Monday 24 Oct 2016

Go Green or Else
Jennifer Flaten

Ah, the sight of gorgeous red and gold leaves drifting down; it starts slowly with one leaf, then, bam! Before you know it, the yard is under a fall carpet, a thick, deep fall carpet.

Ah, crap! Now I have to rake up the damn leaves and some how get rid of them.

Now normally getting rid of the leaves would be a fairly simple maneuver right? You just rake them or if you are totally high tech, you blow them to the curb.

Yeah, that would be super, except I live in an area that doesn't provide leaf pick up. Frankly, our community's reluctance to provide leaf service is a head scratcher. Lord knows we pay enough taxes in this particular community; in fact, our taxes are so high the city should send someone to our house to rake our leaves up for us.

Therefore, in an attempt to figure out exactly what I was supposed to do with the sea of leaves I have in my front yard, I dutifully read the literature our city so helpfully provided.

Here is where it gets a little wacky, while the city doesn't provide leaf pick up they also strong advise that you to refrain from burning the leaves.

Seems burning the leaves is rather harmful for the environment-uh yeah, smoke, fire all bad things for the environment.

Not to mention if I burn down the neighbors shed, then I probably won't get an invite to the neighborhood picnic next year. Still it is a risk I am willing to take, I mean, how the hell else am I going to get rid of this ocean of leaves??

The city helpfully suggests that instead of burning the leaves, you should compost them. By composting they don't mean that you can truck them to the city sponsored compost pile, oh no, they want you to maintain your own compost pile.

Well goodie! As if I don't have enough things to do, now I must maintain my own compost pile. This strikes me as a recycle or else mandate.

I don't want to compost but all the other options have pretty much been removed from availability so even though I don't want to compost I may just have to.

Governments seem to be veering in this "you don't know what's good for you but we do" direction lately. No longer do we have options we have mandates.

Take for instance flu shots. I think they are a good idea if you are older, or if the flu would exacerbate another illness, you have. Hey, even if you are healthy as a horse, if you want to get a flu shot that is your choice. In my opinion, it is wholly up to you, the government has no right to be involved at all.

Having the government or your employer tell you that you must get one is where I draw the line.

Before you label me anti vaccination, let me state that I understand the need for childhood vaccinations. I believe in them and my children have all their shots.

I draw the line at "big brother" forcing people to get a flu shot.

Recently, I saw that New Jersey is trying to mandate that all children entering pre school be inoculated for the flu. Okay, having children get a flu shot before entering pre-school makes a little sense. The flu is not a terrible disease, one that can only be eradicated by inoculating people against it.

Parents should be able to choose whether they think the flu shot is something worthwhile to give their children.

I was especially disturbed to read that hospitals are demanding that health care workers get the flu shots. If anyone should understand the benefits of a flu shot it would be someone in the medical profession, so if they choose not to get the shot, what does that say about the shots necessity?

We are on that slippery slope.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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