research undertaking. Will the results of the research give Old Lesbians some information about ourselves that we will value? This does not mean we want results to only paint a rosy picture of our lives but we should expect the research to be relevant to our lives. Will the research help us in the quest for a better quality of life or will the outcome of the research propel policy makers or others to help Lesbians have more control over their own lives. Perhaps, if you send me your input on what you want research to do for you, I will have a better idea of what kinds of research you as an Old Lesbian prefer or do not prefer. I would be glad to receive this input. Actually receiving this kind of input would be very helpful and exciting to me. (See my e-mail address below, end of article.)

What is OLOC giving the researcher permission to do. If the researcher is given permission to go ahead with the research, what is being given to the researcher is access to put information on our web site or in our newsletter telling OLOC members about the research and where they can be contacted . All names of persons who belong to OLOC are protected and never given out to anyone except our own staff or volunteers for purposes of mailing out Newsletters or other information about OLOC activities.

Some will ask, is all this bureaucratic rigamarole necessary? My answer is yes. This process empowers Old Lesbians to take control of their own destinies including the area of research. The guidelines are an attempt to follow Barabara MacDonald’s and Shevy Healy’s and other OLOC pioneers admonitions that warned us not to allow exploitation of our lives, not to allow younger persons to see us as just repositories of knowledge and then to find ourselves shoved aside not to be seen as relevant enough to show the way when the topic is US. The process is not as cumbersome as it might appear. For more detail contact me at and I will send you the step by step guidelines for conducting research under OLOC auspices.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Monday, September 24, 2007

"There are no homosexuals in Iran" Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Postscript: When I wrote the opinion piece below, it was only in response to the
speech Ahmadinejad gave as I tuned in after the President of Columbia had given his introductory talk to the audience about his opinion of the President of Iran. I only had tuned in as Ahmadinejad began his speech; did not hear the Chancellor Bollinger's
derogatory descriptions of his guest. Leave it to say that I do not think this was a wise decision on the part of Bollinger but much has already been said about the stance of the University President in the media. It was obvious this prelude to the speech was done as a result of pressure from certain patrons of Columbia and no doubt
incensed members of the general community who are very pro Israel and anti- Ahmandinejad. The end result was to give Ahmadinejad the moral edge as he was the one who had been verbally attacked. In any case, here are my remarks below in response to the actual speech at Columbia given by Ahmandinjad not Bollinger.

My opinion and reaction to the Ahmadinjad talk at Columbia:

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad speaking at Columbia University today Sept. 24th. spoke to the students and faculty at Columbia University. When asked why he encouraged (I am paraphrasing) research on the "facts" of The Holocaust when the "facts' are already in evidence, Ahmadinejad scoffed at the idea that any research on any subject can be legitimately declared ended at any time. He had a point there although I vehemently disagree with his motives and his known anti-Semitic opinions on Jews, The Holocaust, and Israel. When asked why his country executed homosexuals (reference to the two teenagers in his country executed for purportedly engaging in homosexual behavior) , he responded after not answering the question and focusing on drug offenders in his country that "There are no homosexuals in Iran" and implied at one point that homosexuals and others are microbes that need to be gotten rid of which was met by boos and general disbelief from the audience.

My thinking on the wisdom of bringing the President of Iran to Columbia is a mixed response. On one level, I can see bringing Ahmadinejad to Columbia as almost as bad as inviting Hitler to come speak if he was still alive. On the other hand, I do not want the USA to go to war with Iran and any possibility of decreasing tensions between the countries might prove to be useful to the goal of keeping us from going to war with another country. Ahmadinejad after all does represent Iran, one of the most powerful nations if not the most powerful state in the Middle East. I also feel that the USA has not been fair minded when it comes to the the issue of the Palestinian people and the injustices they have endured, although I am not willing to lay all the blame on Israel or on the Israeli people. The USA and most of the world has some blame to bear here too and so do the Arab nations and Muslim countries that often accerbate the problems in the Middle East trying to divert their own peoples from their real economic plight and political grievances within their own states by focusing on the Jews and Israel.

