Why Your Mattress May Be Killing You

The average mattress consists of petroleum-based foam covered in petroleum-based polyester fabric. During its 10-year average lifetime, a foam mattress loses up to half its weight, and the lost weight goes on your bedroom floor in the form of toxic dust and in the air in the form of formaldehyde gas which is a by-product of the foam breakdown. Those dust bunnies under your bed could be a real threat to your health, unless you use an organic mattress which does not break down into these toxic by-products.

The foam mattress story gets even more scary. The average petroleum-based foam queen-sized mattress is soaked in about a pound of fire retardant chemicals called PDBEs, which have already been banned in Europe, but not in North America. PDBEs are chemicals which are similar to the banned PCBs, and they build up in the body like DDT and PCBs. The PDBEs are used because they are the simplest and cheapest way to conform to United States mattress fire resistance codes. They are also promoted by the chemical industry, which recently sponsored tightening of the mattress fire resistance codes, which will cause even greater quantities of PDBEs to be used in the manufacture of mattresses beginning in 2006. While these new codes will save an estimated 27 lives a year from fires, these new regulations play Russian roulette with the future health of the 285 million Americans that sleep on these petroleum-based foam mattresses. Those calling for a ban on PDBEs say the greater danger is not the lives lost in fires, but the potentially millions of cases of cancer caused by exposure to these chemicals over the coming decades.

The solution to this problem is to remove petroleum-based bedding from your home, and this has spawned the burgeoning organic bedroom movement. The cornerstone of this trend is the organic mattress, which is the same kind of mattresses our ancestors used before the rise of the petrochemical industry after World War II. It is also interesting to note that current cancer rates are more than 5 times higher than before World War II, when everybody was sleeping on organic mattresses by definition, because there was no petrochemical industry during those times.

Examples of an organic mattress include:

1. Organic cotton and wool batting innerspring mattresses with an organic cotton fabric cover. Wool is naturally fire retardant and meets all US fire codes.
2. A Natural latex mattress, whose foam is made from the latex sap of the rubber tree and which require no fire retardants because natural rubber does not burn well.
3. Luxury organic mattresses which use combination of all three materials, organic cotton, wool, and latex, to produce maximum comfort mattresses that rival any non-organic mattresses.
4. All organic cotton mattresses. Although cotton does not burn well, it requires a doctor’s prescription because cotton does not meet US fire resistance codes.

Organic mattresses also have comfort advantages over traditional petroleum-based foam mattresses. They wick away moisture from the body much more thoroughly than clammy polyester and man-made foam, stopping night sweating and cutting down on problems like athlete’s foot and jock itch. Wool also regulates body temperature very well, which is important for a restful sleep. Natural latex foam and wool are resistant to dust mites, which cause allergies in many people, and organic cotton and latex foam are both hypoallergenic materials. Organic mattresses are also considered a must for people with chemical sensitivities.

Major North American manufacturers of organic mattresses include Vivetique/Crown City Mattress, located in South El Monte, California, Royal Pedic, headquartered in Beverly Hills, California, and Obasan, located in Ottawa, Canada. Retailers of organic mattresses include a variety of local mattress stores who carry products from these manufacturers, and nationwide web retailers, like Dax Stores, which often have the best prices for these mattresses.

Source http://www.guidemegreen.com

Canada: Haven for the Cowardly?

From today's Globe & Mail:

Tom Hayden, a U.S. activist of the 1960s, is asking Canada to provide a haven for deserters from the U.S. army.

Mr. Hayden, once a defendant in the notorious trial of the Chicago Seven and later a California state legislator, went to Parliament Hill on Thursday to ask the federal government to give special consideration to Americans who flee military service in Iraq on grounds of conscience.

He said soldiers and reservists of today are in the same boat as Vietnam-era draftees and deserters who came to Canada to avoid service in southeast Asia.

He said the soldiers are coerced to volunteer for the army by lavish offers of cash and educational benefits.

This guy's main claim to fame was being a draft-dodger married to Jane Fonda.

The article goes on to point out that we've already turned down Jeremy Hinzman.

Ladies & Gentlemen, Please Welcome Pope Benedict XVI

Today is a joyous day. Cardinal Ratzinger of Germany has just been named the new pope, and has chosen the name Pope Benedict XVI. Ratzinger is hard-line conservative, and will continue on in John Paul II's steps.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger of Germany, a longtime guardian of doctrinal orthodoxy, was elected the new pope Tuesday evening in the first conclave of the new millennium. He chose the name Pope Benedict XVI.

Ratzinger, the first German pope in centuries, served John Paul II since 1981 as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In that position, he has disciplined church dissidents and upheld church policy against attempts by liberals for reforms. He turned 78 on Saturday.

White smoke poured from a chimney at the Vatican and bells tolled on Tuesday evening, announcing to the world that a new pope was elected in the first papal conclave of the new millennium.

Crowds in St. Peter's Square chanted: "Viva il Papa!" or "Long live the pope!"

He is the 265th pope.

The new pope will have to decide whether to keep up the kind of foreign travel that was a hallmark of John Paul's papacy, with his 104 pilgrimages abroad.

The new man may be locked into one foreign trip รข€” the mid-August Catholic youth day gathering in Cologne, Germany. John Paul had agreed to visit and organizers have already spent millions of dollars in preparations.
I don't think that will be a problem for the new German pope. Welcome.

