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View Diary: Who wants fluoride in their beer? (148 comments)

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  •  are you anti-vaccination? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    alain2112, misslegalbeagle
    •  No, I'm not (5+ / 0-)

      But I do think it should be voluntary, which I think would work very well, since most people want to be vaccinated. I would have to give long thought to exceptions (if a plague is threatening) but I think we must respect personal autonomy as much as possible. 1984 Big Brotherism, even in the name of public health, should be kept on a very short leash. These kinds of intrusions on personal freedom always start with something that is "for the public good".

      I've always been amazed when liberals defend the right to get an abortion based on the principle of female autonomy over their bodies (which I strongly support) but are fine when the authoritarianism is reflected in one of their pet programs.  

      It is still authoritarianism when liberals do it. Modern liberals are becoming more and more enamored with using the power of a central state authority to foist all manner of policy on people, as if we're all too stupid to make our own choices. Very disturbing trend.

      "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

      by ZhenRen on Sat May 18, 2013 at 04:27:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  How do you define "authoritarianism"? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        alain2112, misslegalbeagle

        I don't really see how it applies to vaccination or water fluoridation.

        Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

        by AaronInSanDiego on Sat May 18, 2013 at 04:56:01 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  A willing tolerance or support of (3+ / 0-)

          unnecessary, unjustified control and encroachment over personal autonomy by an individual or group.

          I already explained why forcing substances into the bodies of people against their will is authoritarian.

          So, where do you draw the line? How far can we take your idea of mass medicating people? Do you have any respect for personal freedom and autonomy over one's body?

          "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

          by ZhenRen on Sat May 18, 2013 at 05:12:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I believe that vaccination is neither (0+ / 0-)

            unnecessary no unjustified. It's a matter of public health of the group, not just the individual's autonomy. These are issues where one value, autonomy, comes in conflict with another.

            With fluoridation, I think the public should have accurate information about what is put int the water supply. The decision should be made either by referendum as is being done in Portland, or by elected representatives, I admit that alternatives to using the public water supply favor those who can afford them, so it's not an ideal situation.

            But when it comes to public infrastructure and policy that affects everyone and not just the individual, it's not just a matter of individual autonomy. The issue of abortion is different, since an individual's autonomy doesn't have an effect on the infrastructure or the larger group.

            Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

            by AaronInSanDiego on Sat May 18, 2013 at 05:24:08 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  So, human kind will wither away (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              True North, Horace Boothroyd III

              if these acts are voluntary? Of course not. Much more is accomplished when people are allowed to act voluntarily than by force.

              The human species has survived plagues, tooth decay, and many other threats before you came along with your forced mass medicating.

              The idea is that personal liberty is so precious and valuable and indispensable to the human right to live, that it must be guarded, lest it corrode away little by little until nothing is left.

              Can you prove forced medication is necessary?

              "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

              by ZhenRen on Sat May 18, 2013 at 05:30:18 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  How can fluoridation of the water supply (0+ / 0-)

                be voluntary, since it's not an action done by individuals? If you say it's up to the individual to opt in by getting fluoride treatment if they chose, I think that's preferable if it's made available to everyone regardless of income, and if water fluoridation provides no additional benefit. As of now, it doesn't seem that adequate dental care is available to everyone, so as long as that's the case, water supply fluoridation may be helpful.

                As for individual actions, voluntary is preferable, and certainly physical force or threats of legal consequences shouldn't be used if not necessary. I don't think we're at that point with vaccination. As of now, as far as I'm aware, it's a requirement upon entering public schools, with some hurdles if a parent wants to opt out.

                Of course I agree that personal liberty is valuable and something to be protected.

                As to your last question, I can't prove anything. All I can do is look at the evidence I see and weigh the pros and cons, express my views, and cast my vote along with other citizens when the opportunity arises.

                Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

                by AaronInSanDiego on Sat May 18, 2013 at 05:43:11 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Toothpaste has flouride. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  True North

                  Hell, green tea, which I've ingested for years in ridiculously large quantities (I'm a caffeine addict)  has fluoride. There are many ways to voluntarily ingest the substance. But putting chemicals in the water supply, using it as a drug delivery system, is against the crucial principle of respecting personal liberty. It crosses a boundary, and should be discouraged.

                  Do you draw any lines regarding encroachments on personal liberty?

                  "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                  by ZhenRen on Sat May 18, 2013 at 05:49:13 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I don't see a big movement. (0+ / 0-)

                    to start adding a lot of medications to our water supplies. This is about one substance. Other chemicals are added for sanitation purposes, but I don't see anybody raising the issue of autonomy regarding that. The question is always one of weighing the costs and benefits.

                    Of course I draw lines. The fact that they are not at the same places you would draw them doesn't mean they aren't there. I think the 4th Amendment to the Constitution is a good rule to limit encroachments, for example. But again, we might not interpret that the same way. For example, I don't think baggage scanners at airports should be prohibited on that basis, while others do. I think many aspects of the PATRIOT act and the FISA amendments went too far in infringing on liberty.

                    Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

                    by AaronInSanDiego on Sat May 18, 2013 at 06:00:23 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Good to know (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      AaronInSanDiego

                      that you at least have some concept of where you would draw a line.

                      But this is how we start to erode personal rights to basic autonomy, inch by inch. It becomes easier and easier to dictate to people, right down to the kind of water they drink, how to live their personal lives.

                      We need to revive the concept of respecting, as if sacrosanct, personal freedom and liberty.

                      We are seeing on the national scale far too many new policies that allow spying, indefinite detention, even torture of prisoners, all under a democratic administration, and supported by the democratic party rank and file.