I also do feel that we are brainwashed in the USA and do not understand the thinking of many people from Islamic nations including the leaders of these nations. Having Ahmadinejad does provide another view that we seldom get. We should be more familiar with not only the major issues we feel are important but also the more subtle issues and beliefs that the Iranian people have. It is true Ahmadinejad with whatever powers he has in his own coutry helps to continue the historic oppression of women in Iran. His views on Gay people are horrific. He along with the clerics of Iran who really rule the country also represents a form of radical religious tyranny in Iran that began or should I say was reintroduced with the overthrow of the Shah of Iran, who also had a lot faults, for one he was a pawn of the USA. but at the least was moving the state toward secularism similar to deceased Saddam Hussein in Iraq.

The other big issue that came up in the Ahmadinejad talk had to do with whether Iran should have nuclear power capabilities and how should they be used or regulated. An issue many do not understand is that Israel is the only country in the Middle East that is allowed by the USA and other great powers to have nuclear weapons and nuclear capability. My personal belief is that Israel should not have nuclear weapons and neither should Iran nor should we the United States of America. But that is not the way it is and a more pragmatic approach is necessary if we want to face reality and not try to have a world that is make believe. The fact of the matter is that the USA and Israel and some of our allies as well as Arab countries that fear a nuclear Iran do not want Iran to have nuclear capability and fear Iran is close to gaining the ability to drop nuclear bombs though most analysts say this is years from happening.
This issue is so important that I think it is one reason we need to engage in some kind of conversation with this very controversial individual, Ahmadinejad. He seems to like the spotlight. Let us hope he likes the spotlight more than he wants War and the ability to cause nuclear destruction on Israel and then in effect cause WWIII.

At the least people in USA need to know who this awful man is. And we need to know both his strengths and his weaknesses and both were evident during Ahmadinejad's talk
today at Columbia. His strength is he is not unintelligent and that he can make some points and has some legitimate ideas. His weaknesses are he is power hungry and dangerous and has already contributed to the deaths of innocents in his own country.
This was clear for all to see and hear.

Sharon Raphael

Monday, September 10, 2007

pics from OLOC S. Ca. Old Lesbian Picnic

Sent: Wed, 12 Sep 2007 8:30 am
Subject: press-telegram article on oloc picnic

There were two great pics in newpaper but not online, one of Mari and Juni and one a wide shot of most of us.

LONG BEACH - They're old, they're lesbians and they refuse to hide.
The women of Old Lesbians Organizing for Change embraced their age and lifestyle on Sunday during the first "Old Lesbian Picnic" in Long Beach's Heartwell Park.

OLOC is a national organization for lesbians ages 60 and older. The group has more than 700 members across the country and works to confront ageism and other discrimination.

"Old is not a dirty word, and neither is lesbian," said Mina Meyer, head of the Long Beach Chapter.

Although OLOC has been around since 1989, the organization never had a Southern California Chapter until Meyer, 67, started the Long Beach chapter in January.

The group, now 35 members strong, signed up 14 new women at the Sunday picnic.

"It's good to know you're not alone," said 62-year-old Christina Vegas, the group's official photographer.

Meyer started the chapter as a support group for aging lesbians looking to find comfort among their peers.

"It's important for old people to be in a community," Meyer said.

During their monthly meetings, OLOC members discuss age-related issues and what it means to be an elderly lesbian in society. The women expressed their


frustration with comments that can been seen as ageist, such as being called "feisty" or "crotchety" when they are outspoken.
"After a certain age, women become invisible in society," said Sharon Raphael, Meyer's partner of 36 years. "If you don't speak out, you lose your voice."

The group also provides solace for women who have lost their long-term partners.

OLOC member Micky Clifton lost her partner of 45 years in 2003.

"There was no one I could talk to," said the 82-year-old Long Beach native.

Clifton, a former professor of kinesiology at Cal State Long Beach, found it difficult to come out to her colleagues when she worked as department chair in the late 1970s.

"In those days, you just didn't talk about it," she said.

Clifton waited until age 78 to finally come out to her friends and family.

The atmosphere at CSULB is considerably more open now, she said.

