Friday, September 15, 2006



Like Popeye the Sailor Man, I'm a big spinach fan. So wasn't I dismayed this morning to wake up and find out that the Bush Regime is managing to use spinach to murder more innocent people, not unlike the way they were able to use Hurricane Katrina to murder people in Louisiana. I'm exaggerating. I don't know if this is premeditated murder on the part of the Bush Regime or just murder by incompetence. But I do know, this is what is at the heart of the radical Republican philosophy of governance.

To the extreme right, the FDA is an annoyance and a grotesque interference with the "free market." Bunch of Commies; that simple. The market sorts these kinds of things out. If spinach companies sell spinach that makes people sick and kills them-- so far there's only one reported death, some poor intrepid spinach-eating soul in Wisconsin, but at least 50 seriously ill spinach consumers-- then surviving spinach eaters will stop buying spinach from those spinach companies. Ah... the essence of Republican philosophy-- or at least the rationale for Republicans to cater to a bottom line that is all about limitless profits-- and the hell with safety for anyone, especially workers and consumers.

Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle in 1906 and to right wingers it's just a version of the Communist Manifesto. And they've been trying to kill it ever since. Bush, of course, has been most successful in undermining the FDA and all agencies involved with protecting the safety of American workers and consumers. He cuts their funds, packs their staffs with incompetents and cronies (and incompetent cronies) who are by nature hostile to their goals. And the result has been as predictable as was the tragedy of 9/11.

So how has the Bush Regime made us less safe and more likely to get sick and die from outbreaks like these? Huge cutbacks for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Cutbacks for the Department of Health and Human Services; ditto for the Public Health Service; devastating budget slashing for public health emergency centers, which distribute medications and vaccines in the event of a bioterrorist attack; a 64% reduction in a training program for nurses and other health care professionals; a 33% cut to $201 million for a program that trains doctors to work at children's hospitals; and dozens and dozens of critical programs eliminated and wrecked to fund Bush's tax breaks for multimillionaires and his wars.

If only the sick and dead were just Republican voters, I'd be... less upset. But I love spinach and so do lots of Democrats.


This one has nothing to do with poisoned spinach, but it is just as deadly to our nation. The two greasy, corrupt oil men that somehow wound up heading our government, have been criminally negligent when it's come to long-range planning for the country's energy needs. They both come from a sick corporate mentality the emphasizes bonuses based on quarterly profit results, not long-term investment. So it should surprise no one that the worst Regime in the history of the United States, in the midst of a developing energy crisis that could impoverish or even enslave our grandchildren, is working with all its might to sabotage the development of renewable energy. The general solution: elect a Democratic Congress. A more specific solution: help Jerry McNerney to defeat Dirty Dick Pombo.


Looks like the killer spinach came from a California organic farm that sells to nearly three-quarters of the grocery stores in the country. The FDA is on the case. Better late than never?



At 9:11 AM, Blogger Jake Jaqua said...

If you like Sinclair's "The Jungle" (great book), check out Jack London's little-known book "Iron Heel" from the same time period. Of course they were innocent and naive idealists of what communism or socialism would turn out to be (wherever there are humans, there is corruption) - but the book has some real insights in it.

- jake jaqua

At 11:26 AM, Anonymous Elana said...

This also shows why we need a strong civil justice system especially when the government wont do its own regulatory job.

At 11:28 AM, Anonymous Elana said...

This also shows why we need a strong civil justice system especially when the government wont do its own regulatory job.

Check out our new blog fighting the right wing myth of tort "reform"

At 12:21 PM, Blogger Gary said...

Let me add another angle to this story, completely speculative on my part, but take it for what it's worth.

The public in a panic, now the FDA can advance the corporate agenda of making food "safe" for consumption by *spraying* our foods with disinfectants and antibiotics, as they just did for our sliced cold cuts.

Then we can forget all about those pesky proper cultivation methods and hygienic packaging. In the future, our foods don't have to be clean as long as they are sprayed! And besides the obvious health bonus, think of the savings to the food processors in "optimized" processing and packaging procedures!


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