Ready to Blog

December 30, 2007

I have to say that I haven’t been true to the meaning and spirit of blogging.

I planned to use the forum for a venue to present in depth essays on various subjects.  As you can see, I haven’t accomplished that.  I make myself just as crazy busy and distracted as I can be.

So, I’ll start over.  Every week, at least, I’ll jot down my insights, opinions and outrages.  So we’ll see how it goes.

Until tomorrow.  Wait.  I have an observation that you may or may not know about.  HR 1955 is a bill our all-seeing, and all-wise, and all-knowing members of the House of Representatives have seen fit to cook up to keep us all in line.  Please check this out.  It’s on the hell bound train to the Senate. 

Anti-Aging Our Food

November 18, 2007

Preserving  Our  Health?

Oversight of preservatives and additives is the responsibility of the FDA and the USDA.  The news last week was about the latest dust-up over tainted food products-the use of carbon monoxide to keep meet “in the pink.”  Let’s face it, when big money is involved, honesty goes right out the window.  The last stand for the consumer is our regulatory structure.  The corporatization of almost every aspect of our political establishment has made a joke out of every health protection we have.

Do we need to dump the FDA and the USDA?  I don’t think so, but we need to kick the top cats out–all of those who are tainted by corporate influence (same thing with the EPA, CDC, Consumer Product Safety Commission, and all of their “siblings.”)  Let’s take a little look at some of the things done in the name of health protection. 

The CPSC

It shouldn’t necessarily be called the Consumer Products Safety Commission. This agency exists, to a large extent, to protect our most vulnerable citizens who have no consumer voice, only a vast reservoir of trust.  They are our children.  We have let them down by forgetting that our representatives are our servants–(They never fail to mention the noble profession of public service.)–not our masters.  We have been like children, trusting that they will take care of business for us.  Business, indeed!!  If Jesus were pysically here today, I’m certain he would busy himself in the Congressional temple of mammon, tipping over the tables of the money-changers. 

For the sake of our children, we need to take our right to poison-free products seriously; and, in the process, pass on a take-charge legacy to protect ourselves and our posterity.

More to come on the CPSC and friends.

Home

November 8, 2007

The well-known activist, Lois Gibbs, writes about bringing people together at neighborhood meetings.  The most memorable message that I took from this book, was that the people who attend are at various stages of acceptance regarding environmental health issues, and that this is where we need to start.

We are all stakeholders, invested in one way or another in products, practices or policies that are harmful.  Eventually, each of us butts up against “the gray area.”  This is the chink in the armor of our values.  How much do we compromise?  This is the vulnerable area of our morality.  And it’s the part of us that is the most exploited.  You do come to realize that on so many levels few issues can be seen in simplistic “black and white” terms.  Still, we know that what’s right is right.

With regard to our environmental dilemma, I believe we’re on a learning curve, much like those neighborhood meeting participants, only on  a planetary scale.  Do we have time to go slowly as the free-market extremists would have us believe?

I think the idea that, while even these stakeholders are just as capable of seeing through the veil of greed, they are by nature reluctant to become a part of a larger picture–a landscape of sustainability that promotes respect and walking softly on our spaceship Earth.

An Awakening…A New Day?

November 6, 2007

When did I first become interested in environmental health issues?  Was it during the 1960s when the Cayuga River couldn’t handle any more pollutants, and started on fire?  Was it during the 1970s Nestle boycott?  Maybe it was during the tragic buyout of Love Canal or of a half-dozen similar relocation stories.  No.  I learned about most of those infamous stories later.

Could it have been all of the well-meaning environmental Acts (Laws) of the 70s (that have since been flushed down the toilet)….which were created because of environmental destruction and its accompanying health problems?  I hate to say it, but I don’t think that really flipped my switch.  It’s amazing that I missed most of those things.  Even Silent Spring  has been a relatively new read for me.  I guess some perspective might explain this.

My own awakening occurred fairly recently.  I think my first inkling, though, was when Vietnam Vets returned with Agent Orange-related ailments.  Most of my focus, however, was on the war’s devastating toll,  its accompanying social turmoil, the civil rights violence and the birth of a huge counterculture that stemmed from prevailing hypocrisy and injustice.

It was wild.  People were getting shot here and abroad.  They were getting battoned and hosed down with water cannons, chased by dogs and imprisoned.  Some set draft cards–and themselves–on fire.  TV was still fairly new and unsanitized, and news was relatively uncensored–very different from now.  Their was a lot on our plate.

For my generation, being a young person was often shocking.  Many college kids embraced opportunities for activism.  Others, who felt helpless, (sort of like today’s “reality groupies”) tuned out, turned on and dropped out.  I was one.

Fast forward about three decades.  Because of my interest in writing and alternative health topics, I was given an opportunity to write a variety of articles concerning social themes and health topics with a prevention slant.  I soon learned that our health really is inseparable from our environment.

For a very long time, our corporatized-government had us believing that most things were biodegradable in an endless “mixing zone.”  A “Don’t worry. Be happy” PR strategy, which has been nothing short of brilliant, was put forth by high-functioning savant-like individuals with true tunnel vision.

I marvel, these days, at the similarities.  Now monumental health issues are looming on our horizon.  Many are both a direct and indirect result of our ubiquitous exposure to the chemicals and other substances allowed into our world and our bodies. We’ve been lulled into complacency by a corrupt and bogus trio:  a regulatory establishment that dances to whatever tune is played by our so-called political servants; who are in turn coddled and nourished by corporations with their mountains of money and legions of institutions, associations, foundations and powerful trade groups that function to discredit opposition, and are definitely not there to represent consumers or workers. 

This nexus of power is indeed squeezing the very life force out of us–not to mention the wanton and diabolical planetary destruction.  I call it the Great Unraveling.  And this needs to stop.  And this  will be the focus of my blog.