"Now you see gay student groups and more faculty members who are out," Clifton said.

Raphael and Meyer, who have lived together in Long Beach for the last 20 years, have also seen a change in the city.

"It's a more gay-friendly community," Raphael said.

But some things in society remain the same, they said. Many OLOC members have yet to find acceptance from their families.

Marilyn Taylor, who was formerly married to a man, has four adult children and six grandchildren.

Taylor never talks about her lifestyle with her daughter, and has not come out to her sons.

"The hardest part has been balancing my lifestyle with my children's beliefs," said the Seal Beach resident.

Taylor's parents, who raised her Jewish, have been accepting of her lifestyle.

"When I told my mother about my new partner, the only thing she asked me was, `Is she Jewish?"' she said.

Diane Tiniakoff tried to have positive female influences around the home, gay and straight, while her children were growing up.

Now that her kids are grown, Tiniakoff, a mother of three, enjoys an adult relationship with them.

"I don't run their lives and they don't run mine," she said.

Only on her death bed did Raphael's mother finally accept her daughter's 36-year relationship with Meyer.

"Her last words were, `Enjoy your life,"' she said.

Peer groups and organizations such as OLOC can become family for many elderly lesbians.

"We've created our own world; a positive world," Raphael said.

Society can learn a few things from old lesbians, she added.

"We're survivors," she said. "We've coped with loss of family, partners. We've faced discrimination over the years and have learned how to value ourselves and speak out. Hiding isn't good for anyone."

The Long Beach Chapter of OLOC meets on the second Tuesday of every month. For information, visit its Web site at

Kelly Puente can be reached at or at (562) 499-1305.

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Mina K. Meyer (

Friday, August 10, 2007

LGBT Democratic Presidential Debate on LOGO

Barak Obama saying Goodbye to Melissa Ethridge and Joe Solomonese at LOGO event (AP).

The Democratic Presidential Candidate Debate which was featured on LOGO August 9 yesterday evening represented a milestone in the struggle for Gay Rights in America (USA). Journalist Margaret Carlson moderated the event. I was glad she was chosen as she did a good job crystalizing the issues. I am not convinced the three people interviewing the candidates were the best choices, although I felt Jonathan Capehart who is familiar to me was the most competent questioner. Melissa Ethridge's presence made the experience fun and her very heartfelt question to Hillary about the Clinton administration letting LGBT people down which felt to her "like being shoved over by a bus" was a highpoint of the debate. Having a small audience comprised of handpicked LGBT persons thought to represent a variety of interests in the LGBT community appeared to be one way to represent the community but it felt too staged to me. Each candidate was interviewed by the three questioners individually and in order of when the candidate responded to the LOGO request to appear on LOGO. In spite of my splitting hairs on this aspect of the debate, the discussion did prove to be interesting and entertaining.

I came away from the debate more confused then ever about my position in regard to Hillary Clinton. The way she defended her husband's administration support of DOMA(Defensse of Marriage Act) was really insulting. Clinton had me thinking for a minute that DOMA was a good tactic to keep the Right Wing at bay. I don't really think looking back on that period in history that putting in a right wing solution to keep a more right wing solution from happening is the way any Democrat should go for any reason, at any time.

Dennis Kucinich was perfect as usual in all his responses and I suspect will gain a good bit of support from the non pragmatic segment of the LGBT community that watched LOGO or have knowledge of Kucinich from other arenas. Only the two marginal candidates Mike Gravel and Kucinich support Gay Marriage. The others support some version of Civil Unions. I felt Barak Obama's support of Civil Union was a bit more expansive on the federal level than Hillary's version as she is still talking about keeping DOMA but changing one part of it which I think just might affect our ability to get our mates social security.

John Edwards had a lot information about our community. He was put on the spot by Ethridge about a statement associated with him about his comfort level with Gays. He denied the account and said it was not true. He admitted he had made some mistakes in his defense of himself for not supporting Gay Marriage. He had at one time said his religion was the reason he was against it. Now he disavows that reason as a poor one given he is for separation of Church and State. Hillary came off as very real and direct in her answers. She admitted (paraphrasing) that she could not give us everything we may want but that she would be a good advocate for our cause and make progress on our behalf.