Update: It get better. Cardinal Ratzinger has a fan site! Can't get in due to heavy traffic, though.

The Pacifist Left - 8 Years in the Slammer

I don't even need to comment on this piece. I will let my readers bask in the irony of the pacifist left.

A Caltech graduate student convicted of helping to firebomb scores of sport utility vehicles was sentenced to more than eight years in federal prison and ordered to pay $3.5 million in restitution.

A federal judge Monday rejected William Jensen Cottrell's plea for leniency.

"There's no way I'd ever be involved in anything like this again," Cottrell said. "I won't ever even jaywalk again."

However, U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner said Cottrell had engaged in domestic terrorism and "we're very, very lucky" that no one was killed in the arson attacks.

Cottrell, 24, was convicted in November of conspiracy to commit arson and seven counts of arson for an August 2003 vandalism spree that damaged and destroyed about 125 SUVs at dealerships and homes in the San Gabriel Valley east of Los Angeles.

Cottrell was acquitted of using a destructive device Molotov cocktails in a crime of violence. That was the most serious charge he faced and it carried a sentence of at least 30 years in prison.

At his trial, the prosecution had accused Cottrell of "arrogance" and a "towering superiority" toward people who did not share his environmental views. Cottrell had testified that SUV dealers were evil.

The judge said he felt sorry for Cottrell, a doctoral candidate in the physics department at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, but he had only himself to blame.

Oh, they hate that don't they? When they have to blame themselves, and not somebody else?

Nobody Believes Volpe

Poor, poor Joe Volpe. Today he unveiled a new plan to cut down on the near-impossibility of sponsoring parents and grandparents into Canada. He's got so much going against him.

First of all, it makes no economic sense. In an age when our healthcare system is near collapse, with long lines and a shortage of doctors, it hardly seems reasonable to import more weak and infirm people - especially those who are no longer functioning in the workplace. They would be using the system without ever having paid taxes into it. You can make all the humanitarian arguments you want, but the fact is, we're not able to support them.

Second of all - nobody believes Volpe. We all know that the Liberal government is bringing out every vote-grabbing ploy they've ever used, in order to postpone or win a snap election. And who better to pander to than Canada's ever-growing immigrant population? After all, the Conservatives would never make such promises to the ethnic community, would they? Well, no, not without planning to keep them, anyway.

Some were skeptical of Ottawa's intentions, given the precarious state of Prime Minister Paul Martin's Liberal minority government.

They said Volpe was simply trying to shore up support among ethnic voters, an important part of the Liberal constituency.

"What about the last nine, 10 years? There have been too many people suffering (because) families were never reunited," said Sam Hundal, a local real estate agent.

"Now they really come out because an election is looming and they've got problems. They are actually deceiving the public."

New Democrat Leader Jack Layton was equally skeptical. "Most Liberal announcements never happen," he said.

And thirdly, the immigrants are beginning to turn against the Liberals, anyway, thanks to their zealous quest to destroy marriage as we know it.

However, Ottawa has yet to address far more serious issues in the country's immigration policy, such as ensuring skilled immigrants can find appropriate work once they get here, Reitz added.

"The trend over time is toward an increasing problem of unemployment and higher poverty rates for newly arriving immigrants," he said.

During the announcement, a handful of Sikhs protested against same-sex marriage. Volpe dismissed them as a Conservative plant.

And you, Mr. Volpe, I dismiss as a Liberal fruitcake.

Cross-posted to The Shotgun.

Why Should We Care?

The Globe & Mail today cites a human rights report condemning countries like Canada and the United States for deporting terror suspects back to countries where there is a high probability of torture.
The report specifically cites Canada and its security-certificate procedure, in which suspects can be tried using secret evidence and deported to countries where torture is believed to be common, as long as that country vows not to abuse that particular person.

"Governments in states where torture is a serious human rights problem almost always deny such abusive practices," Ms. Hall says in the report, titled Still at Risk.

"It defies common sense to presume that a government that routinely flouts its obligations under international law can be trusted to respect those obligations in an isolated case."

Human Rights Watch is one of several organizations worried that the global ban on torture is being eroded by legal maneuvering and public complacency.
Personally, I'm not losing any sleep at night over the idea that someone who is a threat to my country and my safety might be tortured once he is deported back to whatever hole he came out of. While here in Canada we have humane (to the point of soft) prisons and punishments, we are under no obligation to host foreign criminals who are trying to hurt us. Many of these people come to Canada and America with the sole purpose of promoting or engaging in terrorist activity. Sometimes they come with a visa. Sometimes it is under the guise of refugee. Canada has a very open-door policy, but (despite recent opinion) we're not completely stupid. If you spit in the eye of your host, he's going to throw you out on your ass. If that means you end up back in a country where you will be tortured or killed (most likely for getting caught, and thereby failing in your terrorist mission), well that's your problem. You should have thought of that before.
"If these suspects are criminals, they should be prosecuted, and if they're not, they should be released," said Kenneth Roth, executive director of the organization. "But shipping them off to countries where they'll be tortured is not an acceptable solution."
To me, that is a more than acceptable solution. I agree that if they are not criminals, they should be set free. So if we have enough evidence to say that they are linked to terrorist organizations, but perhaps not enough to prosecute, we set them free. In their own countries. Why should the Canadian taxpayer foot the bill for the trial, anyway? North America should not have to be the purse of the entire uncivilized world. Send them back if they are a threat.

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