                      It's time to push back and say no. I never thought I'd be worrying that it would be Democrats who would turn, little by little, to a police state, a security/surveillance state, and hints of moving, even if incrementally, towards totalitarianism. We're not there yet, but yes, Dems are scaring me.

                      "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                      by ZhenRen on Sat May 18, 2013 at 06:20:21 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  If there were a pandemic disease threatening... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Horace Boothroyd III

              ...say a new bird flu, people would be lined up for blocks to voluntarily get vaccinated.

              Most people I know dutifully get vaccinated with no coercion necessary. In fact, most people gobble up beyond recommended dosages any kind of medication they can get heir hands on.

              People don't need to be forced as if too stupid to act according to their interests.

              It's time more on the left spoke out about the growing authoritarianism in Democratic circles. Authoritarianism is NOT democracy.

              "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

              by ZhenRen on Sat May 18, 2013 at 05:43:54 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  And democracy is not (0+ / 0-)

                authoritarianism, in my view.

                Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

                by AaronInSanDiego on Sat May 18, 2013 at 05:46:09 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Depends on how you define democracy (0+ / 0-)

                  How do you define it? Is a bunch of extremely wealthy and privileged people who populate the majority of national elected offices, and who serve their own economic interests at the expense of most Americans, a democracy?

                  Is it a democracy when one must be rich to successful run for office?

                  Anyway, it is well known that civil rights and freedoms must be protected from majority rule, lest the majority decide, for example, to outlaw abortion. What then? This is why it is so important to not pass unnecessary laws which curtail personal freedom.

                  "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                  by ZhenRen on Sat May 18, 2013 at 06:01:44 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  First of all, I don't think that (0+ / 0-)

                    one necessarily has to be rich to successfully run for office, although those who get elected are disproportionately wealthy. Yes it takes too much money, and I would prefer public campaign financing. Although that could be seen by some as an infringement on individual rights to financially not support campaigns they disagree with. However, as long as the elections are not fraudulent, voters are ultimately collectively responsible for these people getting elected, so yes I would say it is still a democracy.

                    I agree with your last paragraph. But we won't always agree on what laws are necessary, and to what extent they curtail freedom.

                    Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

                    by AaronInSanDiego on Sat May 18, 2013 at 06:10:39 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Your chances of running for national office (2+ / 0-)

                      are pretty slim if you aren't wealthy and very well connected to wealthy interests. Take a look at opensecrets.org for average net worth of the senate and the house, as well as cabinet level officers of the executive branch. Do you think that is coincidence? They are all, on average, very well off.

                      Remember Durbin stating that the Senate is owned by the banking industry?

                      Pattern recognition is useful. It would take more time than I'm willing to spend to lay out the ample evidence, but yes, our government is largely owned by wealthy interests. Why do you think we're doing nothing about global warming? Or peak oil? Or the coming water shortages? Or renewable energy? Or making education affordable? Or raising wages to livable, humane levels? Or giving everyone publicly funded and thus better and more affordable health care? Or ending the constant wars? Why were the wealthy bankers bailed out after the crime of gambling away the economy, but homeowners were left at the mercy of robo-signing of fraudulent foreclosure documents.Whey weren't the people bailed out instead? Why are students with student loan debt left to the mercy of the predator banking industry?

                      Why don't the wealthy Democrats in office spend some of their political capital educating people?

                      No, this isn't a functioning democracy. If you read the history, you would realize it was set up to curtail too much democracy. In the first election, only something like 6% were allowed to vote (exclude women, blacks, Indians, whites without property, and there weren't many left over to vote).

                      "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

                      by ZhenRen on Sat May 18, 2013 at 06:37:29 PM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

            •  Referendum is no better than city council (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Horace Boothroyd III

              It does not matter whether a city government decides to put medication in the water by way of a vote of city council or a referendum.

              Every individual has the right to make the decisions about accepting recommended medical treatment.

              The doctor has the obligation to explain why this medication is suggested, and what the possible benefits and side effects are so the patient can make an informed decision.

              The patient can say no, refusing treatment or medication, for whatever reasons the patient sees fit. No matter who else in the world thinks the patient should take that medication, the only opinion that matters is the patient's.

              In the case of fluoride:
              -- it isn't a person's doctor recommending it, but a city government imposing it;
              --the city imposes it on everyone, including those for whom it is toxic;
              --because it is imposed on everyone, the city skips the explanations of potential benefits and side effects, and the patient is denied the chance to make an informed decision.

        •  Authoritarianism (0+ / 0-)

          Aaron in San Diego, I won't try to define "authoritarianism" but I will speak to the legitimacy of a government body medicating the entire population by putting medication into the water supply.

          And it is medication: the intent is to address a health condition by adding fluoride to the water to treat it.

          That's what we call medication. It isn't like chlorine, which is used to make the water safe to drink; it is used to treat dental caries.

          We have the right to make our own informed decisions about whether to take medication after being advised of potential benefits, side effects, and risks by physicians or other health professionals.

          We can decide not to take the medication for whatever reasons we see fit.

          People in city government who make these decisions are not doctors; they are not providing individual patients with information to make informed decision; and they are not qualified to medicate one person, much less an entire community.

          And such city officials either do not know, or do not care, whether some people who will consume this mandatory medication are placed at risk as a result.

          The attitude seems to be that having people ingest what is, for those individuals, a toxic amount of fluoride is just acceptable collateral damage.

          If a city is keen to medicate its residents, it should perhaps offer free fluoride tablets to anyone who wants them. These would be pharmaceutical-grade, not industrial-waste-grade, and the pills would be cheaper than the waste products dumped in the water.

          And anybody who doesn't want to ingest additional fluoride can decline to do so.

          Win-win-win all the way around.

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