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)

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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....