I often get very frustrated with politics. So I do understand why people prefer to look the other way, though indifference and ignorance lubricate the self-destructive mechanisms which I believe are taking us towards either World War III, economic collapse, social Armageddon . . . or all of the above.
At the same time, there is so much which is confusing, horrifying, nauseating, just plain stupid and wrong, it’s impossible to keep up with all of it. Most crises seem so far away, not relevant to the day-to-day business of just trying to survive and keep our heads above water. ISIS, the Ukraine, China, Afghanistan, Palestine, all place a distant nineteenth to paying the mortgage, feeding ourselves, trying to put clothes on our backs that don’t disintegrate in the laundry, keeping the neighbor’s dog from pooping on the lawn.
Regardless of how consequential all of these international disturbances may ultimately be, the simple truth is they don’t hit home until they hit home. The primary reason Americans are now concerned about Ebola is their fear that it may spread in America, understandably so, though chances of infection are pretty remote. But until people started dying inside our own borders, it was just more bad news piled on bad news from “somewhere over there” where bad news seems to grow like mold on an old chunk of cheese in the back of the refrigerator.
Recognizing all of this, I am still very puzzled why people aren’t up in arms about things which are, without a shred of doubt, a clear and present danger to them, right now, right here in our own U S of A. I don’t mean unlikely, remote threats, like the prospect they will be hit by a drunk driver or be the victim of a swarm of killer bees. I refer to very real, very imminent hazards which have the potential to kill them, shortening their lives by many years! Who wants to die before they have to?
In my travels, people ask me why I left the U.S. in 2006. I have a straightforward reply . . .
The political climate and the food.
Both were toxic. Both were poisonous to my health and happiness.
Since I’ve already written over a hundred political rants, here let’s just talk about food.
The food in America is a death warrant.
Maybe not as poisonous as rat poison but ultimately just as lethal.
Some might think I’m being hyperbolic. I don’t think so. Americans are being slowly and methodically undermined by their diet. Meat is chock full of hormones, antibiotics, toxins, often tainted with fecal matter and various parasites, both viral and bacterial pathogens. Vegetables are often laced with herbicides, insecticides, chemical residues, too often lacking any nutritional value, due to bad farming, and premature harvesting to accommodate supply chains that stretch over continents.
As if that weren’t bad enough, we fill our faces with so much fat and sugar, snacks, sweets, and fast food of every shape and color, it’s amazing the sidewalks aren’t littered with the carcasses of people who have just simply keeled over from the sheer glut.
Beyond all of that, which basically is either a matter of choice __ eating junk food __ or a lack of choice __ the prevalence of unhealthy and contaminated food staples at the market __ I want to focus on one specific issue which I see as emblematic.
How many people can say they haven’t had cancer directly impact either themselves or someone they personally know, perhaps even a close relative or friend?
If you said ‘no’ I would be shocked. According to the American Cancer Society: “In 2014, there will be an estimated 1,665,540 new cancer cases diagnosed and 585,720 cancer deaths in the US. Cancer remains the second most common cause of death in the US, accounting for nearly 1 of every 4 deaths.”
There are certainly many causes for cancer. To whatever degree we can, we try to avoid exposure to carcinogens or anything which causes or encourages the growth of tumors.
But what do we do if we are not allowed to know about a potential source of cancer?
Monsanto has been very effective at suppressing any research findings about the health implications of both its highly lucrative herbicide Roundup and its expanding range of GMO products.
But reports are beginning to surface. This recent one on Roundup brings into focus how dangerous this extensively used, putatively harmless chemical killer is.
GMOs are the evil stepsister of Roundup. Most GMO crops are genetically altered to give them resistance to Roundup, so that the weedkiller can be sprayed on in copious amounts killing the weeds but leaving the edible plants intact and supposedly healthy.
Given the many reports __ here and here are merely a couple references __ coming out of research laboratories from around the world which are suggesting that these genetic modifications are extremely dangerous, posing all sorts of risks, first and foremost among them the promotion of grotesque and potentially cancerous tumor growths, people are requesting that at least the foods containing GMO products be labeled as such.
This is hardly an inconsequential concern. 88% of the corn grown in the U.S. is genetically modified. 93% of our soybeans are GMO. Because these and other food plants are the basis for the thousands of processed food products commonly included in the typical American diet, now “70 percent of processed foods in your local supermarket contain genetically modified ingredients.“
Mind you, people are not demanding a total ban on GMOs __ though a case can be made for one, at least until it is determined with absolute certainty that these Frankenfoods are safe __ they just want it PUT ON THE LABEL, so they can make an informed decision.
Polls show that 93% of American voters want GMO labeling. 93%! This cuts across the entire political spectrum __ Democrats, Republicans, Libertarians, Tea Party, liberals, conservatives, anarchists, Free-Tibet-Nuke-The-Gay-Whales Party of Patriotic Polemicists __ a historic and unprecedented consensus. And we can’t even get this done!
Our play-for-pay, follow-the-money, corporate lapdog politicians, from the President, all the way through the entire gutless reeking-with-corruption ranks of Congress, all beholden to the likes of Monsanto, refuse to stand up to the scumbags who put profit before people!
Uh-oh . . . I’m back to ranting about politics.
Sometimes it seems unavoidable, eh?
Anyway, let me wrap this up with a suggestion. While you’re munching away on that corn dog as you drive to your polling place on November 4th, you might want to ask yourself:
“Who should I vote for . . . and what the hell am I eating?!”