AVERY HART: The Pride of the26th District-A Poem for ELECTION DAY 11/08/05





GO AVERY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



">Link As if being against Roe VS Wade weren't enough, Judge Samuel Alito has voted to loosen the restrictions on machine guns.

You know, if this Alito guy is all he's jacked up to be, we are in big touble....not only will we have to go to an illegal abortionist should we need one, but we will have to go armed to the teeth in order to fight off the uzis and machine guns that will be on the streets; Gays will probably have to step back into the closet and minorities will have to "mind their manners". Jeez, the way it's going, I wont be surprised if the "new" Supreme Court" finds a way to rid us of the maxim, "innocent, until proven guilty" and will find many ways to RE-ATTACH Church and State. I believe that this country is going to hell in a basket and it might be a very steep and long way to climb back up.

So, I once again sent my thirty bucks
to StoptheNRA.com because I truly detest the NRA and all it stands for. I have signed the petitions and sent the letters telling our Senators and representatives to look carefully at Alito's so called paper trail and I guess to ultimately vote against him, from all that we are learning or already know about him.
I'm afraid all this politicking is making me into a very snarly and cranky person and as far as I'm concerned if we could Stop the NRA and get Tomlinson and all his psycho-conservative goons out of Public TV and Radio http://www.freepress.net/action/cpbsweep and take Cheney down with "Scooter" Libby, and while we're at it, push Bush aside with Karl Rove..., then, maybe THEN I will regain my sweet composure and open-minded stance. But for now, I am mad and I'm not going to take it any more. Well, I guess I am going to take it more, but I must vent now and again and I must ask you to join me in at least some of these activities to THROW THE BUMS OUT (and that includes the newest bum, Samual A. Alito).


How My Blog Was Hatched or How a Blogger's Blog Begins

Something, this evening, brought me back to the site of one of my favorite blogs called The Sheila Varieations. After perusing her recent posts, I started looking for those that had gotten my attention before and so I remembered that it was in fact, a post on Sheila's blog that was the very inspiration for my own Myriad of Musings. I can not remember how it was that I stumbled upon her blog, but I did and it totally captured my imagination and led me to hatch one of my own.

In tribute to Sheila and her blog and by way of explanation for my own, I present Sheila's (also known as Red's) post of September 17, 2004, as well as my comments that followed.

