Sunday, November 14, 2010
This is the occasional rant I mention up above in my title.
Walking to Costco this morning I noticed a Channel 4 NBC news truck parked at the entrance with a cameraman and reporter talking in front. The reporter asked if I would answer a few questions on camera about our senior senator Chuck Schumer's latest pressing issue, and I agreed.
My mouth dropped when he told me what Chuck Schumer is up in arms about now (I'm sure that will be edited out if this ever makes it on TV): the tyvek-style bag on my shoulder that millions of us buy each year and use in order to "be green" contains lead, and Senator Schumer wants to pass legislation banning these bags.
I babbled a few things (including the one about "I don't mean to sound like a bigot, but these are made in China, the land of no regulation, and imported into the US, the land that demands cheap prices).
I also mentioned that with unemployment high, houses falling into foreclosure, and financial institutions running amok this is not an important issue. Senator Schumer might want to concentrate on regulating his good friends on Wall Street (and our Chuck has many good friends on Wall Street).
Let me add a few other thoughts:
1) No, I'm not worried about lead in my reusable bag. I'm an adult, and we have a tendency not to panic over minor issues.
2) Chuck, if I may call you that, I do understand why this is a big issue for you right now--if you're not going to govern, then you need smoke and mirrors and fear, lots of fear. Since we don't have orange and red terrorism alerts anymore, this will have to do.
3) These bags have been coming into the country for decades now, tens of millions at a time. Why is this moment (post election November 2010) the time to start regulating their import? Are you thinking that we import too much from China already, so any reduction will help? And if I cry into the ocean, will it raise the water level?
4) Is this ploy a part of the Senate Full Employment Act, keeping idiots at work on something insignificant before they actually do damage to the country? Nice try but too little, too late.
(As a staunch and lifelong member of the Democratic Party I am proud to vote for you, Chuck--'cause as long as you're in the Senate I know you won't be doing anything really important that could cause serious harm.)
Folks, every year my building management sends me a letter letting me know that they tested the public areas of the building and there is lead paint all over the place. Likely my apartment is full of it as well. There is no reason to become afraid or panicky over this, as there are options. Maybe you don't like them, but that's not the point.
I live in a place where over 8 million people crowd into what is a very tiny area, with some 2 million of us on an island that doesn't have a lot of exits if there is ever a reason to get out of town fast. I don't panic over getting TB or the 'flu from someone on the subway, or how I'll ever get out of Manhattan in case of a tsunami.
Our city is broke and borrowing like mad, our state is broke and cutting services like mad, and our country is broke and too afraid to admit what is happening so everyone is mad. I'm angry and scared and annoyed, and you want me to be frightened about lead in my grocery bag?
Guys, I gained 20 pounds when I quit smoking two years ago, but even with the extra weight I'm still not that big an a##hole.