Other than delivering the Boston Globe door to door each morning before junior high school, the first clock-punching job that I ever had was that of a dishwasher. In 1980 $3.10 per hour was amazing money compared to delivering papers. The work was smelly and strenuous but hey, did I mention the astronomical pay rate? If the number of dinners served were favorable to the owner/chef, he would make me any item from the menu right before we closed the kitchen and finished the cleanup process. It was a great gig.
During college, a friend told me about a restaurant that needed a dishwasher out on Cape Cod. Economics 210, English 345, and World History 240 all did not provide the skill set that I had honed since age 14 for such an opportunity. White sand beaches, waves, and towering sand dunes by day and great pay with free meals by night. Up next I was able to extend a shoestring budget during travels in New Zealand and Australia by — you guessed it — washing dishes. (It is true that water swirls down the drain in a clockwise direction in the Southern Hemisphere.) Later on in life I managed restaurants in a couple of western states where they had dishwashers that were literally 10 feet long. The conveyor belt never stopped, and when it did all hands were on deck to get it fixed. To put it in perspective: If those with Ph.D.s stopped professing Nietzsche and Marx society would be much better off. If those who wash dishes stopped working society would crumble.
Dishwashing has been good to me. I continue to this day, more as a part of my life than the focus of my life. I do not mean to brag about my worldly dishwashing knowledge, but rather to establish my expert testimony. Something is very wrong with automatic dishwashing detergent as of July 2010. You may have noticed that your pots, pans, and general items are not rinsing off as well as they once had. Cloudy white streaks and patches of food particles are clinging to your plates with renewed tenacity. Detergents with a small percentage of phosphates are very effective at dispersing these oil and food fragments. Why would anyone seek to ban them and make an effective product an ineffective one?
For the answer, please consider the example of dichloro-diphenyl-trichloroethane, also known as DDT. Paul Hermann Muller received the Nobel Prize for DDT in 1948. This insecticide proved to be miraculous at fighting diseases such as malaria. We think of this disease as affecting people only in warmer climates throughout the African continent and Asia for example. But malaria was present as far north as Boston prior to the widespread use of DDT. By 1959 its use had virtually wiped out malaria in North America.
Rachel Carson’s book ‘Silent Spring’ was one of the first victories for those who wished to manipulate science for alarmist reasons. The case was made that bird eggs were thinning due to DDT, this has been proven untrue. Cancer rates in kids were linked to DDT use, but the irony is that when you eliminate the bugs that formerly infected kids with malaria, you have saved lives. Kids dying from other diseases will rise as a percentage because they are not dying from illnesses transmitted previous to the spraying of DDT. The budding Environmental Defense Fund and Sierra Club both joined in the litigation feeding frenzy. These actions lead Congress to hold hearings on Carson’s claims, lest they be accused of not caring about the health of the planet; does this sound familiar? Millions in Africa died as a direct result of the removal of DDT from the market per a 1972 United Nations directive. In 2006 the World Health Organization announced that it would reverse the decisions made over three decades before and resume using DDT to once again control outbreaks of malaria. Millions of Africans lost their lives as a direct result of these horrific calculations. Does this not fit the modern definition of ‘Crimes against humanity?’
If you take a step back, you will realize the crux of the issue; some people are focussed more on worshipping the creation rather than the Creator. Once you recognize this uncomfortable truth, a lot of these illogical decisions can be better understood. We are reaching a point in our world where people are tuning out legitimate challenges to the stewardship of our planet because of a daily barrage of false claims which are meant to lower our standard of living and to forcibly redistribute wealth else where in the world. Simply put, many of us are getting really tired of the little boy crying, “Wolf!”
(Rick Dow is a freelance writer from Havre.)