September 17, 2004
Gladys, you're all right
Just now:
Standing in line at the post office. Very very long line.
A woman asked me if I knew what time it was. I told her. She started talking to me.
Normally, in New York, when someone gets all chatty with you, it is because they are lost, desperately lonely, or mentally ill.
This was not how it was with Gladys (I found out her name at the end). As the conversation flowed (and it did, man, it just flowed) I thought: This could, conceivably, go on forever. And that wouldn't be too bad a thing. It was a GREAT conversation. Very very deep.
Gladys. I may never see her again. But I won't forget her.
She was very petite, and Latin-looking. Obviously bi-lingual, she had a bit of an accent. A beautiful face. Smooth tan skin. She had her black hair slicked across the top of her head, and then it popped out into a curly ponytail in the back. She was young, she almost looked like a teenager. She obviously was from a rough background. Do not ask me how I know, but I just know. You can tell these things.
It's fresh in my mind, so let me just re-create the conversation, as it occurred:
Gladys: "Excuse me, do you have the time?"
Me: "It's blah blah blah."
Gladys: "Oh, thank you. I'm on a break." Pause. "I go to school across the street."
"Oh ... in my building, I think? There's some kind of school on the 2nd floor."
"Actually, that's the administrative offices. The school itself is on the 3rd."
"What kind of school is it?"
"They train people to be medical assistants. That's one of their programs, anyway."
"Is that what you're doing?"
"Yes. They also have other programs ... They train people to be private detectives, they teach people to run laboratories, stuff like that."
"Private detectives ... really? And so ... how long is the program?"
"My program is 9 months long. I have 3 months to go."
"Once you're done, do they place you?"
"Well, then we can apply for internships, and if they like you at the internships, they might hire you. Or - the school will help you get a job. But I don't really want the school to do it for me. I'd rather do the research on jobs on my own, and the kind of internships that would interest me - so that - if they do offer me a job, I would actually want to work there. Know what I mean?"
"Sure. Sounds like a really good program. Do you like it?"
"It's all right. I mean, I think that the program should really reach out more to people like me - people with lower incomes, or no income - They should do outreach, stuff like that, because that's the people who are really looking to make changes in their lives, people who want to ... I guess progress is the word I want. You know? I want to progress. I started out on the bottom, but I want to better myself, and make a better life for myself. This program is perfect for people like me. But they don't advertise, they don't do outreach programs up in the Bronx, where I live, and they really should. People who already have good jobs, and who have money, aren't gonna want to take this program. But whatever."
I joked. "Maybe you should move into the administrative offices. Whip their business into shape."
She laughed. Sharp as a whip, this Gladys. We are standing in the post office, and this perfect stranger is telling me about how she wants to "better herself".
Gladys went on. "I mean, I'm 24 years old. I have a 6 year old son. So obviously, I've made some mistakes in my life. I did some things too soon. And a lot of my friends are the same way, you know? Don't get me wrong, when I was 22, 23, I spent a lot of time looking at myself in the mirror, feeling sorry for myself. 'I can't believe I'm 22 and I'm such a loser!' Stuff like that. But then I realized - wait a minute. Yeah, I've made mistakes..."
"Who hasn't?"
"Exactly! Who hasn't! And you can sit around dwelling on it, or you can pick yourself up, and try to make something out of your life. That's what I am trying to do. It's hard, though, because a lot of the girls in my program are really young - and ... I mean, they come into classes like this--" (Gladys then did a perfect imitation of young hip-hop tough-girl posing) "They snap their gum, they don't talk right, and they're just ..."
"They sound immature."
"Yeah! They're totally immature! They think that stuff should just be given to them, you know what I mean? And, sorry, but they're totally ignorant. Like - I mean ... with everything going on in the world right now ... and not even just the world ... just in our city ... how can you not take stuff seriously? How can you not get that we don't have a lot of time on this earth, and you need to work hard?"
"I so hear what you're saying." (In case you haven't guessed, I DEEPLY loved this girl by this point, and wanted her to keep talking forever.)
She went on. "I try to tell that to my friends. I tell them that we are not our mistakes. Mistakes are things that happen, choices we made ... and we can either moan about it, or we can stand up again."
I said, "And you have a 6 year old son. That's wonderful."
"I don't know about that! I'm exhausted all the time."
"Well, I'm a lot older than you, and I don't have kids."
She burst out laughing. "You're lucky!"
"I see what you mean - it's a grass is always greener thing - but I'm telling you, that biological clock is a real thing!"
"Did you not want to have kids, or...?"
"Guess I just haven't met the right guy yet. I do want kids."
She laughed again. "I don't want anymore."
"But see? That's great! You are DONE! When you're in your 30s, and 40s - you won't have little kids running around, you'll have more freedom. But if I have a kid now, I'm gonna be schlepping them around well into my 50s."
She said, "It's weird - having a kid. It's really scary. Especially now." (I was getting the sense that Gladys was not - to use Rebecca West's term for females only interested in their private concerns - an "idiot". She was well-informed. She continued to reference "especially now", "in a world like ours," "these days" ...)
I said, "I can't even imagine."
She said, "I mean, my God, when that thing happened in Russia ... I just ... my son's school started the next day and I was terrified to take him."
"Oh, God."
"And my friends were all like, 'Oh, it could never happen here!'"
She and I then spoke in unison. Loudly. As though speaking to her group of idiot friends: "YOU HAVE NO IDEA!!"
Gladys said, "How could they think that? Especially now ... especially in this city ... how could they not think that something like that could happen?"
We were now approaching the end of the line.
I said to her, "You know, I have a feeling you're going to do really well in your life."
She can't see it now. Of course she can't. She's in the middle of it! She's just trying to survive right now.
She rolled her eyes, sighed, said something like, "I gotta do SOMETHING, you know?"
I said, "You're gonna do fine. I can tell."
The next service window was called. I held out my hand to her. "I'm Sheila."
She shook my hand. "I'm Gladys."
"Nice to meet you."
"You too, Sheila."
And that was that.
But damn. I really feel like I just met someone completely SUBSTANTIAL. "We are not our mistakes." 24 year old girl.
Talking to her was the random gift of the day.
Posted by sheila TrackBack


I am so glad I stopped to read this story. Gladys does sound like a person who despite all odds, will make it in this world. But, the person who really stood out for me, was you, Sheila. That you responded to a stranger who clearly had a lot on her mind and was open enough to express it, by reinforcing her in an almost therapeutic way, speaks so well of the listener. Another person may have gone off on their own thing and consequently missed so much. My cudos are to you. Both of you, Gladys and Sheila, are people I would want to know. Sherril
Posted by: Sherril at September 21, 2004 12:11 PM

I am resending the message that I sent an hour or so ago. I am very excited that I just set up my own personal BLOG. I didn't even know what blog meant about four months ago, so I am moving along well in this cyber-world. I am uncertain if my other messages got published since I did not have an URL address. So, here again is the message and my new address: (...and here I had repeated the comment above...) http://sherrilsmyriadofmusings.blogspot.com/


