Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

October 8, 2012

Would you really want to eat these things?

There is always the hope that truth will win out but the steady stream of “factual” nonsense that fills this section of the newspaper would tend to negate that maxim.

On my short list we have a flagrant rewriting of American history, a contempt for science and a pompous attitude that God is only found in conservative households.

During the ratification of the Constitution, a few state delegates wanted to insert into it the statement that this is a Christian Nation. Such amendments were voted down. The Constitution is a secular document for a secular government and that suits this Christian quite well.

Every year we dump billions of tons of pollutants into the earth’s atmosphere as well as onto Mother Earth. Are we so ignorant of science not to think that it has an effect?

The “cleaned-up” oil in the Gulf suddenly reappeared when Hurricane Isaac churned up the water. Would you feed your children gulf shrimp on a regular basis?

Would you fry up two-headed trout caught downstream from a copper mine in Montana? Would you trust a Chicago meat-packer to market its product without inspection? Why do the Koch brothers want to abolish the EPA?

Why after a century do we still propel ourselves with gasoline engines and why have oil companies bought and trashed patents that could have made a difference?

In church on Sunday, count the number of seniors. Could your congregation meet their basic needs for food, shelter and medical care? No! And it couldn’t in the 1930s when Social Security was established to make sure every American can have some dignity in their retirement years.

Prefer the private market? Better get to work. At a modest pace you should have the equivalent of a year’s salary parked in a retirement fund by age 35 and triple that by age 45. I wonder how low-wage workers are doing with that guideline.

Don’t believe in government involvement in health care? For those lucky to have employer-based insurance, the average premium for a family of four is $16,000.

Maybe the single mom with two children could barter with a doctor or hospital like a Republican senate candidate once suggested. Maybe it’s OK that an 80-year-old man gets knee replacement surgery but not an uninsured father of two who can’t work without it.

Why ration care when you can just shut 47 million Americans out of its reach. Why are private equity czars like Bain Capital buying up hundreds of hospitals? Must be gold in them thar hills.

We are the biggest consumers on planet earth. Other countries salivate over the prospect of selling their goods here. So why do we allow our own companies to give the shaft to American workers, set up shop in China and then sell the goods here.

It’s our country, not Apple’s or General Electric’s. We set the rules. Oh! But that would require we the people, government, telling the “job creators” how to manage their business. A big no in tea party circles.

The far right wants to make the federal government so small that you can drown it in a bathtub.

If they achieve that get prepared to see the privatization of everything: private toll roads, schools, parks and recreation, access to drinking water, retirement if you can afford it, healthcare if you can pay for it, the whole nine yards.

Remember: Romney and Ryan will have your back on Nov. 6 and will be standing on it the day after.

William Tunney

Grantsville

 

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