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Columns and Articles by Dr. Laina Farhat-Holzman

June 02, 2016

Letters to Editors: Primary Elections and Slavery Statistics

San Francisco Chronicle
June 2, 2016


Slavery Statistics
The report that 18.35 million people in India alone comprise 40 percent of global slavery figures of 45.8 million (Walk Free Foundation) only counts unpaid or ill-paid labor as slavery. What about the status of wives in the 167 countries cited? If a wife is property of her husband, cannot leave the house without permission and a chaperone, may be beaten for "disobedience," cannot refuse sex, may be divorced at will and thown out of the house, has no authority over her children, and has no control of household money, this sounds like slavery to me. A free woman, by definition, has autonomy, but not in Afghanistan, much of Pakistan, village India, or Saudi Arabia. Walk Free and the UN need to revise their slavery numbers.

Laina Farhat-Holzman
Aptos, CA
Santa Cruz Sentinel
June 2, 2016 (printed June 2)


Primary System Should Be Much Shorter.
According to a new national poll, voters are getting disgusted with our primary election system for selecting presidential candidates. What many would like to have is open primaries (not divided by parties) and to get rid of caucuses. That is a start.

But how about holding the primary on one day nationwide, so that a handful of unrepresentative small states cannot pick our candidates for us? And how about an election cycle no longer than six weeks? Who (aside from the media) wants more of the two-year-long circus we have endured this time? The party wing-nuts, left or right, should not choose our candidates for us. And a short campaign paid for by the citizens would eliminate "dark money."

Laina Farhat-Holzman
Aptos, CA