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TROIKA - A Short Story by Gary J Byrnes, 2012

A Short Story by Gary J Byrnes, 2012

Dublin, December 1936

Dark at noon, midwinter. A statue over the entrance doorway, Holy Mary, Mother of God, a feeble garland of lights drooping around her shoulders.

The men glanced around as they neared the door. College deathly quiet. Their breaths hung like stains in the frigid air. The taller one put his hand on the handle, looked at his friend. A nod and the door was opened. No turning back now.
A blast of heat and a smell, a smell of something, something familiar yet hard to place, burning the air. The priest recognised it as the smell of death. The door closed behind them, that cold world of schoolboys and sinners and paupers and peasants shut away now. They walked up a dark hallway, musty curtains, marbled saints, fading photographs in dusty frames, and into a large room with a blazing fire at the distant wall. Three high-backed armchairs arranged there. The top of head visible, gleaming, oily hair.
They paused.
‘Come,’ he commanded.
They sat either side of him, no pleasantries, the fire intensely hot.
Like the fires of hell.
He wore an immaculately-tailored pinstripe suit, grey on black and had a chain of rosary beads in his right hand, the crucifix dangling. The priest instinctively felt for his own beads in his coat pocket. The politician fought the urge to do the same.
‘Ambassadors. Welcome.’
‘Thank you,’ in unison.
They nodded yes and he picked a brass bell from a delicately carved table. Angels and fruit.
A boy, no more than twelve years old, came quietly to the man’s side. He glanced at the visitors, fear in his eyes. The priest touched the boy’s arm, vaguely smiled. There, there.
The boy nodded and scurried away quickly.
Bells chimed somewhere nearby. Idle crows squawked.
They sat and waited in silence until the tea came, on a silver tray. The boy’s hands trembling, the spoons rattling.
The boy left and the politician served.
They drank sweet tea and stared into the flames, imagining tormented faces there.
‘To business,’ said the man, his eyes fixed on the fire. ‘Priest. You are to take these people and crush their souls. I will grant your church half a century of complete control and you will be Lord of it all. Your kind will grow rich and fat off them. You may torture, abuse and degrade them. You will be above the law. For a time, you will be the law. I just want them to be, mmm, pliable. Understood?’
‘Yes. Sir,’ said the priest.
‘Politician. You are to assist the priest. This new constitution that you are drafting? Let the priest write it for you. Work together. You must make them believe that they live in freedom while you bond them into slavery. You and your kind will have seventy years in which to bleed them of their wealth and create a bureaucracy that is self-serving, an illusion of a republic. Ban contraception so they’ll breed like rats. I need more souls, boys! And censor free thought and every form of progressive expression. Keep them mired in poverty and stupidity, mouthing your dogmas and fallacies. Can you do this for me, Éamon?
The politician pushed his spectacles up onto the bridge of his nose. ‘I can.’
‘Good. I was there at your shoulder when the Free State was born, when you rejected the Treaty that caused civil war. That bad blood will never be lost, a good day’s work. And I helped you start your Fianna Fáil, your breeding ground for the future demons who will do my bidding. When the peasants are broken, then this,’ he swept his hands wide, ‘all this will be swept away and my destiny will be fulfilled.’
He stood then. ‘It’s done. Go. Take my power, McQuaid. Take it, de Valera. And deliver me Ireland.’
Then come to me.
He strode from the room, taking the heat with him.
The fire quickly withered.
Again, bells tolled nearby. How much time had passed?
‘Are you coming, Father?’ asked de Valera.
‘Not yet. I’ll see you in my office in the morning. We have much work to do. For now, God bless.’
De Valera left the room quietly. And Father John Charles McQuaid reached for the brass bell.


Do something about fluoride today!

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If you live outside Ireland, why not email the same bunch of people and say "I was thinking of taking a holiday in Ireland but I don't want to be poisoned by the unethical addition of fluoride to your water supply. Also, I will be boycotting Irish food and drink products as I don't want to consume anything that may be contaminated with fluoride."

Dear Minister,

Most health professionals advise that we should drink at least six glasses of water per day. I cannot afford to purchase sufficient mineral water to meet this goal and nor should I have to. I call on you to rescind the legislation that requires Irish councils to add fluoride to the water supply. And don't bother trotting out the same old guff about why we need fluoride added to our water. Ireland is the only EU country with this backward mass-medication (introduced when the peasantry didn't even know what toothpaste was) and most of our enlightened neighbours have rescinded similar policies on ethical as well as medical grounds.

Please let me give tap water to my kids without my having to worry if I am poisoning their bodies. Failure to positively address this issue may have negative impact on tourism and food and drink exports as Irish practises become more widely known. Indeed, water fluoridation may already be a huge financial burden on the State, as it is increasingly linked to Alzheimer's, bone cancer, hip fractures and kidney disease.


50 Reasons to Oppose Fluoridation Updated August, 2011
By Paul Connett, PhD and other members of the Fluoride Action Network (including James Beck, MD, PhD, Michael Connett, JD, Hardy Limeback, DDS, PhD, David McRae and Spedding Micklem, D.Phil.)