Barak Obama approaches his answers like a college professor which I am. I like him but he is not down to earth enough for me. Perhaps, I miss the fiery intenseness of a Jesse Jackson when he was running for office. I hate it when he says "Look" as a precedent to an answer. I might feel differently if I saw him in person. I hear he can be quite charismatic. I am too afraid he will be co-opted or get run over by his advisers. On the other hand, he does seem more to the left than Hillary on LGBT issues and he seems good on the issue of transparency unlike Hillary who likes to keep everything so close to the cuff and who is acting already so Presidential.

Governor Richardson (New Mexico) was unprepared for some of the questions particularly the setup question that is asked over and over at Gay events "Do you believe Gayness is biological or a choice? I so hate that question. The Governor stupidly said " a choice" but went on to say that he doesn't see Gay peoplel that way, in categories, but as people which wasn't really a half bad answer. Personally, I think some people in the LGBT did make a choice and many others had no choice. I think some feminists made a choice but that is neither here nor there. Certain elements think there can be only one answer and that is we are born that way because if we say choice the right wing and fundamentalists will then say then choose to change and I say why should we not have a choice. As a social scientist who knows nothing has been proved or ever will be proved on the nature/nurture question because the reality is sexual orientation is a complex process involving lots of twists and turns on both ends of the spectrum.

I wish Melissa had not asked the Governor a question about some parasite in New Mexico, that was really just plain silly. Maybe she was trying to put Richardson at ease, trying to relate to him. Interesting that Chris Dodd and Joe Biden were not at the event. Perhaps, too afraid they would come out one down as did Richardson.

Who will I vote for in the primary? Probably Kucinich unless that deep need to go for a woman kicks in on me in the final rounds. Who knows. At least all of the major candidates seem like mostly decent folk who will try their best to move us down the goal line, not far enough, perhaps but farther than I ever dreamed about.

by Sharon Raphael
Long Beach, Ca.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Nothing Changes

The War in Iraq goes on. Nothing Changes.
People in Darfur are dying. Nothing Changes.
Paris Hilton is big news. Nothing Changes.
Scooter Libby is sentenced. Nothing Changes.
Cheney Keeps his Job. Nothing Changes.
People Deny the Holocaust. Nothing Changes.
Israel and the USA build Walls to keep people out. Nothing Changes.
The Public Says to Bush "Get out of Iraq" Nothing Changes.
The Public Says to Congress "Get out of Iraq". Nothing Changes.
Solar Warming Is Killling Us. Will Nothing Change or Will Change = Nothing?

Sharon Raphael

Monday, June 04, 2007

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Watch what is described below.

Andrew Card, former top aid and assistant to Bush was booed loudly at U Mass in Amherst upon being awarded an Honorary Doctoral Degree. Sometimes people do get their just rewards for their evil doing. Students raised placards citing Card's immoral support of the War. Hope Cindy Sheehan gets to see this video. Perhaps, there is more brewing beneath the surface than those of us who hate this war and the Bush years than we realize.


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Cindy Sheehan speaks before quitting her anti-Iraq War Movement

It is painful to read what Cindy Sheehan, considered to be the human face of the anti-Iraq War Peace Movement, has to say about quitting her role as an activist in her campaign to end the War that cost her son his life. I think Sheehan gets credit for bringing much awareness to the general public about Bush and Cheney and others wrongheaded decision to initiate and continue this destructive War that has cost so many civilian and military lives on all sides. Her words are very powerful. She has lost faith in the people's ability or desire to change the course of the war or pretty much anything else calling the U.S.A. "a fascist corporate wasteland" that tells its citizenry "even what to think". She blames the Democrats for having no spine in the struggle and for by impllication using its power and influence to try to silence her for speaking out and trying to make them change and move in a more bold direction against the War. I wonder what you think abut her leaving the movement and what you think about her dislillusionment with both the system and the public she tried to rally to her cause? Many did follow but not enough, in my opinion. I wonder if she saw the War would come to an end on Bush's terms not anyone else's timeline no matter what she did or said.

