Thursday, July 20, 2006

Beer Bad

"Maybe because popcorn explodes."

-Brian Lehman, owner of, The Amish Country Popcorn factory, answered,"Maybe because popcorn explodes," when asked why he thought his popcorn factory was placed on a list of potential terrorist threats.

Sigh. As President Bush, delivered yet another smug speech from the White House yesterday, I mused to myself about how odd, and surreal it was to hear him dictate about morality and human ethics, after vetoing a bill which would have allowed an increase in federal funding into stem cell research. Research which would have the potential to improve, if not actually save, the lives of countless Americans who suffer from various cancers, Alzheimer's disease and debilitating spinal cord injuries. It was frustrating and infuriating that the impassioned pleas of such proponents of stem cell research as, Nancy Reagan, and Michael J. Fox, fell on the ever deaf ears of our president.

Is it because he has never had to face watching a loved one suffer through an illness such as Alzheimer's? Or had to sit up with them all night because they were lost in their own mind. Or face watching a loved one die a little every single day, as their personality and memories slip away into oblivion? There were days when my mother, didn't know me from a door knob, there were days when she would become violent, and some days when she simply played as if she was a small child, her favorite comfort toy was a stuffed giggle doll I bought her. She could play with it for hours. My fear, pain and sorrow was nothing unique, many, many American families face this struggle every day. It is both financially, physically and emotionally draining. And sometimes I wonder , in that my mother suffered from that hideous disease, will that be a part of my future as well?

I think about the struggle of Dana Reeve. She loved her husband, Christopher Reeve, so much, and she stood by him after his near fatal horseback riding accident in 1995, which left him with a broken neck and devastating spinal cord injuries. It was their dream to see him walk again in his lifetime. It wasn't to be. I think about how sad I was to hear that Dana Reeve lost her own battle with Lung Cancer at the age of 44 earlier this year. Is there ever enough money to research medical atrocities? Heart disease, Leukemia, Alzheimer's, Lung Cancer, Spinal cord injuries, are killing American's at an alarming rate. It's unconscionable to me, that he could so smugly surround himself with people who share his views, for the sole purpose of having a cheering section while he yields his mighty pen. To date over $297,285,156,121 has been spent on the unecessary war in Iraq. And we still have no clear exit plan, at least while Bush is in office. A war which carries various American made atrocities of it's own, and a still missing couple billion dollars.

And in other mindless spending, a recent congressional audit of the, Department of Homeland Security, found some unusual expenditures which may rise to the level of fraud. My personal favorite expenditure was for a beer brewing kit, for the Coast Guard to brew it's own alcohol, while on duty, as a social activity for the Coast Guard Academy. What is this, McHale's Navy? Nope. It isn't anything that entertaining...just more governmental incompetence, greed and selfishness taking place while no one watches. The Department of Homeland Securities problems don't end there. Just last week came a report of the uneven disbursement of funds for increased security measures against potential terrorist targets. According to the inspector general of the D.H.S, the Nation Asset Database is so flawed, that as of January, Indiana, with, 8,591 potential terror targets, had more than twice as many potential terrorist targets then California, with 3,212. Indiana is now the most targeted place in America.

So what's in Indiana that makes them so attractive to terrorists ? How about The Amish Popcorn Factory. It doesn't end there, the citizens of Columbus, Tennessee, can feel safer at The Mule Day Parade, the residents of Woodville, Alabama, can go to Old MacDonald's Petting Zoo, without fear, and the ever mysterious, "Beach at the end of the Street," wherever that is, has received it's funding. The Department of Homeland Security, which hands out the antiterrorism grants, cut funding to New York City, and Washington by 40 percent. New York City, had their funding cut by 40 percent, so that a tackle shop, a donut shop, and Nix's Check Cashing, could be added to the list of possible targets by terrorists? 571 nursing homes, 1,305 casinos, 163 water parks, 3, 773 malls were also listed in categories. I resent the fact that antiterrorism funding was cut to California, in favor of states such as Montana, one of the least populated states in the union. Montana received more assets then North Carolina, New Jersey, and Massassachusetts. Tell me, do you feel safe?

Anyone can surround themselves with "yes" people. Just once, I would like to see our president make one of those smug speeches, like he did yesterday, with an accurate audience of the American voice. According to a poll on AOL, 82 percent of American's support the increased funding for stem cell research. Unfortunately, as long as George W. Bush is in office, our voices will fall on his deaf ears.

There really isn't much to say is there? The word of the day is...


1. Not guided or controlled by conscience
2. Excessive, unreasonable
3. Shockingly unfair or unjust

"Tow Away Zone"
Berkeley, California
July 19, 2006


DesLily said...

oh boy do I agree .. instead of deturing stem cell research or any research of any kind to help mankind.. everyone should be backing it!!

I am remembering a story I heard on television but can't remember where or when (yeah yeah old song)... anyway, someone got stem cell treatment and it helped tremendously! Here's the catch .. it sounded like they got what they needed from an adult but not from frozen embryo's.. sure wish i could remember the story.. so it makes me wonder if there is any other way to extract the stem cells other then from "embryos"??

I may turn some away from me by saying this but.. when embryo's can be made but the hundred or thousands or even millions.. I'm sorry, but the good stem cell research might do outweighs thoughs that take that as "taking a potential life"... maybe they should make embroys from "undesirables" (prisoners??) and then no one would care that they didn't "reproduce"..? sorry, it angers me that all that can possibly be done to safe a life thru research isn't done.

sunflowerkat119 said...

It's unfathomable to me that anyone could fail to support stem cell research. There is so much to be gained.

Those are staggering numbers on DHS and it certainly appears that funds are grossly misallocated. In support of some concern in Indiana however....I grew up there, in the shadow of a major naval ammunition depot. Most Hoosier's acknowledge it as the only real security concern. Popcorn? I think not!