Bipartisan Issues & My Issue of the Day


Sometimes I think I should just devote myself to one "cause" and put all my efforts and donations into it, but I feel passionately about so many of them, it's hard for me to single one out. For today, however, I have done just that. I got snail mail from the Brady Campaign www.bradycampaign.org, www.millionmommarch.org and was about to pitch it into the recycling bag, when I decided instead to open it. I doubt that I will be able to keep this one as my only focus for long, but for the moment, it is. I think perhaps it, like the issue of Embryonic Stem Cell Research http://stemcells.nih.gov/info/basics/basics3.asp and it can and should be a bipartisan issues.

And, there is actually some good news. So, here's the GOOD NEWS about my issue of the day: sensible gun laws.

Despite intensive lobbying and threats by the NRA, the governor of Illinois signed SB1333 which requires that people who buy guns at gun shows submit to the same Brady background checks as those who buy from authorized gun retailers. This seems like it is a no-brainer, but apparently gun shows don't usually have to abide by laws....strange, huh?

The Brady campaign plans to put up billboards at Miami Int'l Airport and distribute leaflets, as well as major newspapers Warning Visitors about the Risks of Visiting Florida after the "Shoot First" law takes effect, October 1st. http://www.shootfirstlaw.org/ And the last bit of good news is that they are working on getting bills passed in CA that would make it easier for police to trace crime guns and bullets by stamping a distinguishing serial number onto a cartridge when it is fired and require manufactureers to stamp bullets sold in CA with an ID number that police can trace to the store where the ammo was sold. Again, this seems to me as common sense. I have a feeling it is not so for the NRA. http://www.bradycampaign.org/press/release.php?Release=661

This is my kind of BRADY BUNCH!!!!!

The sad part is that when I did a Yahoo search on this issue, the majority of hits were by those against this law, those who hold GUNS and rights of hunters and gun owners and of course, the NRA way, way above the safety and well being of United States citizens, most especially the children. Instead they are proud to promote pictures of cute little children wearing Camouflage Clothing and toting Guns. Where is the sanity???

So, for now....That's my Issue of the Day.

"If by a liberal they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people- their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, their civil liberties.. If that is what they mean by a "liberal" then I am proud to be a liberal. ": John F. Kennedy


My Tribute to New Orleans - Revisited

In December of 2001, I took my daughter Rachel with me for a New Orleans adventure.So, I am revisiting the email I sent out to friends and family, after Rachel and I returned in January of 2002. For those of you who know the city, I hope it will serve to refresh wonderful memories, and for those who were not privileged to get to New Orleans, I hope it will give you a second hand appreciation of this most unique and astonishing city.


Laissez les Bon Temps Rouler!" MAY THE GOOD TIMES ROLL

New Orleans Revisited can be viewed at Photos Following My Footsteps


Interested in Who Will Be the Next NJ Governor?

To get to the "CORZINE CONNECTION" click on the Title above.

I invite you to go to the Corzine Connection blog http://corzineconnection.com/story/2005/6/15/183543/705?
if you are at all interested in making the best choice as to who will be the next Governor of NJ. I truly believe that Corzine will keep the best interests of New Jersey and its citizens in mind as he governs and will use his considerable intellect and compassion to do so. Please take a good look. If you agree or disagree, speak up and let's "discourse"


NNYC from Atop Metropolitan Museum of Art

New York City...among the greatest of cities in the world, as seen from atop the Metropolitan Museum of Art. February, 2005 - Posted by Hello

I come matching the colorful spirit of the day... Posted by Hello

Impact of the Gates on NYC

Near the end of February 2005, I spent the day walking around Central Park in NYC, surrounded by varying shades of saffron and orange and watching the light change and glimmer as the sun played with these pieces of fabric. The biggest delight was in being amongst New Yorkers and others who were in the City to see this orange phenomenon, a gift given the city by the artists who made them, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, who had no other agenda but to give delight to the people of New York City. And according to the cab driver who took me back to Port Authority, The Gates did just that. He said he had not seen so many smiling people in a long, long time. He said he's going to miss The Gates when they come down in just a few days and he's going to miss the atmosphere they helped create. What a colorful and wondrous day!

By the way...there were over 4 million visitors to NYC while The Gates were up and generated an estimated $254 million in economic activity.



