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April 19 Buzz: Breast cancer and California politics -- suggestions for how we might fix the error of our ways

April 19, 2011 |  2:32 pm

Most viewed and shared: The trouble with those boobies bracelets

Peggy Orenstein speaks up against merch designed to raise breast cancer awareness.

Those ubiquitous rubber bracelets are part of a new trend: sexy breast cancer. There is "Save the Ta-Tas." "Save 2nd Base." "Project Boobies." "Feel Your Boobies." "Jingle Jugs." And, of course, "I ♥ Boobies" itself.

Not that Orenstein doesn’t support awareness. She’s just not into “kittenish cancer campaigns.”

There's so much young people could do to show they care about breast cancer: They could organize childcare or meals for mothers of small children going through treatment. They could volunteer in cancer resource centers. They could hold fundraisers for affected families whose mothers can no longer work. They could spearhead projects on potential carcinogens in beauty products (which, to be fair, is something "I ♥ Boobies," in the wake of criticism of its mission, has now begun to emphasize). All of that would take effort and time, but it would be more meaningful to women with cancer and, I imagine, to teenagers themselves. Because, among other things, the idea that you are taking action merely by wearing a titillating bracelet is not a great life lesson.

Most commented: The late, great California Legislature

Political consultant Larry Levine proposes three strategies for reviving the California Legislature so that it may once again become a "showcase among state political bodies."

Through much of the 1970s and into the 1980s, the committee hearing rooms and the floors of the Assembly and state Senate were alive with stimulating deliberation on the issues. California legislation became the model for laws in other states, and California legislators became such experts in policy areas that they were sought-after for consultation across the nation.

So where did it all come apart? The answer: We reformed our way into this mess.

What follows is a three-part plan to unreform California out of this mess.

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--Alexandra Le Tellier

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