Sharon Raphael

d:2007-05-29 10:44:39
Anti-War Mom Gives Up on Peace Movement
FORT WORTH, Texas (May 29) - Cindy Sheehan, the soldier's mother who galvanized an anti-war movement with her monthlong protest outside President Bush 's ranch, says she's done being the public face of the movement.

'...To Regain Some of What I Have Lost'
Sheehan's Post:
'My Resignation Letter'

From the Blog:
'Remember the Loved Ones'

Talk About It: Post Thoughts
"I've been wondering why I'm killing myself and wondering why the Democrats caved in to George Bush," Sheehan told The Associated Press by phone Tuesday while driving from her property in Crawford to the airport, where she planned to return to her native California.

"I'm going home for awhile to try and be normal," she said.

In what she described as a "resignation letter," Sheehan wrote in her online diary on the "Daily Kos" blog: "Good-bye America ... you are not the country that I love and I finally realized no matter how much I sacrifice, I can't make you be that country unless you want it.

"It's up to you now."

Sheehan began a grass roots peace movement in August 2005 when she set up camp outside the Bush ranch for 26 days, asking to talk with the President about the death of her son, Army Spc. Casey Sheehan. Casey Sheehan was 24 when he was killed in an ambush in Baghdad .

Cindy Sheehan started her protest small, but it quickly drew national attention. Over the following two years, she drew huge crowds as she spoke at protest events, but she also drew a great deal of criticism.

"I have endured a lot of smear and hatred since Casey was killed and especially since I became the so-called "Face" of the American anti-war movement," Sheehan wrote in the diary.

On Memorial Day, she came to some "heartbreaking conclusions," she wrote.

When she had first taken on Bush, Sheehan was a darling of the liberal left. "However, when I started to hold the Democratic Party to the same standards that I held the Republican Party, support for my cause started to erode and the 'left' started labeling me with the same slurs that the right used," she wrote.

"I guess no one paid attention to me when I said that the issue of peace and people dying for no reason is not a matter of 'right or left', but 'right and wrong,'" the diary says.

Sheehan criticized "blind party loyalty" as a danger, no matter which side it involved, and said the current two-party system is "corrupt" and "rapidly descending into with nary a check or balance: a fascist corporate wasteland."

Sheehan said she had sacrificed a 29-year marriage and endured threats to put all her energy into stopping the war. What she found, she wrote, was a movement "that often puts personal egos above peace and human life."

But she said the most devastating conclusion she had reached "was that Casey did indeed die for nothing ... killed by his own country which is beholden to and run by a war machine that even controls what we think".

"Casey died for a country which cares more about who will be the next American Idol than how many people will be killed in the next few months while Democrats and Republicans play politics with human lives," she wrote. It is so painful to me to know that I bought into this system for so many years and Casey paid the price for that allegiance. I failed my boy and that hurts the most."

"I am going to take whatever I have left and go home," Sheehan wrote.

"Camp Casey has served its purpose. It's for sale. Anyone want to buy five beautiful acres in Crawford, Texas?"

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Al Gore: If He Runs and If He Did Win

As someone who votes Democratic (but who often feels I should be voting for a party or person more liberal or left of mainstream Democrat politics), I would like to offer my comments on Al Gore's possible entrance into the Democratic candidates' race for President. Al Gore strikes me as a decent man who should have been our President if not for the interference of our very flawed Supreme Court and Al Gore himself who stated recently that he did not want the American people to lose confidence in their government which was the reason he did not contest the election results.(I am paraphrasing what I heard some reporter mention Gore wrote.) I am not sure I understand his reasoning on this; however, if Hillary somehow flounders and Gore actually enters the race, picking up speed, I think many people would be more than happy to cast their vote for Gore feeling he would be getting "what he was owed" meaning he should have been the President anyway not G. W. Bush.

