Tuesday, November 13, 2007


My head hurts. Why? So many possible reasons.

1. The addictive power of sugar. When you give rats a choice between sugar and cocaine, even the rats who are already hooked on cocaine will choose, yes, sugar. This seems patently unfair. What's the deal here, God? Why not make broccoli addictive? Or no salt Saltines? Noooo. You created a world in which that which is bad for you is damn good. Nice.

2. Intentional injections of hazardous materials as part of health care. In spite of the known toxicity of mercury, manufacturers continue to put it in flu vaccines at levels exceeding 4 times the daily limit for adults. Thimerosal, already banned from children's vaccines even though the US and the vaccine industry insist it causes no harm is the form of mercury included in these vaccines. It was banned as a "precautionary" measure due to protests by thousands of parents of autistic children who claim it either caused or exacerbated their children's condition.

Is there any good reason for humans to ingest mercury? "Certainly it would be good to have no mercury exposure at all," said Jeanne Santoli, deputy director of immunization services division for the CDC. "But there's no conclusive scientific evidence that the amount of mercury one might get from a flu shot is linked with any neurological development outcome that's negative."

Why do I not find that particularly comforting? The EPA (not exactly a high functioning protector these days) says that mercury turns liquid into hazardous waste at 200 parts per billion. Drinking water is supposed to have no more than 2 parts per billion. The flu vaccine has 50,000 parts per billion.

The flu is bad. But we shouldn't be forced to choose between having the flu or injecting ourselves with toxic chemicals.

3. My family is paying $20,200 for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yours, too, if you're a US tax-paying consuming family of 4. Now, the Democrats are apparently the ones who have come up with these figures. Naturally, that makes them suspect in some circles. But let's say that number is off by (oh no, I'm going to attempt math here) 25%. I wouldn't be much happier with my family paying around $15,000 a year for those wars.

And that figure doesn't include the loss of life in Iraq and Afghanistan, Iraqi, Afghani, and American. Can't put a price tag on those expenses. But apparently it's worth it to both a majority of the Democrats and Republicans in our Congress, as they keep voting to fund the wars, at our expense, our children's expense, and at the expense of security in the Middle East.

And I haven't even begun to consider Bush's veto of a bill to fund health, education, and labor programs. Too expensive and too full of pork, he says. We can pay for silencers for Blackwater operatives, fund loser wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, threaten war in Iran, but can't fund health and education? No wonder I have a headache.



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