Fluoridation is the practice of adding a fluoride compound to the public drinking water supply ostensibly for the purpose of fighting tooth decay. The levels used range from 0.6 to 1.2 milligrams of fluoride ion per liter (or parts per million, ppm). The practice began in the U.S. in 1945 and was endorsed by the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) in 1950. Very few countries have adopted this practice to any significant extent. Only eight countries in the world have more than 50% of their populations drinking artificially fluoridated water (Australia, Colombia, Ireland, Israel, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, and the U.S.). In Europe, only Ireland (with 73% of the population fluoridated), the U.K. (10%) and Spain (10%) fluoridate some of their water supplies. In the U.S., about 70% of the population is drinking fluoridated water – that is approximately 200 million people and about half the number of people drinking artificially fluoridated water worldwide. Some countries have areas with high natural fluoride levels in the water. These include India, China and parts of Africa. In these countries measures are being taken to remove the fluoride because of the health problems that fluoride can cause.

Fluoridation is a bad medical practice

Fluoride is the only chemical added to water for the purpose of medical treatment. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classifies fluoride as a drug when used to prevent or mitigate disease (FDA 2000). As a matter of basic logic, adding fluoride to water for the sole purpose of preventing tooth decay (a non-waterborne disease) is a form of medical treatment. All other water treatment chemicals are added to improve the water's quality or safety, which fluoride does not do.
Fluoridation is unethical. Informed consent is standard practice for all medication, and one of the key reasons why most of Western Europe has ruled against fluoridation. With water fluoridation we are allowing governments to do to whole communities (forcing people to take a medicine irrespective of their consent) what individual doctors cannot do to individual patients. While referenda are preferential to imposed policies from government, it still leaves the problem of individual rights versus majority rule. Put another way: Does a voter have the right to require that their neighbor ingest a certain medication (even if it is against that neighbor's will)?
The dose cannot be controlled. Once fluoride is put in the water it is impossible to control the dose each individual receives because people drink different amounts of water. Being able to control the dose a patient receives is critical. Some people (e.g., manual laborers, athletes, diabetics, and people with kidney disease) drink substantially more water than others.
The fluoride goes to everyone regardless of age, health or vulnerability. According to Dr. Arvid Carlsson, the 2000 Nobel Laureate in Medicine and Physiology and one of the scientists who helped keep fluoridation out of Sweden:
"Water fluoridation goes against leading principles of pharmacotherapy, which is progressing from a stereotyped medication -- of the type 1 tablet 3 times a day -- to a much more individualized therapy as regards both dosage and selection of drugs. The addition of drugs to the drinking water means exactly the opposite of an individualized therapy" (Carlsson 1978).
People now receive fluoride from many other sources besides water. Fluoridated water is not the only way people are exposed to fluoride. Other sources of fluoride include food and beverages processed with fluoridated water (Kiritsy 1996; Heilman 1999), fluoridated dental products (Bentley 1999; Levy 1999), mechanically deboned meat (Fein 2001), tea (Levy 1999), and pesticide residues (e.g., from cryolite) on food (Stannard 1991; Burgstahler 1997). It is now widely acknowledged that exposure to non-water sources of fluoride has significantly increased since the water fluoridation program first began (NRC 2006).
Fluoride is not an essential nutrient (National Research Council [NRC] 1993; Institute of Medicine [IOM] 1997, NRC 2006). No disease has ever been linked to a fluoride deficiency. It has never been shown that ingested fluoride is needed to produce decay-free teeth. Not a single biological process has been shown to require fluoride. On the contrary there is extensive evidence that fluoride can interfere with many important biological processes. Fluoride interferes with numerous enzymes (Waldbott 1978). In combination with aluminum, fluoride interferes with G-proteins (Bigay 1985, 1987). Such interactions give aluminum-fluoride complexes the potential to interfere with signals from growth factors, hormones and neurotransmitters (Strunecka & Patocka 1999; Li 2003). More and more studies are indicating that fluoride can interfere with biochemistry in fundamental ways (Barbier 2010).
The level in mothers' milk is very low. Considering reason #6 it is perhaps not surprising that the level of fluoride in mother's milk is remarkably low (0.004 ppm, NRC, 2006). This means that a bottle-fed baby consuming fluoridated water (0.6 – 1.2 ppm) can get up to 300 times more fluoride than a breast-fed baby. There are no benefits (see reasons #11-19), only risks (see reasons #21-36), for infants ingesting this heightened level of fluoride at such an early age (an age where susceptibility to environmental toxins is particularly high).
Fluoride accumulates in the body. Healthy adult kidneys excrete 50 to 60% of the fluoride they ingest each day (Marier & Rose 1971). The remainder accumulates in the body, largely in calcifying tissues such as the bones and pineal gland (Luke 1997, 2001). Infants and children excrete less fluoride from their kidneys and take up to 80% of ingested fluoride into their bones (Ekstrand 1994). The fluoride concentration in bone steadily increases over a lifetime (NRC 2006).
No health agency in fluoridated countries is monitoring fluoride exposure or side effects. No regular measurements are being made of the levels of fluoride in urine, blood, bones, hair, or nails of either the general population or sensitive subparts of the population (e.g., individuals with kidney disease).
There has never been a single randomized clinical trial to demonstrate fluoridation's effectiveness or safety. Despite the fact that fluoride has been added to community water supplies for over 60 years, "there have been no randomized trials of water fluoridation" (Cheng 2007). Randomized studies are the standard method for determining the safety and effectiveness of any purportedly beneficial medical treatment. In 2000, the British Government's "York Review" could not give a single fluoridation trial a Grade A classification – despite 50 years of research (McDonagh 2000). The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) continues to classify fluoride as an "unapproved new drug."

40 more reasons and medical back-up here: