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Today is ANZAC Day. We remember the soldiers who fell, fighting for the freedoms we enjoy today. I appreciate the sacrifice made by so many soldiers and the families that were waiting for them to come home.
And then I wonder what freedoms we really have in this country.
I guess they mean “democracy”. Apparently, that’s what we have. We can vote for our representatives and leaders, and we can trust that the majority will win. We can trust that we won’t be killed for complaining about our government. We can choose to follow any religion.
But what else?
Our State Government has announced that they will be adding fluoride to our water. No public debate, no referendum. “It’s good for you and if you don’t want it, buy a filter”. Too bad if you can’t afford one. Oh, and it was announced just before Christmas - you know, when everybody is busy thinking about other stuff - and the opportunity for objection was small and not well publicised.
Right now, as I type, pregnant and labouring women everywhere are being bullied, coerced, guilted and threatened into unnecessary interventions, tests and procedures. “It’s good for you and if you don’t you’ll kill your baby” (and the obstetrician prefers to work only during business hours - but s/he’s not telling you that). Our caesarean rate is currently over 30%. It should be at least half of that or less. Doctors tell us that women are asking for them. It’s their choice, their right, their freedom. Apparently. Don’t worry about that whole “full informed choice” thing. Don’t tell us about the risks that increase with every subsequent pregnancy. In some places, women are going “underground” to get the care that they need, because the people who actually care about them aren’t allowed to legally do what they do. In the U.S., whose obstetrical model we are following all too closely, homebirth midwives have been arrested, and their lives destroyed, because they dared to care, and took business away from the big guys.
Right now, as I type, diagnoses of all sorts of diseases are being made. People, and in particular parents of sick children, are being railroaded into all sorts of “treatments”. No option to explore alternatives. Threats of reporting to authorities if “treatment” is refused. I’m reminded constantly of how lucky we really have been.
Genetically modified things are being planted and produced without adequate safety studies or community consultation. We don’t have a say in something that can never be undone. The gene pool of many seeds is under threat and farmers are being crushed by the big GMO manufacturers. Even certain organic crops are being threatened with contamination that cannot be reversed.
Meanwhile, natural foods are made illegal for our “safety” - even though they have done far less harm than many “foods” found in abundance on the supermarket shelves. I’m not talking about marijuana (in case you were wondering), I mean things like raw almonds (in the U.S., I don’t think Australia is considering this… yet) and raw milk. Organic foods are still expensive and more difficult to obtain than mass-produced, pesticide-laden versions. We don’t have the complete, equal freedom to choose the foods we consider to be healthy for ourselves.
The allopathic medicine industry continually looks for ways to take away our choices in natural and alternative medicines while endorsing the latest, greatest drug. There has already been one major scare in recent years, threatening the future of alternative medicines. Ironically, the latest discovery I heard about is a “plant extract” that, added to a vaccine, supposedly promises to make it many times more effective. Apparently natural plant extracts are OK, as long as they’re in a drug.
Education… maybe I shouldn’t even start on that one…
So on this ANZAC Day, as we remember the fallen soldiers of wars past and present, we must also remember those who continue to fight our everyday battles for true democracy and freedom.
Lest we forget.