Commentary: Our system is sick and greedy

The California First Five Commission oversees hundreds of millions of dollars each year of cigarette tax money.

How serious can they be about anti-smoking? They want to dry up that gravy train (close to $700 million) like I want to go to the dentist and be fluoridated!

That’s like the drug dealer encouraging his users to quit and clean up their act. Not likely. The First Five Commission’s web site states that we have a say in how the millions are spent. Have you been consulted?

Would I be correct in assuming that cigarette smokers are without concern for their own health?

I’m guessing they tend to be lower income, not well-educated, and not likely to have much concern for others. If they are parents, most likely they’re smoking around their kids. One way or another, the children are exposed — unfiltered smoke being the worst kind.

Not the best role models for children as they grow up. How many in the welfare and homeless populations are smokers? How do they afford it!? And, how many fires are started from smoking?

The individual’s right to smoke is none of my business, as long as I don’t have to breathe it, because it’s a free country, right? What about the wasted lives, healthcare costs, and, what about all that tax money of which we have little or no right of oversight?

Millions of taxpayers each give up a bit of their wages, purchases, energy costs, utilities, services, rights to this, that, and the other — and their freedom — all for mismanaging the government’s out-of-whack budget. It reminds me of Boss Tweed.

Legislators salivate and smack their lips as they contemplate the possibilities. Yet we remain in serious debt and often the public school education of our kids is pathetic. Infrastructure is failing and the streets are full of potholes.

Too many people are unemployed, or here illegally. Pension obligations are out of control.

Police act like dang revenuers; cameras installed at intersections where accidents for running a red light never happened. Legislators are often clueless and lobbyists have way too much influence, such as dictating housing starts.

Our system of free market capitalism is awful, right? Except for all the others. Thank you, Winston.

Make no mistake: unmonitored, unrestrained, without ethical behavior, our system is a sick and greedy monster. Waste, fraud, corruption, incompetence, and greed are running wild as we tolerate, excuse, and ignore. It matters not what we call ourselves — Democrat, Republican, etc.

Water wars are not just on the horizon; they are being waged around the state. Our local rates recently went up and will continue to do so. Shall we install sub-meters on apartments so renters can help pay the water bill? Oh, boy, an “untapped” market. Estimated cost is $50 billion dollars.

Why hasn’t there been a public forum to discuss fluoridation of our public water supply? Sorry to inform one of our popular local politicians, but fluoride treatments for children (or fluoride pills) and having no cavities later in life does not amount to a scientific study.

A water district representative admits this is “a hot button issue and there are diverse opinions on both the benefits and potential drawbacks from its use,” but a public discussion isn’t warranted? Quoting again from the San Dieguito Water District annual water quality report, “Fluoride —discharge from fertilizer and aluminum factories.” There is no justification for dosing the public with toxic waste without consent.

Why are there so many expensive buildings in our many water districts with extravagant salaries and benefits paid to special people, often on city councils, who don’t seem to want us to know what’s going on? As in the other triplicate of real estate — disclose, disclose, disclose — shouldn’t this also apply to public utilities and government? Questions need to be asked and answered.

Good news! Davis, Calif. rejected fluoridation! And Calgary, Canada.

Celia Kiewit is an Encinitas resident.

 

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