I'm so angry, let me get this out: Am I unhappy about any of Obama's picks? Extremely. Fucking corporate shill Tom Vilsack, the former governor of Iowa who has longstanding ties to agribusiness interests, as agriculture secretary. i am so pissed off about it. Why is it that politicians seem to think universal health care means providing more access to doctors and care, but have no sense of prevention? Listen to Nick Kristol's words yesterday in NYT:
One new study estimates that 24 million Americans now have diabetes, more than four times the number in 1980. The total direct and indirect cost to Americans is $218 billion each year — an average of $1,900 per American household. Each year, [according to the CDC], diabetes contributes to the deaths of more than 200,000 Americans!
The Western diet is killing Americans, and it's in no small part to fucking corn subsidies. Can you believe the government actually subsidizes high fructose corn syrup?!! Every year there are massive surpluses in corn, and tons and tons get shipped to chemical factories to produce this strange cane sugar substitute (the recipe and processes are guarded secretly by the chemical corps that produce it). It's so GD cheap that if you walk into a convenient store anywhere you'd be hard pressed not to find it as an ingredient in everything from soda (obviously) to bread and snacks. Who buys the cheapest food? People in the low-income neighborhoods of course. If you've got nothing, but you can afford a bag of Doritos, why would you buy trail mix, fruit, or even a can of natural soup, or something similar?
These subsidies go beyond just "helping the American farmer make an honest living". The major farmers in the corn states own thousands of acres of corn, and every year they figure out how to squeeze more and more bushels out of each acre through science and twisted genetically engineered processes. Fine, it costs less than 15% of our income to feed ourselves, unlike in the early part of the 20th century when it was around 30%, but what are we paying for?! We're paying for fucking health care instead, and that's much more expensive. We're paying for the diabetes we get, or the colon cancer that 1 in 3 men, who generally eat worse than women, are getting genetically these days! Is that because men are genetically predisposed to getting colon cancer?! Of course not, it's the Western diet!
After we destroy our civilization one day, through unsustainable practices in relation to our diets, this environment, and human relations, whoever inherits this earth will excavate bodies that are made of more corn than even the early civilizations in the lower Americas, who survived on corn. Can you believe that? Let's see... Let's have a McDonald's meal: Every item on your value meal will be eating the junkiest corn ever produced in the history of modern man. The beef is corn-fed (which is a whole other issue); the soda is made of water and corn syrup, with some coloring and chemically made flavors; and the fries are cooked in vegetable oil (which is corn and soy)! Can you believe that?! If you sit down and enjoy a common steak, or maybe chicken, or pork, whatever, it's the same GD thing!
And what's even more F'd up?: beef cattle aren't even genetically able to eat the corn diet. They're very often fed everything from corn stalk, ground corn, the corn waste from ethanol production, and anything else the beef industry can cheaply feed them (mixed often with soy too). But in order to keep them from dying from the corn their digestive systems can't handle (since they're genetically supposed to eat GRASS!) they are given massive medication. MEDICATION to keep them alive!! There is something wrong about this people, is it not obvious?
So instead of detaching the US government from business interests, in regards to our health, by picking a man with such connections to agribusiness Obama keeps government health in the hands of Monsanto, who genetically engineers more productive corn; or the major soft drink companies, who pay next to nothing for the high fructose corn syrup. He keeps the hoax of ethanol, an environmental LOSER (it takes a gallon of oil to make a gallon of ethanol), within the discourse on biofuels. WTF? Vilsack was named the biotech industries' "Governor of the Year" once for sake!! Well, I guess we'll only throw more money at treating health because we will not be cutting it off from the start. Our kids will keep getting fatter, and our poorer will continue to decline in health, burdening American tax payers with unnecessary health care costs, an issue that isn't even their fault.
When will we get our heads out of our asses and understand that corporate interest, while important, is never more important than the health of the population. Hey I am inspired by, and love Obama, as much as the next moderate progressive, but I really hope I'm wrong about Obama in this regard... For our children's sake...
[Sorry for the raw language. And it can be noted that Vilsack has softened on some of his most public pushes in these areas since he was Iowa Governor, but he has never actually detached from these agribusiness concepts (including the unbelievable genetically engineered corn for pharmaceuticals idea). Fine, he won't be flying in Monsanto's jets anymore, but on his record, he's an ally...no doubt.]