Many of us also know Gore was against going into Iraq in the first place and, in addition, his work to educate people and get us to fight against Global Warming is more than admirable as Gore may soon receive a Nobel Peace Prize for that work. He already has an Oscar for his blockbuster movie,"An Inconvenient Truth", probably the first of its kind to receive such an award on a movie that showed facts and figures and purely science based. I feel Al Gore may be slightly more liberal than Clinton or Obama, the frontrunners; yet in terms of public opinion he has the experience as a former very active Vice-President to be seen as a very solid contender both in terms of international and at home expertise. The real question this time is does Gore have "the stomach" to be President. He may be "too moral" and also "in a contradictory sense "too easily compromised" for the job. There is no way Gore could possibly go out full force against global warming as President without losing certain "entrenched interests"both business and labor eventhough both groups are talking Pro environment of late; thus if Gore were to compromise down the line, many would be very disappointed in him. Gore would go down a notch in world opinion no longer an enviromental hero but as a "cowardly compromiser". I hope I would be wrong as it may be that people begin to realize it is almost too late already to save our planet. I hope I would be wrong but it seems that the Democrats have let us down innumerablel times when it comes to the bottomline on "moral issues" i.e. The Environment, The Iraq War, and Gay Marriage. By the way, neither Gore nor Clinton support Gay Marriage at least not on the record.

On the positive side, The Dems do seem to have a great caste of characters running. The Dems also have an advantage over the Republican contestants in the race-better issues. Giuliani is running on fear mongering, McCain has thrown his lot in with the already "lost cause" "and wrong way" George W., Romney is just a pretty face trying to please the corrupt and the so called "moral non-majority", and that actor guy, Thompson, who may run has no steam or traction yet. I am not impressed. The Dems are another story. Hillary's story is still to be written and as far as I can tell she is the most poised and articulate when the going gets tough. It has always been like this, for a woman to be a boss, she has to be tough as nails and we usually don't like it; yet it can be good for us. When it gets down to the wire, I wonder how I really would want to caste my vote. For a woman tough as nails but with great focus and common sense, for a man who wants to save the world but probably can't. This poses an interesting dilemma that probably will not come to pass.

May the Best Dem Win Whoever That Is!!!!

Sharon Raphael

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Letter re Reggie for Janice Hahn

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Thu, 24 May 2007 11:37 pm
Subject: Reggie (alligator)

Ms. Chesla Courtney for Janice Hahn,

I just saw the news channel that showed where Reggie has been placed inside the LA Zoo.I was sorry to see the alligator confined to such a sterile indoor (without sunlight) kind of place, looked like a prison. Even though it is temporary I think it is wrong. I am hoping Councilperson Hahn can put pressure on the Zoo to change this situation. I have a blog where I have mentioned Reggie numerous times and will begin a dialogue on my blog ( will also contact others) about Reggie and his or her future fate. Please let me know if your office and Ms. Hahn can do anything about where Reggie is to be housed to make it more desirable. Some sunlight and grass and a pond might help. I know there are homeless people in LA and others with less than Reggie has at the moment but I still think Reggie did help put Lake Machado on the map and Ms. Hahn in the spotlight. Please help or elucidate me about the real facts if my eyes or the media are deceiving me.

Sharon Raphael, Professsor Emeritus, CSUDH
Long Beach, Ca.

Response from Councilperson Janice Hahn's OFFice
-----Original Message-----
From: Courtney Chesla
Sent: Fri, 25 May 2007 10:10 am
Subject: Re: Reggie (alligator)

Hi Sharon.

We are checking on his living conditions but the vets at the zoo are the

experts. I havent been back to the space myself, but will see if there is

light, etc.

Thanks for your concerns.


Courtney Chesla Torres

Deputy Chief of Staff

Councilwoman Janice Hahn

City of Los Angeles


213/626-5431 (fax)

AOL now offers free email to everyone. Find out more about what's free from AOL at

Reggie came on land and was captured

Reggie the alligator's two years of freedom ended this afternoon when the coldblooded fugitive left the chilly waters of Lake Machado and was taken into custody on the shore.

"The 7-foot alligator was taken to the Los Angeles Zoo, where he will be quarantined for up to 60 days to make sure he isn't carrying any diseases.

Still, by all appearances, "he's in good shape," said Karen Knipscheer, a spokeswoman for the city's Animal Services Department."

