Sunday, May 20, 2012

McGovern's Travels Money Well Spent

Jim McGovern has been a leader in the Congress on opposing the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, wars that have cost the taxpayers over a trillion dollars.  That's not the business of the people of Worcester?  A trillion dollars from the US is nearly a billion dollars from Worcester!  In part because of his travels he actually knows what he's talking about, and even his critics have to listen to him!

And the costs of his trips are quite modest compared to what we pay for a junket by some.  Consider the CEO's and CFO's of the Big Three automakers, flying into Washington on their private plans to beg Congress for bailout money.  I'll bet that one trip cost as much as all of Jim's trips combined, and in the end WE paid for it!  But the corporate elite do that every day and it never makes the news because - because they're rich CEOs and they're *supposed* to squander huge amounts of money - money that ultimately comes out of our pockets just as surely as if it came directly from taxes!

Many of the posters here [comments to T&G article May 20] have it right.  We elected Jim McGovern to represent us, and the key issue is "whose side is he on?"  Over and over again, as many of us know, he has shown he is on our side, and willing to take political risks for us.  And over and over again we have gone to the polls to support him.  As a leader in the Congress, which is supposed to have ultimate oversight and control of our foreign policy and wars, he needs first hand information that going to places like Afghanistan and talking to folks on the ground can give him.

Jim faces a challenge this election, having lost one of his political bases in Fall River to redistricting and gained many towns in North Worcester County and North Quabban where he is little known and that often vote Republican.  We can't take his clear, level-headed and courageous voice in Congress for granted.  We need to get out and vote for him in large numbers and make sure our friends and neighbors and fellow-workers do too.  And donate what we can!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Why are we getting fatter?

Re: T&G article No end to Obesity Epidemic, May 8, 2012: In March of 2011 there was a little article in Scientific American about a study which showed that not only was there an obesity epidemic among Americans, but that it was worldwide. And more startling, there is an obesity epidemic among dogs and cats, feral cats, city rats, suburban rats - and laboratory rats! Laboratory rats, in cages, being fed carefully controlled standardized diets prepared by scientists, are getting fatter over the years, generation by generation! Now you tell me that wild rats, wild cats and laboratory rats are getting fatter because they're getting lazier and watching too much TV, playing too many video games! This totally upsets the whole national conversation about what we're doing wrong as individuals that's making us fat. The study, "Canaries in the coal mine: a cross-species analysis of the plurality of obesity epidemics," by Yann C. Klimentidis and 11 other authors in the *Proceedings of the Royal Society B*, November 2010, is very impressive. It needs an answer. Why are we only beginning to hear about it now? Why wasn't it on the front pages of every newspaper in the world? Something is poisoning us all, something that is everywhere, something that reaches wild suburban rats and laboratory animals. Something that dieting and exercise won't fix. It could be in the food, in the air, or in something that is all present, like the plastics that our food is stored and processed in. It's probably not mainly in the water because that would produce local hot spots. Finding out what is doing this and dealing with it at whatever cost is what our national obsession should be. But if no one talks about it perhaps we'll be safer? Perhaps that's why a Google News search picked up almost no coverage anywhere.