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“Help us, Michelle Obama!” Berkeley’s still under attack from Big Soda

     According to First Lady Michelle Obama, 25% of everyone trying to enlist in America’s armed forces these days are turned down because of poor health.  And of those who actually make it through the physical exams and join the Army, Marines, etc., 50% of these recruits are in poor enough health that they cost our military 150 billion dollars in healthcare expenses — plus $100,000 per patient to repair their bad teeth.
     Boots on the ground?  Yeah, sure.  But first we have to find enough healthy young adults to wear those boots in the first place — and then fix their teeth.  I’m sure that ISIS doesn’t have that kind of problem at all.
     Apparently, we pretty much have to scrape the bottom of the barrel to find healthy young adults — or even kids — in America these days.  “We even have two-year-olds testing with high blood pressure right now,” says the First Lady.
     And why is all this happening?  One of the major causes of this scary decay in Americans’ health is that they drink too much soda.  And also, we have to pay truly outrageous doctor bills as a result.  So can we tax soda consumers for their fair share of their own health costs?  Something small, like one cent a can?  Seems logical.  We already tax alcohol and tobacco consumers for their fair share of their own health costs, right?
    So the City of Berkeley, which runs three health clinics and a dental clinic, got the bright idea of taxing soda consumers to help cover their own healthcare costs.  And they put a measure on the November ballot to this effect.  And then all Hell broke loose in Berkeley!  Good grief!
     Soda manufacturing companies reacted like we had spit in their soup and kidnapped their cat!  “Get over it, Big Soda.  This is not about you!”  This is about the consumers of your products who are dying ten or 20 years early because they like your products.  They are the ones who are paying the tax.  Not you.
    So now I get at least one robo-call a day from Big Soda, plus all kinds of mailers, fliers, canvassers and accosters too.  1.2 million dollars worth of junk mail and hounding, telling us Berkeley residents to “Vote No on Measure D” in November.  I think that the people of Berkeley will vote “Yes on D” just because Big Soda has pissed us all off!

Further, no single corporation or individual should be allowed to buy any American election.  Ever.  Not even a city election.  And the “One person, one vote” rule should never be allowed to apply to corporations.  And we the people, not some company hacks on the Supreme Court, should be the ones who decide whether we want to live in a plutocracy or a democracy.  “You have to choose between one or the other,” as Justice Brandeis once warned us back in 1916 when the Robber Barons were in charge — like they are now.

    Bottom line:  “Help us, Michelle!  Put your money where your mouth is.  Come to Berkeley.  Help us.  Save us from Big Soda.  Please!”

And you can help too.  Please write the First Lady at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC 20500 and beg her to help little Berkeley out (And also please mention that her hubby needs to get the freak out of the Middle East and start spending all those trillions of dollars that he now spends on killing strangers — on fixing Americans’ teeth instead).

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Jane Stillwater

Jane Stillwater

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