Featured

Define Your Own Reality: The New Seven Dirty Words

What began earlier this year as an assault on climate science continues this week with a directive by the Trump Administration to ban seven words, which clearly rankle conservatives even more than George Carlin’s famously dirty seven words. From the Centers for Disease Control website as reported in this article in the Washington Post,

Policy analysts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta were told of the list of forbidden words at a meeting Thursday with senior CDC officials who oversee the budget, according to an analyst who took part in the 90-minute briefing. The forbidden words are “vulnerable,” “entitlement,” “diversity,” “transgender,” “fetus,” “evidence-based” and “science-based.”

The charitable explanation for this change would be that Betsy DeVos called the president and said that these words were too big for her to understand and could the president please change them to more monosyllabic terms.

The reality, though, is far scarier. This is not a change on the order of Ronald Reagan saying that ketchup and mustard should be classified as vegetables for school lunch programs. This is censorship and doublespeak. As for what should replace these terms?

In some instances, the analysts were given alternative phrases. Instead of “science-based” or ­“evidence-based,” the suggested phrase is “CDC bases its recommendations on science in consideration with community standards and wishes,” the person said. In other cases, no replacement words were immediately offered.

Which means that every community in America can define its own reality. Your community doesn’t like climate change? Then it doesn’t exist. You oppose diversity? Why, feel free to discriminate. Or marginalize transgender citizens. Want to write a curriculum for your school district? No need to make it either evidence or science-based.

Can you say America Last in education and First in dirty air?

For all of their talk about allowing the invisible hand of the market a free reign, the Republicans certainly are afraid that Americans might make decisions based on science or any other information available to them. Fortunately, most Americans do not approve of the president or his policies, including this massive tax cut for the wealthy. And most Alabamans saw through the ridiculous argument that the state needed a fanatical pedophile to represent it rather than a former prosecutor who has worked tirelessly for all state residents.

The first casualty in any war, be it with weapons or policy, is language. The GOP is trying to redefine the basic elements of democracy and knowledge with a president who speaks on a fifth grade level.

Let’s define a new reality for them next November.

 For more, go to www.facebook.com/WhereDemocracyLives or Twitter @rigrundfest

Health

CDC Report – E cigarettes Linked to Poison

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A troubling report states that in February, there were 215 poison center calls involving e-cigarettes, the CDC said in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. That’s compared to one per month in September 2010.

And 51% of those calls involved children 5 and under, officials said.

Since not all poisonings get reported, the CDC said the total number of cases is likely even higher.

Nicotine is a drug, and in its concentrated liquid form, poison experts warn it is also significantly toxic, even in small doses. E-cigarettes, which are not required to be childproof, feature flavors like spearmint, banana and bubble gum, making them appealing to kids.

“What’s attractive to kids: It’s the smell. It’s the scent. It’s the color,” said Gaylord Lopez, director of the Georgia Poison Center. “A kid’s not going to know the difference between a poison and something they can drink.”

Health Care #Politics #Repeal #young people

Insurance, Young People And A Healthier American Future

A new report issued last week by the CDC contained some very good news – young Americans are taking advantage of a provision in the health care reform, signed into law by President Obama.

Before President Obama’s historic health care reform law was passed, young people were generally dropped from their parents plan when they turned 18 or left college. Obtaining coverage through an individual plan could be cost-prohibitive for young adults, especially those with pre-existing conditions, so many went without health insurance altogether.

The Affordable Care Act includes a provision that allows young adults to stay on their parent’s health insurance until their 26th birthday. When that provision went into effect in September of 2010, about 64 percent of 19 to 25 year olds had health insurance. By June of 2011, that number jumped to nearly 73 percent.

This is good news in more ways than one.

Providing medical insurance for young people  encourages a more progressive attitude in regards to looking after one’s own health. Individuals can easily see the importance of maintaining good health – eating right, proper medication, getting exercise,  early diagnosis’ for disease, birth control, as well as having regular check-ups with a doctor.

And although a more health conscious  mentality will be a good improvement for anyone, it also benefits the nation as a whole, for the health of a nation greatly depends on the health and wellbeing of its citizens.