Sunday, September 18, 2011

Time Spent Just Shaking My Head

The last few weeks have given me many, many opportunities to shake and scratch my head. I don't think I've ever seen anything as strange as the republican candidates for president in 2012, or the people who follow them. But personally life is just strange as well. For example, for the last forty years environmentalists have been complaining about the amount of packaging used to sell the products we use. But every day something is being introduced that is bringing more and more trash to our landfills. Now every coffee company is packaging coffee in plastic containers for individual servings. Even allegedly green companies are doing this, and I've contacted a couple of them-they admit that their individual serving cups are not biodegradable. We now have pieces of fresh fruit in glass jars and prunes in a waxed-paper container, then wrapped in individual cellophane wrappers. Grrrrrrrrr! Helloooooo-ooooo? Anybody out there?

I LOVE R&B singer John Legend. At times he's seemed to me the reincarnation of Marvin Gaye. He's touring this summer with Sade, whom I also like. But in a list published in my local newspaper recently, SHE was listed as one of the top grossing concerts this summer. Shouldn't he have been on that list as well?

How can we say we know what prevents cancer? There is a new story almost daily about something that prevents some kind of cancer-but people keep getting cancer, even though,as long as that list is, there can't be much left that everyone on earth does. So it seems that cancer rates should be going down.

I wonder if we set politicians up for corruption and arrogance when we talk about their looks. I can think of two who are about as smarmy and dishonest as any politician in history, Rod Blagojevich and Rick Perry, who have commonly been called "Governor Good Hair," that believe their crimes are not even wrong doing. Maybe good looking people in our world just get away with way too much, and come to believe that the rules don't really apply to them.

Who said that dogs don't really have a sense of time? When I recently babysat a dog for a friend who was out of town, interestingly, his behavior began to change about one and a half days before she returned. Nothing else that we could explain had changed.I  believe he knew "Mom" was coming home.

In Texas 2011, we have had the hottest summer on record. We even beat the dust bowl summer of Oklahoma in 1929. If we had a breeze this drought stricken summer, there was fire danger. If we didn't have a breeze, the heat created pollution alerts. I couldn't help wondering how President Obama, Eric Cantor, and other legislators in this country could reverse anti-pollution rules. Aren't they parents? Don't they know how many children are affected by pollution? I don't want to talk about global warming and its long term consequences. I want to talk about what we are doing to ourselves right now. We are making ourselves sick, and I don't want to live in a dirty world with dirty air. I have two grandchildren, and one more on the way. I don't want them to spend their childhoods in the ER getting breathing treatments because of the oil and coal lobbies.

This past Wednesday there was something called "The Tea Party Debate" with the republican candidates for president. Several years ago there was a giant kerfuffle in Texas when Governor Rick Perry made it mandatory for pre-adolescent girls to get a vaccine against the human pappiloma virus, which has been proven to cause cervical cancer. We have been vaccinating children against communicable diseases for about a century. Some of these diseases have been all but eradicated. But people got angry with the governor for this one. One reason was because of financial connections to the big-pharma company that provided the vaccine-reasonable argument. But I can't help but wonder if a part of the anger was because there might be something like "S-E-X" attached to this one. That certainly seemed to be the case with Michelle Bachman in her criticism at the debate Wednesday. And then she came back with a story of a crying woman who came to her and said that the HPV vaccine "gave her daughter mental retardation." Sigh. Yes, anecdotes are now science, right? So Rick Perry said-he attacked Bachman for taking the woman's story as fact when she had "no science to back it up." The explosion in my gut was hard to contain on that one, when just two weeks ago, Rick Perry was talking about the science on evolution and climate change not being in. Since when does Rick Perry know or care anything about science? He suggested that the pope who imprisoned Galileo was a scientist who just disagreed with Galileo's scientific theories at another debate. The far right of the republican party has been consistently anti-science and anti-intellectual for years. That's exactly why Sarah Palin has the following she does; she suggests that smart people who consider facts before they speak or pick a position are not real American "Joe Six Packs." I'm sorry, Governor Good Hair, you can't have it both ways. 

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