Trivia 1Y


The attempt by the Rabid Right to undermine the effectiveness of the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) has rendered exactly the consequences that any intelligent human could have predicted (see the many articles devoted to exactly that subject). Now, a report by the Associated Press proves the stupidity of just this one example of the Right's idea of what "smaller government" will offer.

According to new figures from the CDC (Center for Disease Control), 76 million Americans are sickened, 325,000 are hospitalized and 5,000 die from food poisoning these past few years.

According to the CDC report, the major causes of this sad fact is the massive increase of food from nation with far lower sanitation and health standards than ours (Oh, thank you , oh glorious Global Economy!) and the fact that more people are eating out and consuming more and more processed food, food which has been touched by more and more hands in its preparation.

Another problem cited in the report is the system that gives responsibility for our food's safety to a total of twelve different agencies. The two major agencies, though, are the FDA, charged with the safety of nearly everything save the inspections of meat, poultry and certain fresh produce which is left to the Agricultural Department.

What is needed desperately is one agency which holds responsibility for produce of all kinds meant for human consumption, one that will control all phases of production from farm or ranch or whatever to the shopping carts of the consumers.

Everyone who believes that this government can ever put aside their petty differences long enough to actually bring such an agency into being, please leave the room as you obviously haven't been listening to Another Perspective's theme. (1)

Another example that proves my contention that the deregulation of the electric industry has absolutely nothing to do with the consumer and everything with screwing the consumer.

PG&E, the largest producer of electricity in California, is putting great pressure in the state's Legislature to allow the company to "sell" its 174 dams and 68 power plants to, I kid you not, its own wholly-owned and newly created subsidiary. This paper transfer will result in, first, a $3.3 billion tax write off and, worse, will remove these power plants from the control of the state's PUC which means that the power could be sold in the lucrative free market.

Gentle readers, whenever you see the word "lucrative" in regards to deregulation, you must know that those great sums of money will have to come from somewhere and you and I both know it won't be from the pockets of the wealthy or Corporate America. Also, the fact that this transfer will not be subject to any environmental assessments nor even any on-going control over damages to the environment in the future as more and more water is passed into the streams and rivers as they generate more and more power. All that the people of California will get out of this underhanded deal will be greater and greater stream bed and bank damages, problems which will fall on the citizens of California to correct.

As an aside, San Diego Gas & Electric, while providing a minimum rate reduction to their larger business customers, small businesses and the average rate payer in their area has seen an increase of 10% in their monthly bills.

Once again, gentle readers, this only goes to prove the fact that all deregulation forced on us since 1980 is meant only to maximize Corporate America's profit and for us to provide those profits at our personal detriment. (2, 3)

In a release from the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), it was reported that; children can easily identify the frogs used in Budwiser's television and print ads, raising valid concerns about the ad's effects on underage drinking; alcohol producers are placing their products in PG and PG-13 movies, again raising those same concerns and, finally, that on eight of the fifteen television shows most popular with underage youth, alcohol producers had placed their products before that same audience.

What, you might ask, is the FTC's requirement that alcohol manufacturers must meet before they can advertise on a TV program or in a movie? The shows must contain be regularly watched by only a majority, 50%, adults, meaning that half of all audiences being exposed to alcohol ads are underage.

Underage drinking is, as a percentage of the population, growing far faster than any increase in drug usage. The number of children dying in alcohol related auto accidents is growing far faster than in any other age group.

With all of this evidence regarding the alcohol industry's overt advertising to the nation's children before the FTC, what do you think they are recommending be done? Basically, absolutely nothing. Zilch! Zip! Nada! The furthest they'll go out on a limb and ask is that the industry create a watchdog group to keep the industry in line. Oh, yeah, and also it recommends that the industry follow the lead of the firms using the "best practices".

Just how insane is that? Does anyone with even an ounce of sense believe that such a group would have any positive impact whatsoever other than to offer the entire industry a cover while they increase their advertising aimed at your children? Just another sell-out by your bought and paid for government, folks. (4)

Showing just how dangerous Corporate America is when it comes to you and your life and your privacy, Charter Pacific, a San Fernando, California bank, sold 3.7 million credit card numbers obtained through its own merchant accounts to a man who used them to defraud the card holders out of $45.7 million. Want to know the best part? What the bank did was perfectly legal! That's right, folks, your bank can legally sell very personal and valuable information that belongs to you and you, gentle readers, can't do a thing about it! Ain't Corporate America just exactly who you prefer to trust over that nasty old bugaboo "Big Government"? (5)

Finally, here is the perfect example of what's wrong with America and its injustice system. At the same time as minimum sentences for even the least violent of drug offenses has grown longer and longer, the number of federal weapons cases which have been prosecuted has dropped by over a third. What this shows even the most causal of observers is that our society is far more interested in punishing you for what you voluntarily put in your body and far less interested in what others violently place in our bodies. (6)

Sigh!

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Copyright 9/25/99