Friday, December 21, 2007


In a recent communication with a relative, the subject came up about Chinese-made toys. I mentioned that I wasn't planning on buying toys for the children in my family, but would come up with other ideas that didn't involve Chinese-made plastic. My relative expressed her skepticism, stating that her husband had played with lead soldiers in his youth and didn't believe a little lead would hurt children.

Actually, the ingestion of lead not only hurts children, but also adults. It has to be ingested to cause any damage, but this can come, not only from placing items in the mouth as babies and small children do, but can come from lead being present on your clothing or other objects, then transferred from there. The effects accumulate in the body and the ingestion of too much lead can lead to troubling health effects. Little children are especially vulnerable to the effects of lead. It affects their mental capacity, can ruin their health, and in extreme cases, even lead to death.

Heaven knows the News Media has broadcast the dangers of lead in Chinese-made toys to an extent where parents have been worried. Following on the heels of the disastrous deaths of so many of our dogs, these broadcasts have been doubly troublesome. My neighbor's dog, an elderly hound of indiscriminate lineage, was a lovable old creature, always wagging his tail in greeting. His owners didn't know what was wrong when he first became ill, then the Vet did some testing and told them to check his food. The dog died shortly after and it was as though the entire neighborhood had lost a friend. Then, another friend of mine, who lives in Milwaukee, wrote a heartbreaking message about the death of her dog due to dogfood they had given him each day.

Lead poisoning in children often affects their mental capacity. Heaven knows, it's hard enough to get children through school as it is, without adding some metallic barrier to good marks. I would think that any parent or grandparent would think twice about all of this.

But my relative voiced her skepticism and stated that she would buy toys as usual for her grandchildren, insinuating that the reports about lead poisoning and its effects of children as reported by the News Media was simply a plot by unseen forces to rile up the public for some inscrutable reason, with no basis in fact.

If she is a Republican, I guess the lead content in toys is perceived as a Liberal plot by a bunch of silly treehuggers who want to alarm the public just for the hell of it. Then, as if lead content isn't enough, these same environmental alarmists put out a report that some toys contained a chemical used in the Morning After Birth Control pill.

This theory may explain why these toys are reportedly not removed from the shelves of many stores. A lot of Corporate profit there, you know! What is a Liberal rumor about the safety of children compared to the profits to be made?

Anyway, her communication was dripping with sarcasm and caused me to defend myself with all sorts of dire warnings about the ingestion of lead. She then asked....well, what is one to do with the piles and piles of toys in the basement, stored away throughout the years. By this time, I am tempted to tell her what she could do with the piles of toys in her basement, but I managed to be somewhat civil in my reply.

Now, I do not know whether or not the Chinese toys and gewgaws arriving by the shipload at every port in the United States are safe or not. Like everyone else, I simply listen to the News. I have learned not to believe every word George Bush states, and I have become somewhat skeptical about the longterm success of the Surge. Nor do I believe that evil, Satanist Liberals are trying to take Christ out of Christmas! But when they warn me that my grandchildren may suffer the same fate as our dogs, I have listened.

So, if anyone wants to hand Chinese toys to their children or grandchildren in the spirit of Christmas, that is their choice. Far be it from me to tell others what to believe, even though I do think a return to American manufacturing and a little less import of food and supplies from countries where workers squat in the fields to defecate and have no safety regulations in place would not be a bad idea at all.

But then, I guess I am just a silly treehugging Liberal!