Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Cold Calculus of Republican Rule

One of the things I hold most against the Republicans is the way they have contaminated the culture; the hive mind, if you will.

Civilized behavior is held together by the thinnest, yet strongest, of threads. What is expected of us is often indefinable, only occasionally overt, but exerts its influence in thousands of ways.

The Republicans have lobotomized our public discourse and given aid and comfort to the most hateful and unhinged elements of our society. Still, some of its greatest crimes have crept up on us, unnoticed, until we find ourselves hostage to that greatest of Republican gods: mammon.

The Republicans allow corporations to do whatever they want.

And so, they do.

Just today, I was made aware of the terrible ordeal of the lab mix, Chai. His person gave him a Pimple Ball with bell, made by Four Paws. He wound up having to have his tongue amputated, and is now permanently maimed.

It took a boycott to get the company to recall this product, even though Chai was not the only dog injured by the defective toy. Even though they had vet records. Only this morning did the recall notice go out, even though Chai had been injured June 22, 2008.

Well, at least the defective toy is off the market, right?

Yes, it is. But the company knew the toy was defective earlier. It had so injured Cole, another lab mix, that he had to be euthanized.

In July of 2005.

For three years they left this still-defective toy on the market. They didn't fix it. They didn't recall it. They just told Cole's owner it was a freak accident.

And that was all they did.

Perhaps it seems a bit much to blame Karl Rove and the Bush Administration for this. But I do. Because they have encouraged corporations to feel they are not only above the law, but above any standards of corporate responsibility.

Sending our troops into battle without proper equipment? Giving prescription drugs a fast track to approval, even if they have deadly side effects? Letting our produce be contaminated with deadly bacteria? Letting our toddlers chew on lead? Letting our pets die from contaminated food, and, now, defective toys?

Well, see, it's just too expensive to prevent these kinds of things. Money is for beachfront condos and fabulous outfits and shooting penned birds and yachts.

Money is for taking from us.

And killing those who cannot afford to live.

Outraged by Chai's story? Good! Visit my Action Page.

And for a sad look at the wildlife policy of McCain's new vice president choice, see here.

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