I am a person with progressive, dare I use the L word,
beliefs. Let's say you are a person with
beliefs. Let's talk about the A word,
. Now, if we want to stay friends or even be able to be civilized with one another, we probably have to avoid that topic, right? Wrong! I think there are some things we can all agree on. What we would like to see less of in this country is the need for abortion. What we would like to see more of is less unwanted pregnancies in the first place. Can we agree on that? If we can, and I think many reasonable, thoughtful people do, then perhaps we can find solutions instead of making bigger problems by trying to change the Constitution.

The important thing is to find common ground and there has been a bill proposed in the Senate that does just that. The link above will take you to a site explaining this act, called the Prevention First Act (S.20). I went to the website of the Senate where you can track bills
and found that this one has not as yet been sent up in written form. I urge people to contact their senators and bring this to the forefront. I think we would be a better country....that we could combine our ideas and efforts, find middle ground, and instead of being red or blue, why not become purple?


The Stanley Hotel

Taken from The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado, where Stanley Kubrick's, "The Shining" was filmed. Posted by Hello


The Glass Menagerie...But Get There Quick!!


I love theater, both straight plays and musicals. I have seen a lot of good theater in the last few years and though it's way too expensive, it is a worthwhile way to spend money, at least for me. So, last Wednesday I took myself to see, The Glass Menagerie The link tells you about the performances. What I will tell you is that I had forgotten, or perhaps I never knew, how insightful Tennessee Williams was regarding relationships, especially with "mom" or as "mom". Jessica Lange is truly superb. I believe it is ending soon, so catch it while you can.



Join Us To Celebrate Corzines's Campaign for Governor


I don't get too many visitors to my blog, but if you are here, we would love for you to join us for this event Tues. June 7 at 7 PM. Corzine is a forceful, progressive, intelligent, hard working, generous person who has something many candidates don't and that is compassion (as per his stand on Darfur). So click here to get the details and join us.




The following is from Nancy Keenan, President, NARAL Pro-Choice America

Becky's Story...

I'd like to share my personal experience at the Pamida Pharmacy on Saturday, April 16th, 2005.

I walked up to a busy counter with a prescription for two medications. The pharmacist took the note and told me she'd fill one medication, but I'd have to come back on Monday to have the birth control filled by the other pharmacist. I verbally questioned this, because she herself was a pharmacist. Her answer was "for moral reasons I will not fill a birth control prescription."

I challenged the pharmacist by telling her, "It's a valid medical prescription signed by a medical doctor. Your other customers are receiving service. I shouldn't have to come back Monday when I'm here now." I was refused a second time on the same grounds and told to try another pharmacy. My response, "No, my insurance information is here and this is where I come to get my prescriptions." I was refused a third time. When I asked her to show me written documentation that would give her a legal right to refuse, she had nothing to show me.

Correspondence with the Pamida pharmacist manager was most disturbing. I was again told to come back when the other pharmacist was working or to follow a sticker on the prescription that instructs the patient to call in their refill a week ahead of time. Although they upheld the actions of their pharmacist, I was not told anything regarding their policy on the issue or given any evidence that the pharmacist acted within her legal right.

We are constantly being confronted with such emotionally charged issues as abortion, family welfare, domestic abuse, etc. It seems very contradictory to refuse a product whose absence will only make these issues more volatile.

Dear Sherril,

Just a few weeks ago, Becky P. became only the latest in a string of women who've had their birth control prescriptions refused by anti-choice pharmacies.

It's no surprise that our opponents fight women's access to abortion. But now anti-choice pressure groups are even encouraging pharmacists to refuse birth control to women like Becky.

When this happened to her, Becky -- like most of the women affected by this disturbing and growing trend -- had no idea if her pharmacy's refusal was legal, no idea of how to get her prescription filled, and no idea how she might fight back.

Thankfully, Becky's tenacity led her to call us and start her own campaign to fight back. But many more women are forced to simply endure this degrading experience because they do not know their options. Even worse, women in towns with only one pharmacy can't even get their prescriptions filled elsewhere -- leaving them with no options and no birth control pills.

We've asked those who oppose a woman's right to choose to work with us where we might have common ground -- by improving access to birth control. Becky's story and the experiences of countless other women tell me that we have a long way to go.

We can't let this stand. When a woman and her doctor decide that a birth control prescription is in her best interest, a third party has no right to override that decision. Women need someone on their side. Click here to help us keep up the fight!

We've launched a nationwide campaign to fight this anti-choice ploy and protect a woman's right to have her birth control prescriptions filled without harassment. With your help, we can make sure every woman who faces this situation knows her rights and knows how she can fight back.

You can help us make sure this work keeps going strong - click here to help us: (SEE LINK ABOVE)https://secure.ga3.org/02/pharmacies/nEda7Nf51tRIM?

