Namo amitabha Buddhaya, y'all.
This here's a religious establishment. Act respectable.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Sup! Yo!

Hi all,

Rarely am I so blown away by a piece of news that I'll stop in the middle of the work day to rant at an elected official, but this one was just--I mean I--for the love of--Words fail me, okay?
Check it out here:

Miss. Law Would Ban Serving Obese Diners

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A state lawmaker wants to ban restaurants from serving food to obese customers - but please, don't be offended. He says he never even expected his plan to become law.

"I was trying to shed a little light on the number one problem in Mississippi," said Republican Rep. John Read of Gautier, who acknowledges that at 5-foot-11 and 230 pounds, he'd probably have a tough time under his own bill.

It goes on, but I'm gonna stop there. Here's my reply to the good Mr. Read, who, incidentally, does not represent me.

Dear Representative Read:

I'm sure this isn't the most appropriate way to address a state representative, for which I apologize, but dude, what were you thinking?!

Yeah, yeah, I read the story in the AP that you never expected your bill to become law and you just wanted to bring attention to Mississippi's number-one problem, which you claim is obesity. And I could mention poverty, infant mortality, Hurricane Katrina cleanup, the homeowner's insurance crisis on the Gulf Coast, the abysmal state of your educational system (here in Texas we say "thank God for Mississippi and Louisiana" because we're only 48th out of fifty states) and environmental destruction from the scads of ships that were damaged in 2004. But, seriously, dude, what were you thinking?!

I won't even bring up all the logistical impossibility of your bill. What concerns me more than any of that stuff is that you would choose to use your position as a public servant in such an irresponsible manner. By your own admission, you never thought your bill would become law. Yet you chose to use scarce resources, such as taxpayer dollars which pay for your staff and your office supplies, hearing space on a very crowded legislative agenda, time that almost certainly could have been spent on better things, air conditioning and the associated electrical costs, and paper and ink and toner to make an unmakeable point. Instead of bringing positive attention to this "number-one problem" (and again, I think you have lots of bigger ones out that way), you've embarrassed yourself and the office you hold.

You owe the persons you represent an apology. I won't go so far as to suggest you resign--you've been a representative since 1993, so you must be doing something right--but, seriously, dude, what were you thinking?!

Whatever it was, please don't think it again. This is my real name and address.

And now for something Buddhist-y. This is from my Zen calendar. It made me cry.

The monk from Shu with the silk lute case,
walking west of O-mei mountain,
Has with a light touch of the strings
enveloped me in the pines of a thousand valleys.
I hear him in the shimmering brook,
I hear him in the icy wind.
And I feel no change as the mountain darkens
and autumn's dark clouds heap in the sky.

--Li Po

No comments: