Tuesday, October 4, 2011

If you can't beat 'em, disenfranchise 'em

Republican legislators realize that they can continue to disparage those below the poverty line and enable the corporations that exploit them if they simply make it more difficult to vote.

I thought it was bad enough that corporations can spend unlimited funds on political "speech," but apparently we still hadn't undermined our democratic rights enough.

According to a recent New York Times article, a number of states have recently passed laws related to voting and voter registration; these laws limit opportunities to register to vote and to vote, while also requiring specific types of photo identification that not all voters posess.

These laws are being challenged under the Voting Rights Act (1965), but in the meantime a similar law has already been established here in Indiana.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Worth Fighting For

Yesterday I spent $5.95 on a Pizza Pollo at Recker’s. It tasted like happiness, as always. It also cost the same as about 12 human lives.

Let me explain.

This week is ND Fighting NTDs Awareness Week. NTDs are Neglected Tropical Diseases, a collection of chronic, preventable diseases that plague over 1.4 billion people worldwide. That’s 20% of the global population. All of these diseases can be treated or prevented for just 50 cents per person per year.

NTDs are chronic parasitic illnesses. They are mostly transmitted through water, dirt and human feces. I’ll spare you a technical rundown of the diseases, but just know that they cause unimaginable suffering: malnutrition, respiratory illness, debilitating and painful blindness, unmanageable swelling of the limbs, mental retardation, and the works. The medicines to treat NTDs have been developed and donated by major pharmaceutical companies, but we have no way of physically getting the treatments to the people who so desperately need help. We need money to transport the medication and to train and educate distributors to safely administer the medicine.