Put pressure on national pharmacy chains.
Raise awareness online and through demonstrations at pharmacies across the country.
Pass laws at the state and federal levels to guarantee that no woman is turned away.
Protect a woman's right to choose on all levels!
Becky shared her story in order to do what she can to fight back -- thank you for reading her story. We are here to help people like Becky fight back, but we depend on the generous support of people like you to keep moving forward -- if you can, click here and make a gift to keep efforts like these going strong.
Nancy Keenan
President, NARAL Pro-Choice America

Sherril here, again. I have an idea and would appreciate feedback. When pharmacies are identified as in any way refusing to fill prescriptions for women's birth control, an immediate protest outside the pharmacy should be set up. As part of this protest, some of the signs should read: IN FAIRNESS NO MORE CONDOMS SHOULD BE SOLD AT THIS PHARMACY FOR AS LONG AS WOMEN'S BIRTH CONTROL IS DENIED.

If anyone knows of pharmacies refusing birth control scripts, please let me know name, location and as much other information as possible. I will be happy to head up this campaign. If you want to join me and have other ideas, let me know.


The Religious Right

My hat is off to Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojewich, who has ordered Illinois pharmacies that stock the morning-after pill to fill all prescriptions for it.http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/19/national/19pill.html?th&emc=th Are we going to allow the fanatical religious right of this country to dictate to us what medicines we can and can not use? If we continue to allow Bill Frist to get his way, we are going to end up very much like the society in Margaret Atwood's book, "The Handmaid's Tale". Take a look at the book, read it and see if what is happening now doesn't begin to look a little like that society. Let me know if you agree and also what you thought of the book. http://endeavor.med.nyu.edu/lit-med/lit-med-db/webdocs/webdescrips/atwood157-des-.html




I have not posted here for a very long time because I've been busy writing emails about politics and other things I care about and forwarding them to people on my email lists. Now, I will put me ruminations here and see what comes up. This government of ours has been making me mad for a long time, but every once in a while something comes to my attention that is even more unbearable than the other issues. That issue for me right now is concerning Pharmacies and how persists are being allowed to force their religious beliefs on their customers. You can see the particulars at the link above. As a friend of mine who is a retired Pharmacist said, what's next? "Will it be physicians who will not treat a patient who is bleeding to death because the patient is a physician who has performed abortions, or even worse is merely pro-abortion? Alternatively, if a patient or a prescribing physician doesn't agree with the pharmacist's religious views on abortion, can he decide not to fill any prescription for that patient, even if it is not a contraceptive? In fact, why shouldn't pharmacists control all drugs in this country and decide who is to get what based upon the pharmacists religious beliefs. There are individuals who believe that killing any living thing, even an ant, is immoral. Therefore, can a pharmacist with such a belief refuse to dispense antibiotics because they kill bacteria?" My question is this. Isn't this illegal? Can't a patient or prescribing physican sue the Pharmacist or the Pharmacy for not filling a perfecly legal prescription? If there are any legal people out there, please do enlighten me. Oh, and one more thing. Here is the auto-response email that Walmart, one of the guilty Pharmacies, sent me in response to my complaint about the issue.

Dear Valued Customer,Thank you for contacting us at Walmart.com regarding women?s prescriptions for birth control. Your comments and concerns are very important to us as we strive to meet your needs. Wal-Mart does not carry emergency contraceptives. Our pharmacists may decline to fill a prescription based on personal convictions. However, they must find another pharmacist, either at Wal-Mart or another pharmacy, who can assist you by filling your prescription.Again, we thank you for your comments regarding this issue.Sincerely,Custo



I like many Americans found myself involved in politcs, in a real way, for the first time in my life during the last presidential election. When Kerry lost the election and I, again like many others, finally arose from the depths of disappointed depression, I thought that that would be it. I would continue to read the political emails sent me from MoveOn, PFAW, DSCC, The Million Mom's March (I attended the first one), Stop the NRA.com and Women't groups lke NARAL and Emily's List, as well as many from environmental organizations. I would continue to donate as much as and to as many as I could. I would send fourth the occassional email to encourage others to be somewhat involved. And, I figured that would be about the extent of my involvement.

Then I found a local NJ grassroots organization that started as a group of people much like me, i.e. virutal newbies to politics. This organization, BlueWave, NJ is amazing. For anyone in the northern NJ area, who is the least bit interested in trying to do something to impove on the State of our country, take a look at BlueWave. At the first BlueWave meeting I attended, many people got up to speak, one of them being this petite woman who was on a mission. She, having done mothing more in the world of politics than becomeing the president of her local Democratic Committee in Kennilworth, NJ. Avery Hart is her name and in the end she ran an amazing election for the NJ State Legislature.