Is there anything that the Repubs will not jump on to find a hook to the American people? The airways are full of the political whining and accusations.
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich tore into Pres. Obama Monday for his friendly greeting off Hugo Chavez, saying Obama is bolstering the “enemies of America.”
Gingrich appeared on a number of morning talk shows comparing Obama to President Jimmy Carter for the smiling, hearty handshake he offered Chavez, one of the harshest critics of the United States, during the Summit of the Americas.
I would like to point out a few facts about Venezuela….before the hate starts…..I am speaking of what has been done for the people, not the political posturing that is going on.
Chavez is in a unique position as the democratically elected populist president of 6th largest country in Latin America (and the first in regards to natural resources), to reject the neo-liberal policies of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the World Trade Organization (WTO), and the U.S. Treasury department and he has the financial ability to do so. This makes him extremely unpopular with the Washington Consensus and the global interests that they advance.
This alone is not enough. The average citizen in the Western world has no idea how the IMF works, who the World Bank is, or what the U.S. Treasury department actually does. If they are lucky enough to have a Union job they may have a vague idea of what the World Trade Organization is about. (Mostly regarding the relocation of their jobs overseas.)
Hugo Chavez is unpopular because the media portrays him as either, a) a charismatic demagogue, or b) a would-be dictator. Rarely is he portrayed as a popularly elected leader and social reformer despite the overwhelming evidence in support of that conclusion. This is because newspaper editors generally defer to stories which support and protect U.S. interests.
For instance, the program that brought 14,000 Cuban doctors who in turn established 11,000 neighborhood clinics in some of the poorest districts in Venezuela has largely gone unnoticed in the Western media. The same oversight applies to the literacy programs that have taught over a million adults how to read and write throughout the country. Where are the stories on the new schools and universities that have been built, most in the poorest districts? Where are the positive reports on the offer to sell discounted fuel for heating after the oil shortages during Hurricane Katrina?
Chavez is openly anti-American. But what exactly does that mean? He doesn’t like American foreign policy and the naked self-interests that it protects. But is the media really that patriotic? Doubtful.
I am not saying that the man is a fine example of how to win friends and influence people, most times he would be more effective if he would just shut up.
Keep in mind, while you are hating, that Chavez was popularly elected, whether you like his politics or not, the people of Venezuela elected him as their president.
US manufacturers, including major drugmakers, have legally released at least 271 million pounds of pharmaceuticals into waterways that often provide —drinking water contamination the federal government has consistently overlooked, according to an Associated Press investigation.
Hundreds of active ingredients are used in a variety of manufacturing, including drugmaking: For example, lithium is used to make ceramics and treat bipolar disorder; nitroglycerin is a heart drug and also used in explosives; copper shows up in everything from pipes to contraceptives.
Federal and industry officials say they don’t know the extent to which pharmaceuticals are released by U.S. manufacturers because no one tracks them — as drugs. But a close analysis of 20 years of federal records found that, in fact, the government unintentionally keeps data on a few, allowing a glimpse of the pharmaceuticals coming from factories.
Last year, the AP reported that trace amounts of a wide range of pharmaceuticals — including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones — have been found in American drinking water supplies. Including recent findings in Dallas, Cleveland and Maryland’s Prince George’s and Montgomery counties, pharmaceuticals have been detected in the drinking water of at least 51 million Americans.
Consumers are considered the biggest contributors to the contamination. We consume drugs, then excrete what our bodies don’t absorb. Other times, we flush unused drugs down toilets. The AP also found that an estimated 250 million pounds of pharmaceuticals and contaminated packaging are thrown away each year by hospitals and long term care facilities.
Researchers have found that even extremely diluted concentrations of drugs harm fish, frogs and other aquatic species. Also, researchers report that human cells fail to grow normally in the laboratory when exposed to trace concentrations of certain drugs. Some scientists say they are increasingly concerned that the consumption of combinations of many drugs, even in small amounts, could harm humans over decades.
Utilities say the water is safe. Scientists, doctors and the EPA say there are no confirmed human risks associated with consuming minute concentrations of drugs. But those experts also agree that dangers cannot be ruled out, especially given the emerging research.
Is your water safe? Keep in mind that the new light bulbvs that are all the rage, contain mercury. How long before discarded mercury makes it to the water table?