The capture came as experts from Australia were meeting with Los Angeles City Councilwoman Janice Hahn and her aides on how to capture the alligator, which had been spotted recently in the lake near the Harbor Freeway in Harbor City.

Correction: Jan Hahn was not meeting with experts from Australia. They were coming from Australia for a meeting next week. The meeting was with her own county people when they heard Reggie was in the process of being captured which had been prearranged as an area was fenced in with chicken as bait which they expected Reggie to come and get and he/she did. Then the gate closed automatically. In my opinion, it appeared Reggie was coming on land more and more and that would have been dangerous for the public; therefore we shouldl be relieved all is okay and Reggie will be okay too I am sure with all this hullbaloo with his/her celebrity I assume Reggie will be fine though not as free as she/he was at Lake Machado and no longer feeding our fantasies about an animal rebel "beating the odds". "May Reggie thrive and live long and in relative peace". "Good Luck, Reggie, I hope you are a Regina".

Reggie The alligator Captured May 24, 07

Reggie the alligator's nearly two year saga is over. He was captured this afternoon by county workers and firefighters at Lake Machado in Harbor City then immediately taken to LA Zoo to be examined by zoo vets and others. Let us only hope this alligator who became such a favorite by folks in the area and beyond is okay and will spend his future days in as decent an environemnt as Ruby the Elephant has. I wonder if the people who captured him knew anything about capturing alligators. How did they do it?

Sharon Raphael

UPDATE: Janice Hahn says the gator was wrestled by three Parks & Rec employees who wrapped duct tape around Reggie's snout and placed a t-shirt over his eyes while the poor gator hissed. He is reported to be 7 or 8 feet long, or possibly wide, but that wide part is doubtful. CBS 2 shows Reggie being carried in to quarantine near the zoo.

reported by JWilliams

"Reggie" the Elusive Lake Machado Alligator Captured
Last Edited: Thursday, 24 May 2007, 4:12 PM PDT
Created: Thursday, 24 May 2007, 4:12 PM PDT ABC News

Reggie has returned after disappearing for nearly two years.
Reggie the alligator has been captured. At 3:27 p.m., park rangers wrestled with an alligator at Lake Machado, where Reggie was believed to be living since 2005 when his owners dumped him in the murky lagoon because he had outgrown his tank.

The elusive, the 7-foot alligator has been spotted several times over the last two years lurking in Lake Machado. He will now be moved to Los Angeles
Zoo, Councilwoman Janice Hahn said.

Firefighters were called to help secure the alligator Thursday, said d'Lisa Davies of the city fire department. She said it's not yet confirmed the
animal is Reggie, but Hahn said she recognized him as Reggie.

Ruby with new friends. She is back to back with Lulu. "Happiness!!"

photo by Jan Clark official photographer from PAWS (The Wildlife Refuge)

Ruby, 46 year old elephant used to live at the LA Zoo where she lived in "cramped quarters". (and before that Ruby was in the circus) Now she is living in a very large wildlife sanctuary run by PAWS, A wildlife sanctuary. Ruby even has her ownjacuzzi, the company of other African elephants, great staff as she also had at the LA Zoo, and lots of space to roam and play. The staff from the LA Zoo accompanied Ruby to her new living arrangement to help her make the adjustment. Ruby has already seemed to adjust to her new home and elephant friends.She has lost her long time female conpanion at the LA Zoo a few years ago so this is truly wonderful as she has a new friend now named Lulu who I am told is thrilled also to have Ruby. What a great story!

Sometimes I get the feeling people care more about animals than they do fellow humans. We should help all species survive including ourselves. Elephants and other animals do not kill for pleasure nor do they kill what they do not need for food. Humans engage in endless wars, involve themselves in sadistic relationships with other humans sometimes within their own families. We could learn from these elephants how to behave. Ruby never even met these elephants before and they are already getting along marvelously. True Ruby did not get along with the Asian elephants at the zoo in Tennesee as well; but, in any case, she did not kill any one of them nor did they kill her. So perhaps, I can only stretch this analogy so far. But still....