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Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Feeling Blah Today

I'm feeling a little under the weather today.

I don't know if it's because I'm really sick or it has to do with the bridge demolition happening next to where I live. After 70 odd years, part of the Bay Bridge is being torn down to make way for a more seismically safe structure. In one respect, it's interesting - in that history-in-the-making sort of way. In another, it's a major pain.

Who knows what toxic crap I'm breathing in day after day? Not only is this bridge demolition likely hazardous to my physical health, my mental health has been getting quite a work out. Pounding day in and day out has kept me in a constant state of agitation and the only thing that's helped has been staying away.



Oh yeah, and I've got this huge zit on my face that's deep under the skin. If it doesn't go away soon, I'll have to take off work, go to the doctor (and deal with his incompetent staff) and pay the visiting fee, only so I can go see a dermatologist, pay another visiting fee, and then who knows.

I'm crossing my fingers, washing my face, and moisturizing like hell.

In the meantime, I'm catching up on my reading.

Have you heard about the US Department of Agribusiness's new regulations regarding organic standards as it applies to small farmers in developing countries? Salon has a great article on it, basically saying the new regulations favor large plantations (gee, Republican-controlled USDA - go figure) and may discourage smaller growers from becoming certified organic. Basically I agree with the folks who say that the labeling is part of the problem and that cash-strapped coffee or banana growers should consider alternate labeling/marketing methods.

I buy my green coffee beans, which I roast at home, from Sweet Maria's - who has their own oversight process in determining who they buy coffee from. I still prefer to purchase organic when I can, but I understand that many farmers walk the organic walk, but can't afford to talk the talk.

One of the comments on the article led me to a great site about the USDA's mandatory ID tagging of all livestock and farm animals. Did you know about this?

Apparently, to satisfy the importers of American beef after Mad Cow was first detected, the USDA (working in concert with Big Meat...I just like to say that) now requires that all ranchers, homesteaders, and basically anyone who raises animals for food or as pets (just large animals like horses) must tag their animals with a radio-chip that can trace the farm of origin. The website, NoNAIS.org, is written by one of the farmers most affected by this new regulation and provides several examples of how the National Animal ID Program fails to safeguard food from contamination, does nothing to prevent Mad Cow Disease, and works to protect the profit of, ahem, Big Meat, while unfairly burdening the small farmer/rancher with needless costs and bureaucratic red tape.

There are bigger questions, however, to consider - which is the widespread dependence on "spychip" technology to solve common problems or for financial gain. One of the great things about our country is that the right to privacy against governmental intrusion is written into the Constitution (although it's not absolute). So is the right to be happy.

I've always liked that idea: that we have the right to be happy. And part of being happy is that the Man has no right to stick his nose into our affairs whenever it suits him.

Those rights we are born with, or gained through immigration and citizenship, are constantly being attacked by the powerful and greedy - or those who wish to be - in this country. It is our duty to protect our nation's physical health when it comes to food and water, but it is also our responsibility to protect our mental health and stand up against those who seek to subjugate us to further their personal ambitions.

k.

2 Comments:

Blogger drbiggles said...

OoOoo, under the skin? Sounds like a boil to me. Man, I've had some rippers over the years. Painful as heck too. Washing, keep clean many times a day is the way.

Sometimes they fade away, sometimes they fester and grow. That's when it gets interesting. Man, they can get huge. I had one on my forehead probably 17 years ago. It grew and grew (under the skin), the skin grew taught. This one wasn't going away. It got about the size of a small gumball or marble. They tend to hurt in pulses right along with your heart when they're that large. After about 3 or so days of that, they burst. And I have to say burst is a gross understatement. Heh, gross. It sounds like a mini explosion of popping skin and the spraying of puss and blood. On this one I got a good 4' arc across the mirror. I couldn't see myself it was so huge. The crater in my head continued to spew and then pulse blood for minutes. I was a mess, the mirror was a mess, it was messy.

Apparently they can be very dangerous for either bleeding to death or getting blood poisoning or something along those lines.

Go to the doctor.

Biggles

6:16 PM  
Blogger Dive said...

DB,

That's totally gross!

ROTFLOL!

Sigh.

k.

9:53 PM  

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