I Want to Know
Many questions here ("Haz Matters," Dec. 13). Why are we hiring Florida cleanup crews instead of local? Who performed the discovery to make sure Florida cleanup crews knew California law? Why did hired cleanup crews not wear protective equipment and know procedure if that is their job?
The NRA is a terrorist corporation. Literally, its agenda seems to be to generate sufficient fear and hate so as to increase gun sales. The NRA's refusal to permit a reasonable approach to gun safety and ownership reveals its primary objective: to make money, even when the cost of increased sales is human life. It's important that we understand that even though mass shootings are, for most of us, a good reason to enact gun-safety laws, for the NRA, it's free advertising. It's not lost on the NRA that there is a bump in the sale of firearms following every mass shooting. Clearly, it has no motivation to restrict access to weapons. That's how it makes money, and that's why it blocks any and all reasonable laws intended to increase our safety. Our safety equals a decrease in its profit.
How else are we to understand why, less than three months after the worst mass shooting in the history of our country, the NRA and its political whores in Congress have begun pushing for a law that overrides states' rights to make laws restricting access to guns and replace it with a law that allows concealed weapons to be OK in every context, in every state: schools, churches, theaters, libraries—everywhere.
If this were any other terrorist organization facilitating the mass murder of American citizens, there would be a huge public, private and governmental response to stop it. And even though the majority of Americans want reasonable restrictions on access to weapons of mass murder, the Republicans and the White House line their pockets with the legal bribery allowed by Citizens United and cast votes that serve the NRA corporation rather than the needs, or will, of the American people.
With Congressional Republicans rushing to place a new tax bill on President Trump's desk before Christmas, here comes the respected British publication The Guardian suggesting a new source of tax revenue: meat. Yes, a tax on meat to beat the health and climate crises.
The concept is hardly radical. We already pay taxes on tobacco, alcohol, sugary sodas, plastic bags and other consumables that afflict the public health and other social costs.
The revenue would reimburse Medicare, Medicaid and other government healthcare programs for treating victims of chronic diseases that have been linked conclusively with consumption of animal products. It would contribute to the costs of restoring air and water quality and wildlife habitats that have been devastated by production of these items.
Benjamin Franklin noted that nothing is certain except death and taxes. However, death can be deferred substantially by taxing the very products that make us sick.
Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.